CSFM Low-Angle Rope Rescue Ops: May 30-Jun 1st, 2024

Basic introduction to rope rescue safety, knots and anchors, equipment use/orientation and rope rescue raising and lowering systems. Prerequisites: None


  • Do you need to rent a Class III Harness or Helmet for class? Click Here


  • Save $50 with early registration & payment 30 days in advance.


  • If class is full, please Email us to be placed on our cancellation list.


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Course Overview

PDF Flyer
Course Flyer

This 3-Day (24 Hr) California State Fire Marshal FSTEP certified course designed to equip the student with the techniques and methods for using rope, webbing, hardware friction devices, and litters in low angle rescue situations. Areas covered include; rope equipment, anchor systems, safety lines, Sokes lashing and rigging, M/A systems, single line and two line rescue systems. This Course Satisfies: Several FF-1 and FF-2 Rescue requirements and the Low Angle Rescue pre-requisite for the new CSFM Rope Rescue Technician.

Student Requirements

  1. Students must be 18 years old.
  2. No pre-requisite course is required. Although it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of knots, anchors, and mechanical advantage.
  3. Students must have personal medical insurance or department insurance coverage.
  4. Student will need to provide their own Class II or III Harness, Helmet and Gloves for the course. Rentals are available. All other gear is provided for you.

Meeting Location

Oxford Suites Chico

Unless otherwise notified, we will meet at 9am on the first day of class at the Oxford Suites Chico Hotel Conference Center.

2035 Business Ln. Chico, CA

Check in a the front desk for the conference room location.

*Special Student Lodging Discount is available. Ask for the “Code 3 Rescue Student Discount”.

Oxford Suites map


Day 1: 9am – 5pm Lecture & Fundamentals of Low Angle Rescue Rigging

Hotel Conference Center and Chico Park Location TBA: Rope Rescue Theory, Pre-Planning, Remote Area Incident Mgmt, Harnesses, Stokes Lashing and patient packaging, Knots & Anchors, Hardware and Software Rescue Equipment, Intro to M/A Systems, Components of the RPM.

Day 2: 8am – 5pm Basic and Introductory Rope Rescue Rapelling, Raising & Lowering Systems

Chico Bidwell Park: Rappelling and Ascending, Rigging Mechanical Advantage System using the RPM. “Low-Angle” Lower/Raising System w/Stokes Litter-2,4 Attendants, Set up and use of the Ladder Slide technique.

Day 3: 8am – 5pm Intermediate Low-Angle Rigging Sys & Rescue Scenarios

Butte Creek Canyon: Inclined Rigging System: “Low-Angle” Lower/Raise with Stokes and victim, Student group performance set-up of RPM Raising and Lower System, Scenario Rescue Problem.


Personal Protective Gear, PPE

If you do not have your own Class II or III Harness and Helmet, we can rent them to you. Your own gear is welcome as long as it is rescue rated, and you will need to furnish your own leather gloves.

  • Field attire: Loose fitting jeans or cargo pants are a good for harness wear, and some kind of element/thermal wear appropriate or the season. Long sleeves or a light brush coat is recommended for abrasion resistance. Class will be taught “rain or shine”, so take necessary provisions.
  • Footwear: Slopes are steep, unstable and rocky, so hiking or wildland fire boots w/ ankle support are recommended. Lightweight hiking boots also work well.
  • Gloves: You will need to supply your own leather gloves for Rope Rigging and Rapelling Evolutions.

The first day of class will be in the classroom and outdoor park training site (Rain or Shine)

  • Lecture and rope skills will be information intsensive! Plan on getting a good night rest beforehand.
  • Bring note taking materials: your textbook, handouts and certification/registration paperwork will be provided.
  • Class refreshments will be provided. However, we will break for lunch in town.
  • Attire is casual dress, appropriate for public contact, unless otherwise required by your agency.

Class Days 2 and 3 backcountry field site!

