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Question from a Petzl ID User

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Here's a question for the Roco Tech Panel from one of our readers.
I recently became the ERT trainer. I have introduced the Petzl descender to the group and they love it. The question was brought up about the rating for lowering and raising of patients. What is it limits and can it be used in hauling up a two-person load? The max load the manufacturer says is around 600 pounds, and I am not sure if this is enough to meet what NFPA says. I really enjoyed the video Roco put out on this device, and would really enjoy seeing more on on other equipment.


Answer from the Tech Panel: Yes, you can use the Petzl ID-L (ID with red side plates that is NFPA G-rated) for raising and lowering two-person loads. For the ID-L, 600 lbf. is the “design load-rating requirement” for NFPA 1983 General Use. There are also two other ID versions – one with a yellow/gold side plate (ID-S) that is designed for smaller diameter ropes; and a blue side plate version, which will handle ½” rope like the red side plate but with a 550 lbf. design load.

So, what is the design load? Typically, it is the amount of weight/force a device or a system can handle; or the load that it is designed to handle. Once it has met the design load requirement for NFPA, it is placed in an equipment category and tested accordingly. In the case of the ID, it is tested as a descent control device. According to NFPA, General Use descent control devices shall withstand a minimum test load of at least 22 k/N (4946 lbf) without failure. I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, that’s not anywhere near the 9000 lbf we’re used to hearing for General Use?” NFPA requires that rope and carabiners be rated at 8992 lbf with pulleys and some other auxiliary items at 8093 lbf. Rope grab device shall withstand a minimum test load of at least 11 k/N (2473 lbf) without sustaining permanent damage to the device or rope to meet General Use. So, there is a wide range of strength requirements in NFPA 1983 depending on what category an item is tested in.

You must also consider that NFPA 1983 is a manufacturer’s standard and provides strength requirements for equipment to be classified as (T)-Technical Use (300lbf working load) – or (G)-General Use (600lbf working load). Rescuers must also refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. However, an NFPA 1983 G-rating provides a quick field reference to the working load and confirms that a piece of equipment has been tested accordingly. This is important because OSHA will most likely look at this if there is an incident.

To answer your question, the manufacturer (Petzl) allows the ID to be used for the lowering and raising of two-person loads. If you have any other questions or need more information, please let us know – we’ll be glad to help. We also hope to have other videos available soon!
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New Items for Your Rescue Toolbox: SKED® Cobra Buckle Update

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reviewed by Pat Furr, Roco Chief Instructor/Technical Consultant

Cobra™ quick connect buckles are offered as a special order on new Sked® and as a retrofit kit for Sked® you already have. For users of the SKEDCO flexible litter, there is good news.  The SKED® Litter can now be ordered with Cobra™ quick connect buckles. Or you can order a Cobra™ Buckle Retrofit Kit for your original SKED®.

The uses of the new quick connect buckle system cuts the victim packaging time in about half.  The buckles are each rated at 3,000 pounds and require a dual action to release which provides a high level safety.

The price of the SKED® is a bit higher with the Cobra™ buckles; however, you do get everything you pay for with these buckles. They dramatically speed up the patient packaging because of the ease of using them. And, as rescuers, we're always looking for ways to evacuate our patients in a quicker and more efficient way.
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New Items for Your Rescue Toolbox: Petzl ID

Thursday, July 19, 2012

By Pat Furr, Roco Chief Instructor/Technical Consultant

OK, who has not had the opportunity to use the Petzl ID? The ID is one of the most versatile bits of rescue hardware that I have in my kit. It comes in both NFPA G and L(*) rated versions and provides the closest thing to a “Jack of all Trades” capability that I can think of.

It was originally designed as an evolutionary improvement to the Petzl Stop and Gri Gri and as its name suggests, it was intended to be an “Industrial Descender” thus ID.

In very short order it became apparent that this device could do so much more than provide an auto stop capability during rappels.

