Author Topic: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue  (Read 3462 times)

Offline Simon Wilson

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1392
    • IC Resin Anchor
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2017, 02:02:16 pm »
Paul, are you claiming that the forty-seven million cavers and emergency personnel that show up at a cave rescue are all there because they want to help the victim?

Mostly and definitely Yes.

Usually there may be a single member of the Police in attendance (as I already said rescue is their responsibility but they quite rightly pass on the task to those who are competent to deal with the incident, i.e, cavers). Obviously if an ambulance is required at a later stage then it will be requested. Sometimes Fire and Rescue personnel will be involved on the surface, maybe to provide lighting or to help pump excess water. But the vast majority of those who turn up by far are cavers.

They are cavers who want to help other cavers when they need that help. Usually they are just trying to put something back into caving and live near a popular caving area, and are all too aware that on occasion, they too might be grateful that some fellow cavers are only too willing to turn up and help them if they ever need it.

Spot on Paul.

My experience is as a long standing and dyed-in-the-wool Dales caver but I think it is equally true in other caving regions in the UK. We are a fraternity and so you could say that all rescues are self-rescues.

Caving outside the UK is a different thing where cavers are wise to assume there is no cave rescue service. But the OP doesn't make a distinction between caving at home or abroad.

Offline Simon Wilson

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1392
    • IC Resin Anchor
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2017, 02:12:25 pm »
Agreed. An easy self-rescue. Even substituting "common sense" or "foresight" for "coaching". Calling for rescue in a case like this would be the equivalent of calling for roadside assistance because of a flat tire... which happens all the time. Many drivers and many cavers, especially vertical cavers, take no responsibility for themselves and depend on the "trip leader" or cave rescue to resolve minor incidents. In such cases cave rescuers ought to make it clear to the "victim" that they are unqualified and should be ashamed of themselves.

Cave rescue in the UK is carried out by cavers acting on support of the Police who have the primary responsibility for inland search and rescue. Cave rescue is all about helping others who need help, and usually only other cavers can render that help. Luckily we have relatively few call-outs in the UK, especially in comparison to Mountain Rescue.

There is a tradition of not passing judgement on the reasons which ended up with a rescue team being called out in case it would deter someone inf the future from calling out for help when they really need it.

That's a foolish tradition. No one has a right to be rescued, and no one has a right to ignore their personal responsibilities. If it is obvious that gross ignorance or negligence was the cause of the incident, then the "victim" should be told in a very staightforward way that they have put or are putting themselves at risk. A judgment-free rescue only encourages more ignorant behavior.

Paul, are you claiming that the forty-seven million cavers and emergency personnel that show up at a cave rescue are all there because they want to help the victim?

Kenilworth, how dare you? Who are you calling foolish? Look in a mirror. You jump in on this forum when you have never been caving outside America and give us you homespun 'wisdom' on all manner of subjects you have no experience of.

Offline Wet Spaniel

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2017, 02:49:21 pm »


My experience is as a long standing and dyed-in-the-wool Dales caver but I think it is equally true in other caving regions in the UK. We are a fraternity and so you could say that all rescues are self-rescues.


I couldn't agree more, this really came to light with me a couple of months back when a pair of cavers spotted a CRO landrover (on a training session) and their first action was walk over and offer any help they could - they assumed it was on a call out.  No egos, no fisticuffs to get to the victim first, just a genuine wish to help out their fellow cavers.

Offline BradW

  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2017, 03:03:53 pm »

That's a foolish tradition. No one has a right to be rescued, and no one has a right to ignore their personal responsibilities. If it is obvious that gross ignorance or negligence was the cause of the incident, then the "victim" should be told in a very staightforward way that they have put or are putting themselves at risk. A judgment-free rescue only encourages more ignorant behavior.

No, sir. It is a tradition of altruism. It serves to maintain rescue expertise that is highly skilled and with minimal cost to anyone save those who wish to help pay for it, voluntarily. It does not encourage foolish and careless caving. Perhaps one should look at the matter of duty rather than rights. Many cavers simply feel it is their duty to get involved in rescue. One good thing about this way of doing things is that those who involve themselves in rescue, even if only in a peripheral way, is that is focusses the mind of the caver into becoming a safer caver themselves, which inevitable trickles down to those they go caving with.

Offline domestosbend

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2017, 03:10:18 pm »
Just to hopefully clarify.

