Pacific Ropes Blog

Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Planning for Emergencies

An important part of every safety method statement is your emergency plan. This plan should include a detailed evacuation plan (in the case of a fire, etc), and for all potentially necessary rescue operations. Looking at the job site – bleak as this sounds –you’ll want to imagine every possible thing that could go wrong, and plan accordingly. Using releasable anchor systems and pre-rigged rescue kits can be used to your benefit where appropriate. Unfortunately, a rig-for-rescue system can not be easily utilized in a re-anchor situation.

Every rescue plan should include:

  • Designated anchor points (for an intervention rescue, you’ll need additional otherwise unused anchor points for the rescuer to quickly attach to).
  • Required equipment (set aside for quick deployment)
  • Team size
  • Team competence (L1 techs are only trained to rescue a casualty in descent mode. All other rescues will need to be done by a L2 or L3 tech, so you’ll need to know where these techs are in relation to the rest of your team).
  • Supervision arrangements
  • A reliable communication system (it would be helpful to come up with hand signals in case of tech failure).
  • Step-by-step procedure for rescue
  • First-aid provision (all L3 techs must have their first aid certification)
  • Contingency plan covering possible complications

During your IRATA Assessment, all levels will be asked to demonstrate awareness of evacuation and rescue plans.

L3 certifying techs will be asked to demonstrate competence preparing and implementing an evacuation and rescue plan. You’ll complete IRATA form 061, job planning, (or a similar form), and use it to, later on in the assessment, complete a complex rescue exercise.

We’ve got a phrase we like to say a lot at Pacific Ropes: You will always fall to the level of your training. Rescues are high stakes and high adrenaline scenarios. To keep the steps involved in a rescue in your muscle memory, practice is key. Every month we have an open gym night at our space. Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the next one. Refresher Training may also be something to consider if you’re feeling nervous about your ability to perform a rescue. We’ll gladly help restore your confidence.

Additional resources to check out:

TACS 6.2.8 for the source material for this blog.

ICOP Part 2, 2.2.5 for information on what’s included in a safety method statement

ICOP Part 2, 2.2.6 for an outline of the procedures and personnel to be in place before work begins.


This is part of an ongoing series, where we’re breaking down IRATA’s syllabus and clarifying exactly what ‘demonstrating competence’ and ‘demonstrating awareness’ means, and what will be expected of you on assessment day. To learn more about the rest of the IRATA L1 Syllabus, click below:

Succeed your IRATA L1

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