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Liability teaching ropes.

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  • Liability teaching ropes.

    Ok so my volunteer department carries an outrageous amount of rope rescue equipment for what these Guys have been taught. I have a 40 hour 2 part class from an actual academy under my belt as well as my basic Fdny ropes training. Most technical aspects are self taught through watching reading and asking questions of FDNY tech rescue guys.

    I'm not looking to go crazy with these guys. All I want to teach is very basic knots, stokes basket packing, rappelling, firefighter rescue and basic hauling.

    Obviously the issue Is I am not a certified rescue instructor of any kind. I am an NFPA Fire Instructor 1. I have no doubt in my abilities to teach, but is it something I can get away with at a small department level?

    Most things here are taught in house with no certified instructor but this is a little more dangerous.
    Last edited by BrooklynBravest; 02-12-2015, 04:22 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
    Ok so my volunteer department carries an outrageous amount of rope rescue equipment for what these Guys have been taught. I have a 40 hour 2 part class from an actual academy under my belt as well as my basic Fdny ropes training. Most technical aspects are self taught through watching reading and asking questions of FDNY tech rescue guys.

    I'm not looking to go crazy with these guys. All I want to teach is very basic knots, stokes basket packing, rappelling, firefighter rescue and basic hauling.

    Obviously the issue Is I am not a certified rescue instructor of any kind. I am an NFPA Fire Instructor 1. I have no doubt in my abilities to teach, but is it something I can get away with at a small department level?

    Most things here are taught in house with no certified instructor but this is a little more dangerous.

    I wouldn't get too hung up on the "certified" thing. A resume / curriculum vitae that shows experience should carry far more weight than a certificate. A certificate is a piece of paper issue by an organization that states that you've met that particular organization's (or similar) criteria to be enabled to receive said certificate. Criteria may include:
    -You took a written test and passed.
    -You took a practical test and passed.
    -You have such-and-so hours of past experience doing X.
    -You were present in a course and had a pulse.

    So no, I don't put a lot of stock in such pieces of paper.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you should consult with the department's chiefs and/or legal advisers.

      I also think it is a shameful commentary on society today that you should even have to worry about this.

      Good Luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        You might want to have a look at NFPA 1500.

        5.2.11* All training and exercises shall be conducted under the direct supervision of a qualified instructor who
        meets the equivalency requirements of 1.4.1.

        1.4.1* The authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to approve an equivalent level of qualifications for
        the requirements specified in Chapter 5 of this standard.

        Comment


        • #5
          MichaelXYZ - Thanks for referring to NFPA 1500, I actually needed that reference for something completely different, however I believe your reference is to an older version.

          NFPA 1500-2013 edition doesn't have a 5.2.11 but does have this:

          5.3.8* All training and exercises shall be conducted under the direction supervision of a qualified instructor.

          The annex referral for that section however may fit into this conversation more.

          A.5.3.8 Fire departments can utilize instructors who are not necessarily trained and/or certified to the requirements of NFPA 1041, Standard for Fire Service Instructor Professional Qualifications. However, in using these instructors they should ensure that they are familiar with the fire department, its organization, and its operations and, in addition, are qualified in that particular area of expertise.

          All of that being said, @BrooklynBravest some good discussion here. Unfortunately we are in a litigious society and there is even a NIOSH LODD report on an incident that sounds similar to what you may want to do.

          http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-prod...training-LODD/

          Take a look at it and learn from it. Certainly reference the NFPA 1500, 1041 standards in regards to how to teach technical rescue. While it may seem basic to rappel there are certainly a lot of potentials that can go wrong and human factors etc.

          As someone who is a certified instructor, both public and private in upstate NY and have taught technical rescue at my departments recruit classes, state and regional fire academies, and worked with some great SOC instructors from your job as well: make sure you have a lesson plan, and a couple of other good instructors so your student to instructor ratio is acceptable. NY is also an odd place because of the "Scaffold Law". As an owner of a private training company based in NY, I can tell you my insurance rates are ridiculous because of this and because we have people who are "working at height".

          capnjak offers some good advise as well, and those folks may want to check with the insurance company.

          In my personal opinion, I think you can "get away with it", if you plan it properly and safely. I would recommend going both inside and outside of your career department for rope rescue training. While there, certainly take back some of the info you learn, but try to pay particular attention to how the instructors setup and run the hands on stations, maybe even buy them a beer afterwards and pick their brains on the topics. Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            You are correct AFD, I did use an older version of the NFPA 1500. I did not think it would have changed much. I agree the rappelling is dangerous and especially at high angle. My first instruction into rappelling was done at low angle, less than 45 degree slope.
            If I were you Brooklyn, I would keep all training on low angle.
            If I may recommend a good low angle rescue manual for you to read, it is the manual I used for my LARRO training and it is very good, provided by the Ca Office of the State Fire Marshall. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/training/pdf/LARRO.StManual.pdf

            The LARRO student task book may also help you make a lesson plan as AFD suggested.
            http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/training/pdf...nttaskbook.pdf

            Hope that helps.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you all for the great replies really helps with my concerns.

