Multiple Use Paradigm

Written By: Lance Piatt

So we often toss the word “paradigm” around and many of us don’t actually know what “one” is.  A paradigm is “a set of forms all of which contain a particular element, especially the set of all inflected forms based on a single stem or theme.”  Boiling this down, it means, “the way we always do things”; a pattern passed down through the generations or something “we” always do when “we do something a lot”.  This is could be an over simplification, but it is true.

Last time, we talked about the 4 Steps and The Rules  that go into getting things done with very little. Today, I want to briefly talk about having a new mind shift.. A New Paradigm!  A Re-direct! A Multiple Use Paradigm!  Why?  Because we become wiser, more knowledgeable and quicker at gaining understanding when we allow ourselves options.  So remember The Rules?

The Rules

  1. Keep what you use
  2. Remove what you don’t use
  3. Multiple use paradigm
  4. Train with less.

I have used this example numerous times in the past and honestly haven’t found a better example of “pushing a button”.  Rich Delaney of Rope Lab has done (in my opinion) the best job of encouraging people to “shift their thinking” and apply logic and knowledge in order to gain a better understanding of why things work better when pared down to a minimum. Minimalist thinking always gets things down to a vital few elements.  Rigging Lab Academy has a huge library of Rich’s work… truly an academic masterpiece for today’s rigging enthusiasts.  Anyway… check out the video at the bottom (when you’ve finished reading this blog) and envision only 3 people. 4 if you needed an actual patient attendant.

Who are the 3-4?

  1. Main Line
  2. Belay Line
  3. Edge Attendant
  4. Patient Attendant

In any rigging system, we always have 4 Elements to it… (Most things in life do not need to be complicated)

  1. A Lifeline
  2. Connectors
  3. Progress Capture
  4. Mechanical Advantage or Disadvantage

So obviously the new mind-shift or paradigm is to rethink the necessary 6-7 man team for normal raise and lower systems.  Why am I pushing this type of thing?  Time-Energy-Money.  Budgets are getting hosed.  Fire departments are cutting back on just about everything except the essentials… and training (oddly) is one of the first things to go.  Time?…  Who has that right?  Industry will never have the luxury of large teams and stand-by-rescue are needing to apply “more with less” as well.

Less people on a given team means SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, timely) training or… more training hours with less people on more efficient ways of doing things. I know I am making people either nervous, angry or both, however… There is logic in this.  Going back to the Vital Few, it is true that only a few people do the majority of the work (a proven fact).  So why not have those vital few actually do the work with systems that when applied properly, will actually fulfill 80%-90% of the needs.  This will allow others to concentrate on other skill sets where they become part of that Vital Few.

So just to let you know… I do realize that every good thing has it’s flaw and I am sure everyone reading this blog can certainly pick it apart somewhere… however, you’d be hard pressed to toss it out.  The logic is sound and certainly worth considering.  Why?  Because maybe it isn’t your shift, department or even decade that will benefit from it.  Think legacy!





CEO and President-Rescue Response Gear

CEO, Founder and President-Rigging Lab Academy


With over 30 years of experience… we have it handled pretty well.  


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