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  • Vertical Confined Space Rigging

    I would love your 0.02 cents on this topic. When rigging for a vertical confined space operation utilizing a tripod as your overhead, where is the placement of your belay lines?
    I throw this question out a lot during classes I teach and seem to get a 50/50 split regarding the placement and rigging method.

    What are your thoughts....
    Mike Donahue
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

  • #2
    Next to the main lift block such that the belay line runs as nearly parallel to the main line as practical. A bear paw on the tripod works nicely as an anchor for both.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    sigpic
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    • #3
      Vertical Rigging

      I'm a big fan of redundancy in systems... sometimes i'm a little over the top in that respect but I guess thats not a bad thing.
      I only utilize the tripod for my lowering/raising line (main line) the belay lines get attached to separate anchor points outside of the tripod. I do this simply as a worse case scenario preventative measure. If the tripod should be knocked over, the connection point that the rigging plate is connected to fails (very rare ) you wont lose your entire operation. If either of those scenarios should happen you can quickly piggyback a MAS onto any of the belay systems and retrieve the victim and or rescuers.
      You may be thinking... to rig all those separate belay attachments will eat up some time. I've had two groups of experienced students go head to head one rigging entirely off of a tripod the other rigging as I explained and it took about the same amount of time.
      There are dozens of different ways to rig of course but a few years ago I came across this method which went against how I was taught but made complete sense and thought it was worth passing on.
      Mike Donahue
      "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

      Comment


      • #4
        If you have the luxury of excess equipment, surplus personnel, and wide open spaces to set up your operation, totally independent redundant redundancy is a nice option. IMHO, that's not a combination that occurs often.

        Hell, I don't know of too many vertical confined space settings where your whole forum handle would fit -- never mind enough space to double up on tripods or other suitable anchor hardpoints.
        "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
        sigpic
        The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

        Comment


        • #5
          Confined Space Rigging Operation

          Valid point DM. Manpower can be an issue however if you have a solid crew with a good eye one rescuer can create multiple anchor points very quickly...we just need one bombproof anchor.You mentioned doubling up on your tripod, I think I was misunderstood. The belay anchors would be structural elements near the entry point. Space was never really an issue, we were always able to make it work,although it has been tight at times. Organization then becomes a key piece to the success of your operation. If your dealing with pseudo anchors... that's a whole new ballgame. It's time to adapt and make things happen.
          Your standard cache of rope equipment should do the trick however I know some departments (mine) are blessed with a pretty solid cache and some are less fortunate. If that's the case... you do what you're trained to do...make it work and execute the operation safely, effectively, and efficiently. (S.E.E)
          Mike Donahue
          "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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          • #6
            We run our belays on the ground over the edge of the opening. A Born Entry Ease makes a great edge protection for this purpose. The only thing that we normally put in the tripod is the 4:1 that we use for the haul/lower system.
            Jason Brooks
            IAFF Local 2388
            IACOJ

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            • #7
              Confined Space Rigging Operation

              Great to hear Jason. Were you originally trained like that or is that something you learned later on in your career?
              Mike Donahue
              "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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              • #8
                we go over the edge with the safety, and the four to one off an anchor and the main rather than on the tri pod.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is a newer school of thought, one with which I agree, that the belay line should be run through the high directional (HD) such as a tripod during the edge transition and lowered to ground level during the operation.

                  This can be done by running your belay through a collapsed mini MA such as an AZTEK during the loading of the main line and be lowered by the edge attendant as the load is lowered into the space.

                  If the main line fails during the edge transition, the load will not fall because it is suspended by the belay up high. If the belay is not rigged high during the transition and a mainline failure occurs, the load is going to fall a significant distance because the belay is several feet off of the deck to wherever the attachment point to the load is.

                  If the HD fails during the edge transition, then the load is only going to fall the distance it would have were it not rigged through the HD.

                  You can see in the attached picture that the load has cleared the edge and the belay is now run low though an extended AZTEK. This has the added benefit of being able to collapse the AZTEK and raise the load to the height of the HD should you need to haul back up on the belay because of a mainline failure.Also, while the picture was taken in the woods, the concepts obviously apply to a C space incident as well.