              Realistically, I don't think the group of guys I would be working with would be competent enough to go as far as hauling/lowering a stokes basket even though we have the equipment for it.

              I'm doing all of this in a classroom setting and a 2 story cargo container training building.

              I mostly want to teach basic lowering and hauling systems. As basic as possible nothing exceeding a simple z-rig and 4:1.

              We are on level terrain here the need for a rope rescue is incredibly slim to none. But it's a tool on the rig and I want to at least give the guys a foundation to stand on.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
                Thank you all for the great replies really helps with my concerns.

                Realistically, I don't think the group of guys I would be working with would be competent enough to go as far as hauling/lowering a stokes basket even though we have the equipment for it.

                I'm doing all of this in a classroom setting and a 2 story cargo container training building.

                I mostly want to teach basic lowering and hauling systems. As basic as possible nothing exceeding a simple z-rig and 4:1.

                We are on level terrain here the need for a rope rescue is incredibly slim to none. But it's a tool on the rig and I want to at least give the guys a foundation to stand on.

                Despite the "level terrain" factor, don't sell yourself too short. I think it would be unusual to not have at least a few towers in your area. Where there are towers, there are cyclical visits by maintenance workers, and possibly trespassers who may run into trouble. Trees can also be a place where your team may be called for rescue help. Tree workers occasionally get into trouble at height. You may even have a branch of Holdma Beer Tree Service or I R Tree Service in your area. They'll typically need rescue (or recovered) even more often.

                As for towers, here's a nice tool to use to pin point lat-long locations of towers where you live. You can search by state, county, town, and zip code. Pretty cool... http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrS...tionSearch.jsp

                Comment


                • #9
                  BB- sent you a PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    QUOTE=EricUlner;1431981]Despite the "level terrain" factor, don't sell yourself too short. I think it would be unusual to not have at least a few towers in your area. Where there are towers, there are cyclical visits by maintenance workers, and possibly trespassers who may run into trouble. QUOTE]

                    Water towers seem to be a frequent rescue location in south Louisiana and definitely need to be preplanned before you get the call.

                    Mike Dunn

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok so I pretty much have approval to do this, but just in case am I wrong ib the following

                      I am a nationally recognized fire instructor under NFPA 1403 and I've recieved formal training in the curriculum up to the level I am planning to teach.

                      After reading NFPA 1670 on rope rescuer operating levels, I believe I formally meet the "operations level" and a little beyond off of paper.

                      Is there anything in NFPA that actually states the requirements to teach to the level you are certified? It looks like NFPA puts the weight on the shoulders of your organization to decide what can and cannot be done as long as it is within standard safe practice.

                      Without being a formal agency of higher learning, is it possible to neccisarly certify anyone on a small department level if I can prove the training was given and tested by a member or does it always need to come from a certifying teaching agency?
                      Last edited by BrooklynBravest; 02-22-2015, 07:29 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        According to NFPA 1670;
                        The AHJ shall be responsible for the documentation of all required training. This documentation shall be maintained and available for inspection by individual team members
                        and their authorized representatives.

                        You need to look at your state requirements.

                        I have certifications from my state for all my training such as confined space etc. Just because you feel you have a certain level of qualification does not make it so. You need documentation stating so in the event there is an incident during training.

                        By NFPA definition, operation level means you work under the supervision of technician level, so I do not think you can certify anyone. Informal training sure, but certify, no.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So in theory that basically means unless training came from a higher agency like a fire academy, no matter what you want to teach, the student technically cannot perform the skill in the field or independently unless supervised by a technician level member.

                          So what permits us (Fdny for example) to perform a victim rescue via rope Independ of a rope technician if the need arises?


                          Am I essentially wasting my time teaching this? I know I've been formally trained to the operations level but I'm technically not "certified" to teach it. I'm only certified to teach in general. It seems very agency based. id say next to no one is necessarily certified to teach specific topics like SCBA. We just do it and get away with it. So where's the divide of what is and is not acceptable?
                          Last edited by BrooklynBravest; 02-23-2015, 10:10 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Much of what I am saying is strictly my opinion and not a matter of fact. As I understand it, NFPA standards are just that, standards, and they are not a law making body. Your AHJ has the final say on training requirements, and determining your competency on performing certain task.
                            So if your Chief gives you authority to certify, then who am I to argue?

                            And no, you are not wasting your time. Training is never a waste.

                            Stay safe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So I got the OK from my department to teach this as a first time trial run.

                              Problem is, I still personally want to know what the requirements to teach or even consider oneself capable of teaching.

                              I have read all the standards I can find and I just can't get a straight answer on what even makes you qualified as a "technician" level responder other than receiving certification from an agency that claims you met THEIR standard. Is there even a national requirement?

                              NFPA 1500 - states the fire department shall provide specific advanced training to members who will operate as technician level responders. Does not state the standards for that training

                              NFPA 1670 - States there is an awareness, operations and technician level of training and outlines what is expected of each level but not does outline what the requirements to actually be at that level are. As you stated just because you think you are at that level, does not make it so.

                              So where on earth does some official document state the iron clad requirements to meet that level, state or nationally.

                              Comment

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