Rapid Intervention - "Columbus Kit" for Firefighter Rescue - PART 2

PART 2 - "Full Body Harness" and "Handcuff" Techniques.

This is a compact kit that can be used by a Rapid Intervention Team to rescue/extract an injured or unconscious firefighter that has fallen through a hole in a floor or roof. We call it the "Columbus Kit" in honor of the Columbus Ohio Fire Department who shared the lessons they learned from a LODD they experienced on July 25, 1987. John Nance died when he fell through a weakened section of floor into the basement of 4 story commercial building and could not be rescued before he exhausted his air supply.

The kit contains 2 - 50 foot sections of 5/8" rescue rope, 2 XL locking carabiners, 1 custom made storage bag and a 12 foot "Quik Step" folding ladder. Our RIT will only perform this type of operation when the floor or roof is strong enough to support a rescue attempt from above. The kit we assembled has more than 7 options for deployment - Using either one or both ropes together. The 3 primary methods include:
1. Carabiner/ Shoulder Strap Technique
2. Full Body Harness
3. Handcuff Method

We use the "Quik Step" ladder to access the trapped firefighter, but only when the hole is large enough to accommodate both the ladder and the firefighter descending/climbing it. Otherwise we reach the trapped firefighter by performing a hose line slide or lowering a rescuer down with one of the Columbus Kit ropes.

We put this kit together about 15 years ago and refined it to what you see in the video. There are more techniques to show, but the video would be over 30 minutes long. Part 1 describes setup and assessment procedures and concludes with a demonstration of the "Carabiner" Technique. Part 2 includes demonstrations on how to rig the "Full Body Harness" and "Handcuff" Techniques.

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Comment by DALE G. PEKEL on August 26, 2009 at 7:51pm
Thanks for comments brothers - Good luck and stay safe!
Comment by Humberto Vergara on August 26, 2009 at 12:54pm
I like the full body harness.Ive used the handcuff method but I like the full body better.I'll try it.Thanks for the input.

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