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      Understanding the IRATA Syllabus: Use of Tensioned Ropes for Rescue

      To facilitate horizontal or diagonal movement between two sets of anchors, the rope system can be tensioned to give you access to otherwise difficult-to-reach areas. You can also use this technique as part of a rig-for-rescue system.

      During your IRATA Assessment, L3 certifying techs will be asked to demonstrate competence using tensioned ropes for rescue purposes.

      Your IRATA assessor will specifically be watching to ensure that you keep the casualty above the ground while transferring them from one set up anchors to another, with an awareness of rope stretch. To prevent against overloading, anchors should be equalized, ropes equally tensioned, and the load shared between the working and safety line. Best practice is to rig tensioned lines through "load limiting" devices, like an I'D, or shock absorbers.

      You may have the option of incorporating this technique into the complex rescue system you’ll be designing as part of your assessment, and getting assessed on both at the same time. This is something your assessor should allow for, and we’d encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to stack syllabus items and save time

      We’ll go into further detail on all of this during your training week.

      Additional resources to check out:

      TACS 6.8.9 for the source material for this blog.

      TACS 6.5.5 for details on complex rescue systems (team exercises).

      TACS 6.4.12 for more information on tensioned lines

      Our blog post on Understanding the IRATA Syllabus: Complex Rescue Systems

      Our blog post on Understanding the IRATA Syllabus: Tensioned Lines


      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 L3 certifying tech, you’re expected to be fully competent with the L1 Syllabus and L2 Syllabus. For the additional skills that are part of the L3 syllabus, click below:

      IRATA L3 Study Guide