CMC Arizona Vortex Series 4 of 4: Arizona Vortex Easel Leg A-Frame

Written By: Lance Piatt

Arizona Vortex Easel Leg A-Frame

So we’ve arrived here on the scene, we’ve got a cliff edge in the background. And what we’re going to be doing is setting the Vortex up as an easel leg A-frame, which will facilitate the ability for us to be able to get the litter out over the edge and then recover a victim on the way back up. We can set the Vortex up quickly, we can put it exactly where we want it and get it into position and deploy our rescue team in a very short period of time.


Okay, so one of the things that we want to keep in mind as we’re setting this up as an easel leg is to put the pin heads on the top side of the back leg because that way it facilitates the ability of our main and belay. We don’t have to worry about it getting caught on either the end of the pin or on the pin head on either side of the back leg.

Okay, so what we’re doing now is we’re cooking up a line on the head of the Vortex and what that allows us to do is we have another person hanging onto the end of this cord because we’re going to stand this up and move it into position on the edge. That prevents us from losing it in case one of us stumbles, it’s not going to fall over the edge. But now what we’re going to do is we’re going to stand it up. Jason, you ready?

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Okay, so we’re going to move the Vortex into place up on the edge. We’ve both got safety lines attached and we’ve also pre-rigged our main line through the high directional so that we don’t have to lean out over the edge to finish our rigging for our main line.

So the next step in the construction of our high directional would be to install the hobble straps. So we’ll connect the front ones first and tension them up. Okay, so when we snug up the hobble straps, that’s going to help us prevent any unforeseen dynamic event at the edge. We take the excess, put them in the straps to help prevent any trip hazards. And then our next thing to do would be to set up our belay line and then check our resultant.

Okay, so now that we’ve got our Vortex built and in position, there’s a few things that we need to consider to make sure that it stays stable. Number one, we want to make sure that the blue head is level. So we’ve got four holes open on this side, five holes open on this side to level out the head. The force in and out needs to be perpendicular to the blue head.

The next thing we want to consider is the resultant and the resultant needs to be within the hobble straps. And it’s determined by the connection point at the top of the pulley through the axle, and it points down to the ground. As long as we are behind the front hobble strap, it’s good. But we also have to consider side to side motion because if Wayne were to move too far to one side, this leg would get light, and potentially the Vortex would flip over in one direction. Or if you move the opposite direction, same thing would happen in this case, it would flip over.

So it’s something that we do want to keep in mind. Resultants have a tendency to drift forward on the way down and aft on the way up. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to lower it down, we’ll stop. Wayne is going to make an adjustment to flatten out the litter, makes it easier for our litter tender on the way back up.

Okay, so here we have our easel leg tripod set up, but this will be a different application for industry or taking a load off of a roof line that’s got a parapet wall on it. So what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be raising up our load. And in this case, we don’t have a litter tender along with it. So we’ve got a tagline to a tagline person down on the bottom. We’re going to lift the litter up, place it on the parapet wall feet first, and then we’re going to push the litter out into place and lower it down. So we’ve got a few things to take care of.

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