December 5th 2017
Technical Rescue Consultants, LLC is a leader in the disaster response training industry in the United States focusing on technical rescue and urban search & rescue disciplines. TRC builds scalable training programs that focus on enhancing team response capabilities for industry, urban and rural rescue teams, and tactical and military special operations.
Jeff Matthews is the owner of TRC. A 25-year veteran of the fire service, Jeff continues his full-time duties with a large metropolitan fire department in the southeastern part of the US. Jeff is the Author of ‘Technical Rescue: Rope Levels I and II’ and is the co-author of the Operational Rescue chapter in the Harvard Medical University publication, ‘Ciottone’s Disaster Medicine, Second Edition’.
Jeff’s long list of credentials also include his role as Lead consultant for the New England Disaster Training Center and his position as Principle voting member of NFPA 1006, Standard for Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications.
Jeff also has experience in the design, field testing and development of military equipment/kits and we were delighted to work with him to develop the HALO Rigging Plates!
The HALO Rigging Plate Project
By Jeff Matthews, Technical Rescue Consultants [TRC]
The HALO anchor plate has been years in the making, but has finally come to fruition! What started as a “there has to be a better way” moment during a rigging class, has morphed into what I believe to be the most versatile rigging product available.
To bring a design such as the HALO to market, one needs to partner with a leader in the industry. I quickly realized the need for a global manufacturing partner for the HALO to become reality. While I have had a personal and professional relationship with ISC for some time, the original design was brought to ISC for two main reasons:
ISC is a company with integrity and has some of the most dedicated and passionate employees in the world
I truly believe ISC produces the most reliable, cost-effective rigging equipment in the industry
What surprised me was the technology ISC had available to help make my vision come to life. Computer strength analysis and 3D printed models allowed us to fine tune the design. Their in-house manufacturing team cut full-strength samples for evaluation. 100’s of hours have been invested to ensure the HALO was designed with precision to meet the very needs it was intended to fullfil.
HALO Plates have been exposed to many rigging environments, from urban buildings and sea-faring vessels, to wilderness and high-mountain deserts; each presenting its own set of rigging challenges. The HALO was inspired by three distinct rigging scenarios:
Floating the rigging focal point in space to raise the rigging master point to a workable height
Providing a strong collection point for tensioned rope system control and reeving ropes
Providing a compact and flexible collection point to gather rigging for patient litters
Floating the rigging focal point is a valuable technique in all rope rescue environments. I would rather have the focal point secured in space (i.e. floating) any day versus having hardware banging on rock, trees, dirt and for our urban users, concrete and steel. Having the focal point elevated to a workable height also prevents tripping hazards and prevents physical fatigue from constantly squatting and bending over. Because the HALO has 360 degrees of rigging apertures, additional anchors can be collected to improve the stability of the rigging focal point to prevent deviation, improve the strength of marginal anchors or to stabilize the HALO as a floating rigging focal point. We have all experienced a situation when usable anchors just don’t line up with the rescue location. Again, the rigging flexibility of the HALO allows for multiple anchors to be collected so the rigging focal point can be secured where you want it to make your rescue effort more efficient. This floating capability became the inspiration for the HALO brand! Just as the halo of an angel floats above its head, the HALO floats above the ground…with a little help from creative rigging of course!
The pinnacle of any rope rescue training or rescue is the use of a tensioned rope system. Tensioned rope systems can be deployed for building and tower evacuations, in the mountains to cross a hazard, or used to control a boat in swiftwater rescues. The HALO, due to its symmetrical design, is the perfect collection plate for reeving systems and control ropes in tensioned rope system operations. Most carriage pulleys are heavy, oversized, and expensive. By incorporating the HALO into your system, the user can continue to use their “everyday” rope rescue equipment. This means a lighter and more versatile hardware kit.
I very much enjoy using the HALO in patient litter scenarios. I found most rescue teams incorporate a traditional anchor plate into their litter rigging. While this adds an ample number of connection points, it also extends the rigging in length making edge transitions slightly more difficult. We found by using the HALO we create a much more flexible platform allowing the end user to shrink the length of rigging (by using the center aperture as the main collection point) while maintaining ample space to use other rigging equipment. This equipment may include using the ISC HaulerBiner as the litter bridle, a litter attendant line, or to hang medical interventions such as an IV.
Let’s face it; the HALO can serve as a straight-forward rigging collection point. Connect one side to the anchor and the other side to your rope system. However, a piece of equipment is truly valuable to your rope rescue kit when it serves multiple functions. I’ve only spoken about the inspiration for the design. I look forward to hearing from our end-users and their stories on how they put the HALO to use.
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