CASEVAC Harness – Drags & Carries

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    • #118630
      tango
      Participant

        It’s been said here many times, and if you’ve attended class you’ve seen it said there, that extracting a casualty under fire is the hardest thing you’ll do. If you’ve been to class, you’ve seen the absolute cluster fuck that ensues as soon as you try to casualty extraction and realize 4-6 people are needed to carry 1 using a litter. That puts a very real damper on your ability to maintain security and wears out lots of resources really fast (see, fitness).

        What if instead of bringing the litter to the X and carrying the downed man all the way out, you could extract the downed man using 1-2 people towards the litter first? Tactically, this keeps many more guns in the fight and does not burn out the whole team at once. This can be done using hasty harnesses and some simple, but very useful techniques. If you ever attend a GORUCK event you may be “lucky” enough to get a lot of practice with these carries. If you plan to attend any MVT class and your SOP is to leave WIA and KIA guys behind because you have either a) poor fitness b) no other skills/tools besides a litter – well now you have no excuse.

        A loop of webbing is a bit smaller, lighter, and easier to carry than even a compact litter while also being a lot more adaptable. You can buy the harnesses online with pre-sewn loops, tie a fancy knot, or if you are handy with a sewing machine just buy strong webbing and DIY.

        If you’re too weak to drag somebody to safety even with a partner, then you better get your candy ass in to some sandbag workouts. There are a number of movements that approximate these drags and lifts and in real Pat Mac style you could improvise with what’s around. Will defer to resident fitness man @johnnymac to provide resources for these types of workouts.

        Educational resources:

      • #119241
        tango
        Participant

          Resources for getting yourself some webbing:
          REI
          Amazon
          Omega Carabiners – Quality, bombproof carabiners. Currently on sale for $9 which is an absolute steal. This is safety equipment so DO NOT get cheap carabiners as your life, or someone else’s, may literally be hanging from this.

          Another another resource for learning to tie your own hasty swiss seat:

        • #119291
          hellokitty
          Participant

            If you do buy webbing and plan to tie ends together to make a loop, make sure you learn how to tie a water knot. As a firefighter, I keep a short 10ft section (tied into a loop) of webbing in my bunker pants. It has lots of uses. This webbing can be used to drag a victim or a civilian that is not in gear, using the quick hasty harness in video. However, in the case of a firefighter you drag them by their shoulder straps on their SCBA (breathing apparatus). This would also apply to someone wearing plate carrier or chest rig on your team. Your not going to drag someone very far. Don’t believe me, try dragging a 250lb person with webbing and see how far you can go.

            The different web harnesses in the videos are for when you are working ropes and you don’t have real harnesses handy. Also, the detailed techniques explained in video is to learn how to deploy the webbing when you cannot see anything. Which is what it’s like inside a structure fire. It’s 100% by feel.

          • #119940
            tango
            Participant

              Yeah, so a couple points to clarify. As the NARescue guy says up front in the first video, this is not something to be done “on the X”. The firefight must be won first and foremost before actual CASEVAC and care can be provided.

              It’s been brought to my attention that the nomenclature between carry, drag, and lift are explicitly distinct so I will specify more clearly in the following.

              IMO the most useful portion of these videos revolves around the carries. Using a 2 man harness carry (method 1 shown in first video) to move a casualty with simple equipment has real benefits. Considering the lack of SOPs related to CASEVAC I do believe this is a good place to start. To implement these techniques within a team requires very little training and very simple equipment. Once the guys know 3-4 useful techniques they would now also have the ability to adapt those techniques to available materials and conditions. This would be what I would believe to be most beneficial in our adaptation.

              Second most useful is probably the drags. @hellokitty, agreed, dragging any distance is not really practical especially over anything other than a smooth, level, man-made surface. Still helpful to know for what I would imagine to be more applications in urban terrain. Sled Drag workouts anyone?

              Lifts are probably least likely to be used by us. Odds of needing to lift someone vertically out of a canyon, crevasse, elevator shaft, etc. are fairly slim. If you’re carrying the webbing for the hasty harness you can un-tie and re-tie it should you need a swiss seat as well. Another simple skill to learn with the same water knot.

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