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Anchors, knowing what you are tied to

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  • Anchors, knowing what you are tied to

    This topic has been beat to death in the past and I am sure it will be in the future. I would like to take a diffrent angle of looking at this, I dont want to talk about what one person says is bomber and the other argues nothing is ever bomber. We all know that everything has its limit and after a certin amount of time and use those things will lose there strength.

    Lets take a telephone pole for example, When fresh out of the mill this pole is extreamly strong and will be for a good amount of time to come. Give this same pole ten years and a few stress momments ( lets say when a pole a few spans down gets blasted by a truck and the wires pull the pole in question with good force). Now what is the strength? We can also use say a hand rail ontop of a platform, like you would see on towers. Railing has been up there for say 30 years and sure there was PM done to the tower durring that time, but when was the railing last checked?

    I dont intend on getting into what these objects may be able to hold or if I feel they are bomber. My question to you is this, when anchoring durring a live rescue (not a perfect scenerio for drill when you find the biggest anchor point and thats where the drill will be) where do you draw the line on what will be an anchor and what looks like one but just should not be used anymore? Also knowing time is limited, how much time will you give to your self to take a good look? Also do you train your crews on what to look out for?

    If you take mountain rescue crews, they take the time to not only show there crews how to make an anchor into a rock wall but also what to watch out for knowing that not all cracks are going to hold well.

    I have always watched instructors as they say " hey this object is big use it as an anchor!" but never saysing " this may not be a perfect anchor point but it will work just fine, but this is what you have to watch for". Attention to detail and disciplin is what will bring calmness and a well carried out rescue.

  • #2
    Dylan,
    What a great topic!
    In a perfect world all our rescues would be surrounded by bombproof anchors....reality is we don't live in a perfect world so our ability as rescuers to decide which anchor to use is imperative and vital to our operation.
    My personal opinion is this...It all comes down to an eye for physics and a lot of common sense. A good rescuer and instructor should be able to look at an object and decide weather it's bombproof or questionable...honestly that's not a real tough skill to master. What needs to be mastered is the ability to make a questionable anchor work is a short period of time. We need to perform solid scene size-up's as rescuers, so to cut down on time seek anchors as you approach the scene. I stress in my teaching the importance of backing up anchors bomber or knot and really focus on how to track how the load will seek the anchor point. An understanding of this will create a foundation for solid rigging skills. An acronym I came up with and really push on my students is SEE Safe Effective & Efficient I think those are words to live by in any rope rigging operation.
    Mike Donaue
    "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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    • #3
      Dylan, I understand where you are coming from. It's seems like throwing some anchor straps around something that "looks good" should be an easy task. I don't see a lot of guys that I work with really inspecting those anchors or thinking down stream very much. This is especially true of belay anchors which will see much higher numbers if loaded. Here's a pic of some tower worker's idea of a bomb proof anchor (look close). Ironically, This anchor is not what killed them.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Now that is scary , those thin metal pole starps are notorious for poping off all the time!!

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        • #5
          Well even if it was a good anchor, the hook is backwards......from the pic, it sure doesn't look like a foundry hook.
          My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
          "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
          George Mason
          Co-author of the Second Amendment
          during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
          Elevator Rescue Information

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          • #6
            If you don't think your anchor is sturdy enough to support the weight of your car, it's not enough to support the weight of a rescuer...

            That was an interesting point brought up to us during our development and helped expand the mind on how to visualize whether a particular anchor or combinations of anchors were sufficient.
            Ian "Eno" McLeod

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bottrigg View Post
              Dylan, I understand where you are coming from. It's seems like throwing some anchor straps around something that "looks good" should be an easy task. I don't see a lot of guys that I work with really inspecting those anchors or thinking down stream very much. This is especially true of belay anchors which will see much higher numbers if loaded. Here's a pic of some tower worker's idea of a bomb proof anchor (look close). Ironically, This anchor is not what killed them.
              That's insane! I really have nothing else to say but that. I guess we could call that job security. (If they make it)
              Have a great holiday everyone!
              Stay Safe,
              Mike Donahue
              "Training Prepares You...For Moments That Define You

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