Client Successes

Rope Rescue Leveraged Project

Working with NMSBA and Sandia enabled teh small businesses in this collaborative effort to access technical expertise that could ultimately save lives in the rescue field

Technical rope rescue is a skill set used by personnel associated with technical
rescue services, police and fire departments, military operations, and search
and rescue. The equipment used during these rescues is as critical as training.
One important piece of equipment is rope systems, which rescuers use to
descend into an accident scene, and then to extricate victims and themselves.


The equipment used for technical rope rescue must be equally tough and
lightweight. Originally, rescuers relied on 13-millimeter rope, which is heavy
and cumbersome. However, when some rescuers used lighter 6-millimeter
rope, they started to experience catastrophic failures.


To address this problem, the following small businesses came together:
Rescue, Tactics and Training; High Desert Technical Rescue; Resolution
Rescue Rope Guides; and ASK Tower Supply. The goal was to find a robust
rope that was light enough for field use.


The collaborators contacted NMSBA, which partnered them with Luis Abeyta
at Sandia National Laboratories. Abeyta and his team conducted 62 tests from
a drop tower to determine force on a rescuer during a critical failure. The
team found that 9-millimeter rope is ideal for such rescues. Test information
gathered by Abeyta’s team covered data such as force, acceleration,
displacement, and rebound elongations.


As a result of these analyses, the collaborators plan to present the data at
the annual International Technical Rescue Symposium. They believe this
information will save lives, redefine how instructors are trained, and likely
revolutionize the rope-rescue industry.