Fireman's life

Carrying a person without a stretcher

If a person is lightly injured, and the distance to be carried is short, a stretcher may not be necessary. There are several ways to carry a person.

Rope coil carrying techniqueThe Fireman’s Lift, used for carrying injured people away from fires, is a simple way for two people to carry people on their arms rather than their muscles. Two people grab first their own wrist, then the others, to form a seat as shown (right).

A tied up rope coil (right) can also be used to help carry someone on your back without using too much energy.

Making a rope stretcher

There are many ways to improvise a stretcher. It depends what materials you have available. A stretcher can be made using bamboo poles, a rope, a tarpaulin (tarp), a group shelter, jackets, trekking poles, sticks etc. See a few examples here on video.

High in the mountains, bamboo poles and sticks may not be available, but you can always carry a rope.

Practice this method of making a stretcher with only a rope. See how you could improve it with trekking poles, jackets etc.


Rope stretcher

Activity Putting an injured person on a stretcher
Learning objectives
Teaching methods Participants have to lift an injured person and put him/her on the stretcher.
  • Have a leader to coordinates the operation. The role of the leader is not to do the job, but to direct others do the job well. S/he has to explain things clearly.
  • Eye contact is important, give clear orders, count to do things in order, use names if possible.
  • The leader also has to listen to the people doing the operation, for instance if one is tired, or if they need a rest when carrying.
  • When going down, it is advisable to go feet first.
  • a stretcher
  • a tarpaulin
  • bamboo poles
  • 30m rope

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