Traditionally, high angle rope rescue referred to rescue operations involving people stranded in remote locations, such as caves, mines, and mountains, with significant inclines. However, with the growth of high-rise buildings, bridges, stadiums, and other precipitous manmade structures, it is increasingly being used in urban rescue missions as well. Typical industries in which high angle rope rescue finds application include oil and gas, mining, and construction.
Differences Between Low Angle and High Angle Rope Rescues
High angle, steep angle, and low angle are classifications of rope rescue operations characterized by the slope of the terrain. The higher the angle of the rescue, the more difficult the rescue and, generally, the more specialized training required for the rescue personnel involved.
High Angle Rescue
High angle rescue operations involve terrains with slopes of 60 degrees or greater. In these scenarios, the rescue personnel require a more comprehensive set of skills, as they rely entirely on ropes and other specialized hauling and hoisting equipment to access and rescue the people who are stranded. This characteristic places both rescuer and rescuee at a greater risk of injury to life and limb if the rope system fails. To minimize this risk, in addition to needing specialized training and certifications, rescue personnel must be in good physical condition to be qualified to perform high angle rescues.
Applications for high angle rescue include saving people from high elevations, such as high-rise buildings, storage tanks, towers, and wind turbines, and underground locations like caverns, mine shafts, and wells.
Steep Angle Rescue
Steep angle rescue refers to rescue operations on terrains with slopes ranging between 35 to 60 degrees. In these rescue scenarios, the weights of rescuers and rescuees are distributed more evenly between the rope systems and the ground than in high angle rescue. Although rescue personnel require the use of ropes for ascension, they may be able to descend on their own.
In steep angle rescue operations, the risk to rescuers and rescuees is less than in high angle rescue but greater than in low angle rescue. Consequently, the skill levels required for steep angle rescuee personnel falls between the two classifications.
Low Angle Rescue
In low angle rescue operations, terrains exhibit a slope of 35 degrees or less. The rescue personnel rely on both the ground and rope systems to execute rescue and retrieval missions. Typically, the ground bears most of the weight of the people, while the rope systems mainly serve as balancing aids and support systems.
Applications for low angle rescue typically involve saving people who have fallen over small ravines and ridges. Since such scenarios are quite common, emergency crews like firefighting teams generally receive some low angle rescue training.
Elite Technical Services Group’s Rescue Capabilities
At Elite Technical Services Group, Inc., we maintain an expert team that is certified to perform high angle rope rescue operations. The team’s training conforms to all applicable standards and requirements, including OSHA and NFPA.
In addition to our high angle rope rescue services, we offer:
- Confined space rescue
- Hazard assessment
- 24/7 medical standby
- Training for confined space rescue, OSHA compliance, hazmat handling, and medical services
Contact Us Today for a Full-Range of Rescue Services
High angle rescue operations carry considerable risk as even slight errors can lead to significant injuries or fatalities. To minimize the risk to rescuers and rescuees, rescue personnel must undergo comprehensive training programs to ensure they have the proper rescue qualifications.
At Elite Technical Service Group, our team has the skills and knowledge to safely and efficiently execute high angle rescue missions. For additional information on our rescue services, including high angle rope rescue, contact us today.