The only experience that I have had with the DRD was at a RIT training class. We deployed it while advancing up the stairs. One FF was at the legs and the other FF was at the back. The one that was at the back pulled up on the DRD when they got to the bottom of the stairs. The DRD deployed a foot and a half from the gear. This made for nice handles for the FF at the shoulders while ascending up the stairs. I plan on using the DRD more often during training. The only down side to using it during training is placing it back in the gear. This seems to be a hassle to the students. But at least they know how it will perform when they need it.
I can’t recall the manufacturer of the gear that was used during the training. It seemed OK going up the stairs. When I teach going up the stairs, I have the person at the back use a short piece of webbing tied in a loop and slipped under the shoulders straps of the SCBA. This acts as handles. When using the DRD the top FF did not need the webbing. And the arms did not flail when going up the stairs but I could see how it would if the victim is unconscious. Hope this helps - stay safe
we did alot of work with the device yesterday and came up with some cool stuff --- will be in an article in july or so
by the way, the straight vertical pull nearly strangled the guy who was playing the victim -- all his weight winds up under his arms and it causes his chin to ride up and his head to cinch down -- can see why it is not recommended for vertical pull
We were using it for our program here at the CT. State Fire Academy. We found it to be too long while dragging up stairs. Some of the brothers then did some research, and I will pass on a word of caution....there is some evidence of the DRD damaging the vapor barrier liner during training. We have now modified our training to use an old coat with a DRD if there is one, if not, we simulate with a wrap and girth hitch with tubular webbing on the outside of the coat.
Honestly, and thank God, I have never had to use it on an actual grab. Be safe
Milford CT. FD
The situation came up during a RIT class up north, and the department had a demonstrator coat that was torn and OOS.
The UPFFA did research on this, and a warning was issued. Our safety commitee is looking into it. Be safe
We started playing with the DRD's last year when they started showing up on guys new gear. Depending on the manufacturer some are webbing, some are a webbing handle with kevlar rope around the arms. We immediately had a training issue to make sure everyone knew how to properly install them between the shell and thermal barrier. We found 4 coats in my district that were not loaded properly from the manufacturer. After that hurdle we found the following while utilizing the DRD during Firefighter Safety/Survival and RIT Ops.classes:
You can choke the ever living $#@t out of your victim, even on some horizontal drags. This was dependent on whether or not the victim had a face piece on, helmet in place, height of the rescuer, etc. Vertical lifts are completely out with the DRD.
When stored properly the DRD handle is difficult to find with a gloved hand under limited to zero visibility unless the SCBA (that we currently use) is first loosened or removed. Why not just convert the harness and go? was a frequent question from the students. Especially from the experienced FF's who had performed extrications before.
We not only had abrasion damage to the thermal liners, but also had a significant tear in the outer shell of one coat.
We stopped physically training using the DRD's until we get some more coats that are going out of service, and only identify the DRD as a last ditch handle when nothing else is available. Most guys found it quicker and easier to use webbing and a handcuff knot over the DRD. I've got to say I haven't been impressed with it so far. I'd love to see some techniques that are tried and true to make it easier to use, but I'm skeptical.
some excellent points brian
like any piece of equipment, it has its goods and bads
we went outside the box a bit in our investigations on how to use it best
agree it might be tough to get at in the dark and the quick SCBA conversion might be a better plan
article coming out in e-newsletter any day now and they might also put it in the magazine in an unpcoming issue
keep the faith bro
Additional to the previous comments, there is a potential issue of the exposed DRD strap snagging on fire-related debris. There has been a long standing practice of exposing the DRD strap, because the small velcro flap (cover)can be difficult to manage in zero-visibility conditions with bulky fire gloves. The kevlar strap is looped over the velcro flap instead of under it. Some have reacted to the one known incident of the DRD snagging, by ordering that the flap remain closed as designed. I always keep webbing with me, it's more reliable...
We have our gear commercially cleaned and have had problems with the DRD not packed properly. So, after the gear comes back, we check it for not only DRD, but all the snaps...
we have seen that happen
the DRD is designed for quick use by someone who does not know rescue knots, handcuff knots, doesn't often carry webbing or any of the other ff-rescue stuff. not everyone wil be an expert and most will s**t thier pants if ever faced with the need so....
while it does have drawbacks, it is better than having nothing and that is what i think it is meant for
We had some RIT training today. They pushed webbing real heavy. 1 of the insturtors showed us an article on this. It stated that during a wall breach the DRG became intangled on a sheetrock nail. The fire fighter could not disintangle himself from because it became to intangled on the nail. Makes me second guess the use of these types of recue devices. After the RIT training it seems to me that the best approach for down firefighter extraction would be simply to use the air pack handles or such. Easy to use with gloved hands and is quick. Time would be concern while doing the extracation so we teach the use of the straps on the packs. It does seem to wear the guys down more. But I am firm believer in train as you fight. Hope this helps
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