Training: Floating the litter using an a frame and gin pole trackline
Steep angle litter work can be about as difficult as any high angle rescue. The main reason is that the litter attendants will have to pick and choose the terrain while still maintaining patient contact and visual. This isn’t always doable and often teams are working with minimal personnel so choosing a system that works is critical.
Here, we choose a more advanced set up using and entire Arizona Vortex, meaning that all three legs but in two segments. The top being an A-Frame and the bottom system being a monopod or Gin-pole set up. The main reason here was height. First, we needed to get the litter up and off the ground immediately and secondly because of the terrain we needed to keep the litter moving without the need to “carry it”. This means the system needs to “float” the litter and patient all the way to the top and through the AHD into the awaiting vehicles for transport.
When the terrain angle approaches 40 degrees the risks go up significantly. Two ropes (TTRS) will always be the go to default. There are variations of opinions as to how attendants are used (be it one or two persons) and we’ll leave that part up to the AHJ. Adding one to many people can add a significant load to the system, while not enough could also become a problem.
The litter setup is important and the terrain and type of system will dictate the style of the litter bridle system. However, regardless of the system used, the attendant(s) is simply there to assist in the progress, not to carry the load and if need be, attend to the patient.
For the litter yoke, we used the classic and more traditional Long Tail Bowline tied directly to the bridle system.
The key points are:
Proper AHD set ups
Track line height and functionality
Litter bridle setup
Source: Rigging Lab Academy