• NFPA 1006-Standard for Technical Rescue Personnel Professional Qualifications (2017 edition)
  • NFPA 1670- Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents (2017 edition)
  • NFPA 1983- Standard on Life Safety Rope and Equipment for Emergency Services (2017 edition)

In March 2017 NFPA released new additions of the relevant standards that affect our curriculum (NFPA 1006, 1670, and 1983). This was a significant overhaul particularly for 1006 which most affects our training program. NFPA strived to align 1006 (professional qualifications) more with 1670 (team operational capabilities). This caused the 1006 committee to revert back to the pre-2008 terminology “Awareness”, “Operations”, and “Technician” as designating the levels of training; previously the RESET language matched the 2008-2017 terminology of “Level 1”, and “Level 2”. The terminology alone will be a hurdle for us all to overcome.

In April of 2017 a workgroup reviewed the RESET Technical Rescue programs to update them with the new NFPA standards. With the change to the new terminology of “Operations” and “Technician” we had to review our course progression philosophy and decide how the General Rescuer program fit into the new standard format. Not only did 1006 change terminology, they also abandon the “Core+” format and took the previous Chapter 5 “Core” Job Performance Requirements (JPRs) and dispersed them among the various disciplines. Our General Rescuer program specifically met the Chapter 5 “Core” JPRs and has proven a very valuable training element not only for the students but for the participating agencies by addressing the largest percentage of target hazards responses. So how does General Rescuer fit now? Do we abandon General Rescuer? To answer this question we considered the following factors:

  • Effect on past General Rescuer Students
  • Effect of Personal Vertical System Requirement in the New NFPA “Rope Operations” on rescuers and agencies
    • We consider this to be a significant consideration as it pertains to: the initial training, continued training maintenance, and significant equipping requirements
  • Effect of possible future TCFP Certification
  • Effect on other disciplines which General Rescuer has traditionally been a prerequisite (Swiftwater, Confined Space, Wilderness SAR, Tower, etc.)

When comparing General Rescuer (GR) training objectives with the Rope “Operations” JPRs the most significant skill absent from GR was “personal vertical system” (i.e. rappelling, ascending, self-rescue). This is a considerable skillset requiring a large commitment of equipment and training. In addition to personal vertical systems, the new “Operations” JPRs also include multi-point anchors and compound mechanical advantage. After weighing the considerations above the workgroup is recommending that RESET make an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) deviation and continue teaching GR in its current form with the addition of multi-point anchors. We are recommending to keep the course title “General Rescuer”. This will mean GR meets “Rope Awareness and Operations”, minus personal vertical systems and compound mechanical advantage. Personal Vertical Systems and compound mechanical advantage will be deferred to the “Rope Operations and Technician” class. Following this recommendation will have the following benefits:

  • It will allow the previous GR students to continue their training progression in our programs.
  • It continues to solve the bulk of our target hazards responses with the GR program.
  • It will not require agencies to commit significant expense and training to train and maintain personal vertical systems for GR students.
  • Agencies who wish to have their student meet all NFPA “Rope Operations” JPRs can get that training in the Rope “Operations and Technician” class.

In addition to the General Rescuer Program the workgroup revamped the Rope and Confined Space programs. As all three programs were being reviewed there were several topics which necessitated updating. Some of these updates addressed ongoing feedback from students and instructors, while other updates took into account new equipment and techniques that have manifested since the original curriculums were written. Curriculum Manuals and Task Books for all three courses are below. Please take the time to review them and provided feedback. The most significant updates/changes are as follows:

  • Single Rope Technique personal vertical systems are being replaces with “Rope Access Techniques” (Two Rope systems), using a Petzl ASAP as a “Back-up Device”
  • An overall philosophical emphasis on increased redundancy
  • Significantly updated Anchoring content to include the following new terminology:
    • Single Function/Multi-function
    • Single point/Multi-point
    • Marginal with improvements (backties)
    • Direct and indirect anchor attachments
    • Updated techniques for multi-point anchors (replacing single Prusiks with tandem Prusiks)
  • Removal of “Tandem Triple Wrapped Prusik Belays” and replacing them with “ASAP Top Belays”
  • Updating travel restriction language: replacing the term “Tied in Short” with “Travel Restrict”
  • Replacing Highlines with Twin System Traverses as the Horizontal Rope System emphasized
  • Including tying-off Jiggers (mini-haul systems) when they will be left in a system
  • Updated patient packaging footloops when packaging a patient with a thermal and vapor barrier

There are many minor clean-ups and nuances to the updated material. The items above are just the significant elements that were updated. As time allows we hope to have more education material pertaining to these updates. In the meantime, if you have more detailed questions please let us know.