"Self rescue" meant as a group.
I understand individually we can quite often get out of some tricky situations.

Equipment wise I was more thinking about assisting up pitches. (Whilst agreeing with Bob about other items).

Completely agree about more serious issues such as broken bones etc. Call out cave rescue.

Thinking more of much simpler incidents.

As a "Litmus test" how about:-

In a small group you have descended the small pitch from Valley entrance into the streamway.  You have used a ladder and lifeline, waist belay and bowline tied around your waist.
Someone sprains their ankle, they can crawl but not climb a ladder.

The only option (??) is to call for help.

Are you sat at the bottom of the pitch thinking:
a) No problem, cave rescue like to come out and It will be no problem. I will not feel embarrassed telling my peers about it.
Or
b) Feeling a bit embarrassed, wishing you had a bit of extra kit so as a team you could all get out under your own steam. 

That would be an exceptionally easy self rescue, provided anyone in the group had even the most basic coaching regarding how to solve it, with no additional or specialist equipment than you would already have to rig it (e.g. rope, ladder, carabiner x 2).

Err ...I might be demonstrating my lack of rescue skills but surely  it wouldn't be that easy - getting someone who cant weight bear up a pitch, no harnesses and 2 krabs - which might be used up in rigging and a small party ?

Offline alastairgott

  • Excessive
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 960
  • Live in Hope, Die in a Vein
    • CURB Hope Valley Parking Restrictions
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2017, 03:12:04 pm »
It might be useful for Kenilworth to read about the UK History of Cave rescue.

http://www.caverescue.org.uk/about-cave-rescue/brief-history/

Also of use to Kenilworth may be an excerpt of writing from a much larger article produced by Whitehouse (2017)
"...In 1933, two of the early clubs, the Rucksack Club and the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, formed a “Joint Stretcher Committee” to produce something better than the five bar gate that legend tells us was then standard kit. One of them, the Rucksack Club, included caving among its members’ lesser activities and, according to its website it still does.
 In 1935 the committee recommended the Thomas stretcher (named after one of its members) for mountain rescues and proposed that a stretcher and other rescue equipment and supplies should be stored by clubs in suitably located rescue posts for the free use of anyone in need of them. Actual rescues still remained in the hands of ad hoc groups formed when needed. There were at the time no established rescue teams – voluntary or otherwise.
 However, later the same year did see the formation of the first volunteer rescue team, the Cave Rescue Organisation in the Yorkshire Dales. It came about because cavers realised that rescues from the increasingly deeper, longer and more challenging caves then being discovered and explored required skills and knowledge that only experienced
cavers possessed. The CRO is now one of the dual role surface and underground teams but until the early 1960’s all its work was underground. The following year a second underground rescue team, the Mendip Rescue Organization (now Mendip Cave Rescue) was formed in Somerset.
 Also in 1936 the Joint Stretcher Committee changed its name to the First Aid Committee of British Mountaineering Clubs and took on board other clubs and organisations as members. Within a few years its membership had grown to nine clubs (four of them at least including caving among members’ interests), the YHA, the Ramblers association, some university clubs and the Cave Rescue Organisation...."

There were many more iterations of the UK Cave rescue organisations. And in the larger article there are many many comparisons with Mountain rescue.

But the key point is that Cave rescuing is very much a part of the longstanding UK caving Identity, and one which many of us would like to see continue. It has been around for nearly as long as your Empire State building. In our eyes it is an icon of our continued support for each other, you will not win any friends over here by belittling it!

Offline Simon Wilson

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1392
    • IC Resin Anchor
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2017, 03:15:43 pm »
This might be a good place to remind people of the sacrifices made by cave rescuers.

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=20089.msg257663#msg257663

There have been other acts of outstanding heroism. I am in awe of the acts made during a rescue in Diccan which almost certainly saved a life.

Offline Ian Ball

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2017, 04:35:52 pm »
Reply No.39

Offline Alex

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3489
  • BRCC, UWFRA.
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2017, 07:31:50 pm »
KenilWorth: I had not read your response until now about cave rescuers and other emergency services are being liars. I choose to generally ignore it as I assume you are a Trump supporter, with very right wing views like that. And Trump supporters well, they are not worth the time of day.

As for your comment itself, there may be a few out there who are in it for the politics and selfish reasons, but people like that tend to be shown the door, there is no one I know like that our team.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Cap'n Chris

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 12065
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2017, 08:01:09 pm »
Just to hopefully clarify.

