Elements of Rigging (Trailer) with Pat Rhodes

This project was done in concert with Rescue Response Gear. We caught up with Pat Rhodes to find out what makes up the Elements of Rigging… Knots and Hitches, Pulley Systems and their Rules, Anchors, Reeving Systems/Highlines, Resultants and Force Vectors. Pat Rhodes has long been considered a mentor to thousands of riggers through the world. What he has to say is important.

Over the years, Pat has captured the attention of riggers around the world. His knowledge, humor and integrity has made Pat, hands down, one of the most requested instructors we have ever had the privilege of working with. Pat is author is numerous rigging and books and is considered a rigging mentor by thousands of people around the globe.

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Concepts in Anchor Building

By: Matt Shove

Often times we build anchors while on climbs. We need to belay, or there is a logical place to end the pitch , for example, a large ledge. These places often hold a number of options, and there is usually a better one. Perfect cracks, solid rock, perfect gear placements, a shiny two bolt anchor, or even natural anchors like horns and boulders. What we do with them and the methods we attach ourselves to them is what really matters. The interface between us and the individual anchors can set us up for an efficient transition, or time wasted wondering how all of these knots and twists got into the rope. Here are a few techniques I used recently while working at the Gunks in upstate New York and more locally at Ragged Mountain. A number of concepts that have turned into acronyms have been used, but let me remind you that load sharing is the goal most of the time. Remember, these are just a few choices in a sea of options. Choose, but choose wisely Knight, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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The Importance of Choosing the Right Aerial Ladder during High Angle Evacuations

By: Jason Ilowite

Many of us in the Fire Department rescue world have trained on, and possibly conducted a high angle evacuation utilizing an Aerial ladder as a high directional. This is a topic that has an extremely large amount of variance when it comes to specific rigging of systems, however there are some standard rules that should be taken in to consideration when deciding which Aerial to use for the job. As we all know, each Aerial has a rated tip load, and as such requires us to know the mass of our rescue package as specifically as possible. Perhaps the most important determination to be made by knowing what our rescue load weighs is whether or not an attendant will ride with the patient. Let’s examine the contributing factors that should form our decision.

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Vision, Passion and Purpose Will Make You A Transformational Rigger

In our industry, what moves us are pulleys and mechanical advantage. But in our being, what moves us is much deeper. What moves me is the hope of releasing vision, passion and purpose in others and one platform for this is Rigging Lab Academy and the network of people that surrounds me. So my question to you is… What Moves You? What creates such a spark, as to bring about such encouragement that you literally have to move a step closer just to see if it feels better. This is your gift to the world… giving what you have so that others are better for it. This post is specifically for those who want to teach, encourage, mentor, or instruct. Notice I list them separately. They are not the same, but all have elements or aspects to them that weave through each other or borrow from each in order to give back a greater return or reward.

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Those Who CAN, Do. Those Who CAN’T, Teach.

By: Tom Wood


We’ve all probably heard this comment, and some of us may have even made this comment ourselves after sitting through a rope rescue or rope access class taught by someone who probably couldn’t teach someone to (properly) tie their own shoesWell, I think it’s safe to say that like everything else that can be taught or learned, rope access and technical rope rescue has its share of folks who probably belong IN the class instead of in front of it.

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Becoming a Technician: Part 1

By: Marcel Rodriguez

Marcel-Rodriguez-riggingIn my teaching, I am fortunate to work with many new and aspiring rope rescue enthusiasts. I really enjoy introducing new students to all of the wonders of rope work and rigging and thoroughly appreciate the courses and focused seminars I am able to teach. As exciting as structured training can be, the question I am almost always asked at the end of the session is, “What now?” Or, to paraphrase, “How do I put this into practice and become truly proficient in these skills?” I look at it as the fundamental question ‘how does one become a technician?’

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Artificial High Directional Checklist

By: Marcel Rodriguez

I have long been a fan of artificial high directional anchors (AHDs) for dealing with tricky edges. Beyond the obvious benefits of having a focal point above a tricky edge, the reduction of mechanical disadvantage (through friction) is a strong argument for raising the rope off of the deck and reducing contact. I have used both the Arizona Vortex and the SMC Terradaptor, though the majority of my experience is with the Terradaptor in all of its modes.

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5 Magic Words of Management

By: Craig McClure

Outside of a planned training, when was the last time you had all the skilled people you wanted on scene? So, when reality strikes, the leader has to delegate the tasks and spread the skilled people carefully. The pitfalls in this situation are many. Tasks fall through the cracks, critical resources get reassigned, too many gating factors fall to one person, and span of control can get, well, out of control.

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