Extrication Zone, Technical Rescue

Timber Cribbing Use

Issue 9 and Volume 165.

By BILLY LEACH JR. Cribbing is one of the most frequently used and essential tools during rescue operations and is considered to be among the strongest means of support. Gravity is inescapable; thus, cribbing is used to transfer the weight of a load into a “footprint” and provide a simple temporary support during rescue operations. To correctly and effectively transfer weight from top to bottom, full and direct contact must be made with both the load and lower surface. Rescuers should begin with a solid base of support, especially in soft surfaces such as mud, sand, snow, and so on. This substantial base of support will assist in effective weight transfer and should be level or nearly so, if possible. Attempt to keep all cribbing plumb and level to provide greater stability. Remember, stabilization is a dynamic process that frequently needs inspection to ascertain its effectiveness. Three smart cribbing considerations…

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