"Self rescue" meant as a group.
I understand individually we can quite often get out of some tricky situations.

Equipment wise I was more thinking about assisting up pitches. (Whilst agreeing with Bob about other items).

Completely agree about more serious issues such as broken bones etc. Call out cave rescue.

Thinking more of much simpler incidents.

As a "Litmus test" how about:-

In a small group you have descended the small pitch from Valley entrance into the streamway.  You have used a ladder and lifeline, waist belay and bowline tied around your waist.
Someone sprains their ankle, they can crawl but not climb a ladder.

The only option (??) is to call for help.

Are you sat at the bottom of the pitch thinking:
a) No problem, cave rescue like to come out and It will be no problem. I will not feel embarrassed telling my peers about it.
Or
b) Feeling a bit embarrassed, wishing you had a bit of extra kit so as a team you could all get out under your own steam. 

That would be an exceptionally easy self rescue, provided anyone in the group had even the most basic coaching regarding how to solve it, with no additional or specialist equipment than you would already have to rig it (e.g. rope, ladder, carabiner x 2).

Err ...I might be demonstrating my lack of rescue skills but surely  it wouldn't be that easy - getting someone who cant weight bear up a pitch, no harnesses and 2 krabs - which might be used up in rigging and a small party ?

Yes. At least 2 methods spring to mind as being easy, achieved without additional equipment and would solve the difficulties within moments.

Offline alastairgott

  • Excessive
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 960
  • Live in Hope, Die in a Vein
    • CURB Hope Valley Parking Restrictions
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2017, 08:29:55 pm »
I guess either the remy hitch or the garda hitch on the top rope with the casualty using their arms to assist?

Remy hitch


Garda hitch http://blog.alpineinstitute.com/2012/06/alpine-clutch.html

Offline Cap'n Chris

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 12065
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2017, 08:40:14 pm »
Not what I was thinking: both those suggestions are too fiddly.

Offline domestosbend

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #62 on: November 16, 2017, 01:47:32 pm »
Piggy back?

Offline MJenkinson

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #63 on: November 16, 2017, 02:01:13 pm »
Put them out of their misery?

Online Aubrey

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 495
  • Wessex, SWETCCC
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #64 on: November 16, 2017, 02:43:57 pm »
Put them out of their misery?

No! If you did that they would not be able to buy the obligatory beer!

make more cave - we have the technology!

Offline alastairgott

  • Excessive
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 960
  • Live in Hope, Die in a Vein
    • CURB Hope Valley Parking Restrictions
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #65 on: November 16, 2017, 03:59:54 pm »
Ah, I see, The clue is that you're standing with a Bowline already tied around your waist!

Ensure your friend is well fastened to one end of the rope so they are free to hang (and are happy to fend off the walls with their hands).
 Climb to the top of the pitch and then attach the rope to yourself as close to the bolt as possible and "jump" off the pitch. You're now "counterbalancing" your friend, so as long as their not more porkly than you, they should see the top of the pitch in no time.

 If they're quite a bit lighter than you, then you could hard rig one knot into the bolt, attach a karabiner to the bolt and run the rope through the karabiner, leaving a bight. with the Bight you attach yourself in with a karabiner, and you'll be at a 2:1 disadvantage ie. every "one" you go down the casualty goes up "2", this effectively makes the casualty artificially "heavier" so you don't go flying down the pitch.

Or if the casualty is heavier, then you will need to switch the disadvantage. ie. Hard rig the rope for your casualty to the top bolt and send the bight down to the Casualties "D ring" or karabiner, then thread this through the top karabiner.
 with the Bowline round your waist you can now "Jump" off and your heavier Casualty can go up "1" as you go down "2", clearly you will reach the bottom before your casualty reaches the top. so you might need to think of a way to "Lock them off" at the top before attaching a friend to the rope.

Online Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3256
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #66 on: November 16, 2017, 05:24:14 pm »
Well, having hung off a bowline tied round my waist, I'm not so sure that I'd like to be hauled (or to counter-balance someone) by this method.

Wouldn't it be better to tie some sort of 'bunny's ear' knot in the end of the rope to make a kind of sit harness, then wrap the rope round their chest to prevent them falling over backwards (if you had a long enough rope, of course)?

Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
  • breaking knots is fun
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #67 on: November 16, 2017, 05:28:55 pm »
Simpler to tie a bowline on the bight or even a triple bowline to get a more comfortable system.   

Online Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3256
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #68 on: November 16, 2017, 05:54:01 pm »
I think that's what I had in mind, Bob!

Offline cavemanmike

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 422
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #69 on: November 16, 2017, 05:56:01 pm »
Instead of jumping off yourself tie the rope around a large boulder (afer estimating the weight of you casualty) and chuck the boulder over the edge and you can catch him/ her on the way up

Online Mark Wright

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 568
  • NCC, BBPC
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #70 on: November 16, 2017, 06:07:32 pm »
Instead of jumping off yourself tie the rope around a large boulder (afer estimating the weight of you casualty) and chuck the boulder over the edge and you can catch him/ her on the way up

That idea reminded me of this song.



Mark

Offline alastairgott

  • Excessive
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 960
  • Live in Hope, Die in a Vein
    • CURB Hope Valley Parking Restrictions
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #71 on: November 17, 2017, 09:31:22 am »
It reminds me of road runner and coyote! Meep Meep!

Online Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3256
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #72 on: November 17, 2017, 09:33:42 am »
Hi Mark, is the song based on:

'The Bricklayer's Lament' - by Gerard Hoffnung?

(or is it vice versa)?

Online Kenilworth

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 452
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #73 on: November 17, 2017, 11:50:01 am »
KenilWorth: I had not read your response until now about cave rescuers and other emergency services are being liars. I choose to generally ignore it as I assume you are a Trump supporter, with very right wing views like that. And Trump supporters well, they are not worth the time of day.

As for your comment itself, there may be a few out there who are in it for the politics and selfish reasons, but people like that tend to be shown the door, there is no one I know like that our team.

I do not support any political candidate or party Alex, I am only trying my best to tell the truth.
Thanks for the many replies concerning UK rescue culture. Once again there is perhaps a degree of difference in our cultures. Though not a rescue volunteer in the formal sense, I have been on hand during rescue situations, have read every account of them available to me (American Caving Accidents is a substantial long-term documentation) and have witnessed the shameless glory-hounding that follows a rescue event. I have been left sickened by the competitive party atmosphere and disrespect for the victims of the rescue. I have no reservations in saying that some rescuers I personally know are in it for bragging rights and couldn't care less about the victim.

Is the UK the opposite? Perhaps, but I cannot accept that human weakness isn't manifest there too.

Once I was burning a fence row with my dad and the volunteer fire dept arrived with two trucks, a few pickups, and about a half dozen selfless volunteers. They swarmed over our little field with hoses and rakes, put out the fire, and loosed the only stock we had there, an ancient donkey. It was a modest fire, in no way out of control, legal, and we had not asked for help.

This experience has been a pretty close analogy to the US cave rescue scene.

Offline paul

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4012
  • Orpheus CC, NPC
    • Orpheus Caving Club
Re: "Responsibility" for self help / rescue
« Reply #74 on: November 17, 2017, 12:08:24 pm »
KenilWorth: I had not read your response until now about cave rescuers and other emergency services are being liars. I choose to generally ignore it as I assume you are a Trump supporter, with very right wing views like that. And Trump supporters well, they are not worth the time of day.

As for your comment itself, there may be a few out there who are in it for the politics and selfish reasons, but people like that tend to be shown the door, there is no one I know like that our team.

I do not support any political candidate or party Alex, I am only trying my best to tell the truth.
Thanks for the many replies concerning UK rescue culture. Once again there is perhaps a degree of difference in our cultures. Though not a rescue volunteer in the formal sense, I have been on hand during rescue situations, have read every account of them available to me (American Caving Accidents is a substantial long-term documentation) and have witnessed the shameless glory-hounding that follows a rescue event. I have been left sickened by the competitive party atmosphere and disrespect for the victims of the rescue. I have no reservations in saying that some rescuers I personally know are in it for bragging rights and couldn't care less about the victim.

Is the UK the opposite? Perhaps, but I cannot accept that human weakness isn't manifest there too.

Yes. it is the opposite in the UK, assuming that your opinions of US cave rescue are true.

Many incidents go unreported in the Press, etc. If there is a call for help, then fellow cavers provide that help. Cavers helping cavers (or sometimes animals, see https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22744.0 for a recent example) because they feel it is the right thing to do.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 12:20:47 pm by paul »
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!