The "auto stop" feature also acts as an instant progress capture, or ratchet while pulling rope through the device in the direction opposite that it was designed to control friction. This feature provides the option of using the ID as the first change of direction and ratchet in mechanical advantage systems. Granted, the bobbin of the ID is not nearly as efficient as a true pulley, but the efficiency gained by having virtually every fraction of an inch of progress captured and the ease of changing over from a haul to a lower far outweighs any efficiency loss at the bobbin.

My go-to system for situations where I need to change over from lowers to hauls, or from hauls to lowers, is the ID with the addition of a cam, a biner, and a pulley (Omni-Block), which gives me an easily assembled 3:1 Z-Rig. If I need more MA ratio, I just use a double sheave pulley at the load end and an additional single sheave pulley at the anchor end -- now I've got a 5:1 MA.

In addition to the use of the ID as the foundation of MA systems, it can also be used for short ascents, and the manufacturer is now allowing it to be used as a belay device. The ID-L still retains the quick load side plate that allows it to remain anchored while loading or unloading the rope from the device.

If you have an extra 5 minutes, watch this video where Roco Director of Training, Dennis O'Connell shares some tips about using the Petzl ID as a part of your confined space rope rescue equipment kit.

(*) Note: The 2012 edition of NFPA 1983 has changed its Light Use (L) designation to Technical Use (T).

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New Items for Your Rescue Toolbox: SureClip™ Rescue Pole System

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

By Pat Furr, Roco Chief Instructor/Technical Consultant

When doing our "risk vs. benefit" analysis, we always want to limit the exposure of our rescuers to the lowest level of risk practical. The SureClip™ telescopic rescue pole is one tool that can do just that. This system provides a means to make a remote attachment to a suspended or otherwise isolated victim (such as confined spaces) while minimizing risk to the rescuer.

This system is especially effective in attaching rescue systems to fallen workers that are suspended from their personal fall arrest systems. By eliminating the need to put a rescuer “on line” to make contact with the victim, this system reduces the risk to the rescue team members. The SureClip™ universal head is designed to hold a variety of auto locking carabiners in the open position and mount on a standard telescopic pole that provides from 8 to 25 feet of reach depending on the model.

For more information on this handy device, contact Roco at 800-647-7626. Or, for technical assistance, ask for Pat Furr or one of our other knowledgeable instructors.
      
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New Items for Your Rescue Toolkit

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"If it's been a while since you've updated your rescue equipment kit or attended a rescue class, you may not be aware of some of the newer pieces of rescue gear that not only make your job safer, but make it easier and more efficient as well. The last decade has seen an explosion of emerging technologies that have allowed the design and manufacture of some really exciting and practical equipment. In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing some of the newer gear that you may not have had the opportunity to work with. Hopefully, this will provide the stimulus for you to get out there and find out what else you may be missing out on." Pat Furr, Roco Chief Instructor/Technical Consultant




The Omni Block Swiveling Pulley

This first item is one of my personal favorites. There is a story behind it, but I will have to save that for a time when we may meet out in the field. The Omni-Block Swiveling Pulley, designed by Rock Thompson of Rock Exotica, combines some unique features that save time and weight while increasing the efficiency of virtually every type of pulley system. CMC's version of this pulley -the CMC Prusik-Minding Swivel Pulley- meets NFPA G rating.

The feature of the Omni-Block that I think is as important as the built-in swivel is the "quick release side plate." This proprietary design allows the rope to be loaded andunloaded into the pulley without having to remove the pulley from the anchor. Depending on the application, this provides a new level of ease for systems incorporating temporary directional pulleys, and really reduces the chance that gear may be dropped. This is especially important for rescuers that are building systems while at height, such as with tower rescue operations.

The swivel feature has proven to be a huge improvement that eliminates the need for an additional separate swivel and additional carabiner, thus saving weight and expense. But the true benefit of the swivel, in addition to eliminating side-plate chaffing, is that any twists inadvertently built into an MA system practically spin out on their own once the system is loaded. For the rare occasions that twists do not spin out on their own, it's just a matter of quickly rotating the pulley manually to remove any twists.

Again, stay tuned, as we continue to review some of the newer pieces of rescue gear in the coming weeks.
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