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Rope Rescue Techniques: Principles and Practice



Rope Rescue Techniques: Principles & Practice, Fifth Edition provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of rope rescue, including planning, PPE and equipment, medical considerations, evacuations, and special rescue operations. Based on the 2021 Edition of NFPA 1006 (Chapter 5), Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications, the fifth edition has been significantly revised to reorganize content by Awareness, Operations, and Technician levels.

Prepare to succeed in the classroom, on the training ground, and in the field.

  • For fire and rescue professionals that want to bridge the gap between training and the field, the fifth edition reinforces proper skills performance by providing clear, visual instructions for awareness, operations, and technician level skills.
  • A wealth of visual skill drills is included throughout to illustrate step-by-step instructions with photos for completing specific skills.
  • New Size-up chapter helps define the role of the awareness-level rescuer in scene size-up, including how to interview witnesses to determine victim location and the scope of the incident
  • Expanded coverage of preplanning and hazard identification, risk assessment, and maintaining situational awareness
  • New content on SMART method to developing an Incident Action Plan, hazard specific PPE, rope systems equipment, rigging principles, and active fall protection.


Rope Rescue Techniques: Principles & Practice, Fifth Edition
Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1 Becoming a Rope Rescuer
  • Chapter 2 Size-Up
  • Chapter 3 Hazards Associated with Rope Rescuers
  • Chapter 4 Initiating a Response
  • Chapter 5 Supporting the Operations- or Technician-Level Rescue Incident
  • Chapter 6 Developing the Incident Action Plan
  • Chapter 7 Hazard-Specific Personnel Protective Equipment
  • Chapter 8 Rescue Equipment
  • Chapter 9 Ropes, Knots, Bends, and Hitches
  • Chapter 10 Principles of Rigging
  • Chapter 11 Anchorages
  • Chapter 12 Belay Operations
  • Chapter 13 Patient Evacuation
  • Chapter 14 Lowering Systems
  • Chapter 15 Mechanical Advantage Systems
  • Chapter 16 Working in Suspension
  • Chapter 17 Horizontal Systems
  • Chapter 18 Personal Vertical Skills
  • Chapter 19 Pickoff and Litter Management
  • Chapter 20 Special Rescue Disciplines for Additional Training


About the Author

Tom Vines has a wide spectrum of experience in urban and backcountry emergency services, along with years of work in training emergency responders and in publications. While in the east coast, he provided consulting services on high angle rope techniques to the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Special Operations Division and to the National Headquarters of The International Association of Firefighters. While there, he responded to search and rescue calls to backcountry areas that included vertical cave emergencies. While in Montana, he served a Civilian Deputy for Search and Rescue (ret) for Carbon County and worked search and rescue responses in the mountain areas of Carbon County and adjoining Stillwater County. In nearby Yellowstone National Park, he has joined in mutual response training with national park rangers in specialties such as helicopter rappelling and helicopter short haul operations. His medical experience includes ambulance service in Billings, Montana and as an instructor in Wilderness EMS. On the national scene, he helped establish and coordinate the International Technical Rescue Symposium (ITRS). For 20 years, he edited the “Rescue Report,” column, a review and analysis of actual rescue incidents nationwide. In addition to the three previous editions of High Angle Rescue Techniques, he was co-author for Confined Space and Structural Rope Rescue.

Loui McCurley is CEO of PMI and founder of our Vertical Rescue Solutions training arm. Loui’s foray into rescue began in 1985, when she joined Alpine Rescue Team in Colorado; today she serves as a Technical Specialist with Alpine. In 1998 Loui traveled to scores of countries across the globe to study technical rescue abroad. Upon returning to the USA Loui co-founded Alpine Center for Rescue Studies, a non-profit research and testing lab, and became a regular presenter at the International Technical Rescue Symposium. During this time, she began consulting to PMI on various projects, eventually coming on board full time in 1992 in a technical capacity. In 1996 she instigated the formation of the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians. Over the years, Loui has also served as a structural firefighter, a wildland firefighter, a rope access technician, a safety consultant, and an expert witness. Today Loui’s primary role is as CEO of PMI, so she doesn’t get to teach as often as she’d like, but she is passionately interested in bridging the gap between regulatory compliance and real-world safety practices. A frequent presenter and conferences and symposia, Loui is a published author with chapters in High Angle Rescue Techniques, and Wilderness Medicine, as well as two titles of her own: Working Safely at Height: A Guide to Professional Rope Access (Wiley, 2016) and Falls from Height: A Guide to Rescue Planning (Wiley, 2012).



Additional information

Weight1.11 lbs
Dimensions9.00 × 6.00 × 1.25 in
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