by Dave Spencer
Carson City Sheriff’s Search And Rescue got the ropes out for this month’s practical training with thirteen personnel ready to haul CCFD’s “Rescue Randy” through a steep angle rescue scenario. The scenario location provided real world relevance, since the Team performed a mission at the site many years ago. Although we were a bit cramped, the site allowed the Team to work without blocking the right-of-way to other outdoor adventurists. This would not be a factor during a mission, but for field training we don’t like to impede other people’s fun (as it happens, we could have spread out because no one came by).
Using the National Fire Protection Association 1670 Technical Search And Rescue standard as the basis for the Team’s Standard Operating Procedures, our Sierra Rescue/Rescue 3 International certified technicians provided oversight for this scenario as well as the annual hands-on refresher training completed prior to this event. Because of a weather reschedule, we were down to the previously mentioned thirteen that still allowed us to run a single person technical rig and a multi-person general purpose litter rig simultaneously.
The technical rig ran a standard Brake Bar Rack lower and 3:1 Mechanical Advantage haul, while our general purpose rig got to try something new after the first run with a Brake Bar Rack. A recent addition to our equipment is CMC’s MPD (Multi Purpose Device). What an improvement! Replacing the Brake Bar Rack, the MPD allows for the running of lowers and hauls off of the same piece of gear which dramatically reduces the complexity of the operation.
After one run with the MPD and a Prusik belay we were able to “kick it up a notch” again by running a mirrored system with a second MPD borrowed from CCFD. Another “What an improvement!” Sharing the haul load through two 3:1 MA systems made life much easier for the haul teams while allowing for a smoother pull on the four attached to the rope rig and the litter. Although Randy really didn’t care, the three litter attendants appreciated not being jerked so much as the haul teams worked to muscle them back up the hillside.
Overall it was another terrific day out absorbing the beautiful Carson City countryside while enjoying the company of a great Team. As a bonus we got to expand our knowledge, skills, abilities, and comfort zones. Many thanks again to all the personnel at CCFD for the loaned equipment and support.