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      Understanding the IRATA Syllabus: Rope-to-Rope Transfer with a Casualty

      To pass an obstruction or transport a casualty back from underneath a structure (such as a platform or a bridge) to an access or egress point, you may need to assist in the horizontal movement of the casualty using a rope-to-rope transfer. This is an advanced intervention rescue.

      During your IRATA Assessment, L2 and L3 certifying techs will be asked to demonstrate competence transferring themselves and a casualty from one set of ropes to another.

      For this exercise/demonstration, the ropes must be rigged more than 3 m apart, and the casualty should fully be on the first set up ropes (as opposed to already in the middle of the transfer).

      Your IRATA assessor will specifically be watching to ensure to that…

      • You practice good casualty management.
      • Four appropriate points of attachment are maintained per rope tech (when required) – protecting yourself and the casualty from the possibility of an out-of-control swing.
      • You’re aware that you can use the casualty’s PPE, and use it during the rescue when necessary/appropriate.

      We did a blog post listing the 6 most common discrepancies, and why techs most often fail their assessment. Going down to less than 4 points of attachment during a rope-to-rope transfer and therefore having “no back-up to protect against a potential out-of-control swing that may cause injury or damage in the event of failure of an item of equipment” (TACS 9.6.3) is a major discrepancy, and number one on our list. Make sure you avoid this mistake.

      As we practice this manoeuvre during your training week (and when you demonstrate it on assessment day), one of your colleagues will be acting as a casualty and feigning immobility. This acting role has its hazards. If you’re playing this role, you’ll need to move your legs frequently to prevent the onset of the symptoms associated with suspension intolerance.

      Additional resources to check out:

      TACS 6.4.8 for the source material for this blog.

      TACS 6.8.7 for rescues dealing with more complicated situations.

      Our blog post on Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Rope-to-Rope Transfers

      TACS 9.6.3-9.6.4 for a full list of major and minor discrepancies.

      ICOP Part 3, Annex G for more information on suspension intolerance.


      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. As an IRATA L2 certifying tech, you’re expected to be fully competent with the L1 Syllabus. To return back to the IRATA L2 Study Guide or IRATA L3 Study Guide, click below:

      IRATA L2 Study Guide     IRATA L3 Study Guide