                  Lets also keep in mind that failures during edge transition are usually caused by human error in rigging and not catastrophic equipment failure.
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                  • #10
                    nice!

                    Seems like a very effective way to mitigate main line edge transition mistakes on both the lower and raise.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ProgressiveRescue Specialized Rescue Forum Moderator View Post
                      Great to hear Jason. Were you originally trained like that or is that something you learned later on in your career?
                      Mike Donahue
                      We have been doing it this way for years.
                      Jason Brooks
                      IAFF Local 2388
                      IACOJ

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                        Hell, I don't know of too many vertical confined space settings where your whole forum handle would fit ...
                        Zing! Ha.

                        Originally posted by ProgressiveRescue Specialized Rescue Forum Moderator View Post
                        I'm a big fan of redundancy in systems... sometimes i'm a little over the top in that respect but I guess thats not a bad thing.
                        I only utilize the tripod for my lowering/raising line (main line) the belay lines get attached to separate anchor points outside of the tripod. I do this simply as a worse case scenario preventative measure. If the tripod should be knocked over, the connection point that the rigging plate is connected to fails (very rare ) you wont lose your entire operation.
                        Anytime you are using high help, I like to have the safety or belay line on a lower surface. In confined space, a lot like trench, the rope becomes more of a tag line to find your people and maybe yank them out if disaster occurs.

                        Some thoughts with the tag line. Where are you hooking it up? I say if you have to go vertical on a lower then it needs to be on the dorsal. This way if rescuer goes unconscious then he can be raised without rag dolling over and getting stuck on the access point.

                        What if you are going in all horizontal? Where then? Dorsal would work if you could turn them around inside the space. But what if the space is a narrow tube? You then have to send a back up team member to go put a California Love Knot on the downed rescuers ankles and drag him out. Could definitely be done with his tag line no matter where he attached it. Thoughts?
                        ~Drew
                        Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
                        USAR TF Rescue Specialist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Confined Space Rigging Operation

                          DCFDRescue2
                          Great Idea! That's outside the box thinking.
                          Mike Donahue
                          "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FiremanLyman View Post
                            Zing! Ha.
                            Don't laugh. He didn't find it amusing despite the generous use of emoticons. I got a nastygram and a criticims of my sense of humor from him for it. With such a thin skin he must be a joy around the firehouse.

                            Anytime you are using high help, I like to have the safety or belay line on a lower surface. In confined space, a lot like trench, the rope becomes more of a tag line to find your people and maybe yank them out if disaster occurs.
                            In a trench situation, I don't disagree. I was thinking more of a true vertical that might involve a small opening with a sharp edge transition (i.e. hatch, trap door, etc.) In that instance, I prefer to have both lines near center above the hole so that either can lift someone clear if necessary without dragging them over the edge.

                            Given the degree of safety margin in typical tripods and rigging hardware, I worry far more about a primary line getting fouled than I do about a catastrophic hardware failure. I like having the belay line rigged so that it can easily be used as a lift line -- not just a fall arrest.
                            "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                            sigpic
                            The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=FiremanLyman;1205091]Some thoughts with the tag line. Where are you hooking it up? I say if you have to go vertical on a lower then it needs to be on the dorsal. This way if rescuer goes unconscious then he can be raised without rag dolling over and getting stuck on the access point.
                              QUOTE]


                              I hear where you are coming from on this. However, think about this scenario for a second. You are lowered with a front attachment point and your body is centered in the hole based on that system. Now, the system fails and your rear attachment belay will recenter your weight in the hole. This could end with your face smashed into the wall. If you use a front attachment point, you will stay oriented in the same plane. Another issue we ran across with a rear attachment was a squeeze. The systems locked up and the guy on the rope got squeezed between his haul/lower and belay lines. Not something we want to do again.
                              Jason Brooks
                              IAFF Local 2388
                              IACOJ

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