We will meet at a pre-determined grocery store each morning at 7:30 for students to get lunches and then caravan or carpool to the canyon training site. Training sites are remote, wild and scenic, restrooms facilities are limited as well as cell phone signals.
Some items to consider bringing with you:

  • Ice Chest and/or Thermos for hot drinks
  • Lots of hydration fluids: A gallon of water and several sports drinks per day, per person.
  • Sun Screen
  • Hat & Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • TechNu for Poision Oak
  • Portable Camping Chair
  • Thermal clothing and jacket for winter months

Last day of class

We will finish up at the training site with a written test and certificate handout. By 5pm, you should be on the road home or traveling back to your hotel.


Day 1: 9am to 5pm Introduction to Basic Rope Rescue Equipment and Rigging Skills

  • Course Objectives and Overview, Define Low and High Angle Rescue
  • Rescuer and Victim Safety, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Student Evaluation/Task Book
  • Rope Rescue Equipment, Introduction to Rescue Rope and Related Equipment
  • Rescue Knots and Hitches: Figure Eight Stopper, Figure Eight on a Bight, Overhand Knot, Overhand Bend Round Turn with Two Half Hitches, Three Wrap Prusik Hitch, Optional Rescue Knots and Hitches Figure Eight Follow Through, Figure Eight Bend, Double Overhand Bend, Clove Hitch, Double Overhand on a Bight, Tensionless Hitch
  • Anchor Systems: Introduction, Single Loop Girth Hitch (Lark’s Foot), Double Loop Girth Hitch, Locking Girth Hitch, Single Loop Basket Sling (Three Bight), Double Loop Basket Sling (Three Bight), Single Loop Anchor Sling, Multi-loop Anchor Sling, Wrap Three Pull Two Anchor Sling, Construct a Two-point Self-adjusting Anchor System, Three-point Self-adjusting Anchor System, Tagged Anchor System Picket 1-1-1 Inline Windlass, Picket Triangle Windlass


  • Rescuer and Ambulatory Victim Packaging: Introduction to Rescue Harnesses, Don a Class II Harness, Package a Victim in a Commercial Victim, How to Package a Victim in a Hasty Pelvic Harness
  • Types of Rescue Litters and Victim Packaging: Introduction to the Rescue Litter, Secure a Victim to a Rescue Litter, Optional Rescue Litters and Victim Packaging
  • System Attachments and Fall Restraint: Introduction System Attachments and Fall Protection, Attach a Rescuer to a Rope Rescue System, Attach an Ambulator
  • Victim to a Rope Rescue System, Attach a Rescue Litter to a Rope Rescue System, Attach a Litter to a Rope Rescue System with Three Rescuers Attach a Litter to a Rope Rescue System with Four Rescuers, How to Attach a Rescuer to a Fall Restraint System Main

Day 2: 8am to 5pm Basic Rigging Systems Focus: Low-Angle Rappel, RPM Raising and Lowering Systems, Low-Angle VIctim Pick-Off’s

  • Introduction and Components of a Rope Rescue System: Construct a Belay/Safety Component, Construct a Main Line Component (RPM), Construct a Mechanical Advantage Component, Construct a Dual RPM System
  • Introduction to Belay/Safety Line Systems: Operate a Belay/Safety Line for Lowering, Retrieving and PMP Configurations
  • Descending and Ascending Techniques: Ascending and Descending Techniques
  • Construct a Fixed Line for a Rappel, How Reeve an 8 Plate Descender, Reeve a Brake Bar Rack, Rappel and Lock-off Using a Figure Eight Descender, Rappel and Lock-off Using a Brake Bar Rack, How to Ascend a Fixed Line, Escape Jammed Friction Devices
  • Lower/Raise (Mechanical Advantage) Systems: Convert a Lowering System to a Raising System with a 3:1 Inline, Operate a Lowering System, Convert a Lowering System to a Raising System with a 5:1 Inline – RPM and with a Directional Pulley.
  • Construct a 3:1 and 5:1 Mechanical Advantage Systems and Pig Rig
  • Convert a Lowering System to a Raising System with a 3:1 and 5:1 Pig Rig
  • Introduction to Load-releasing Methods
  • How to Construct and Operate a Load-releasing Device

Day 3: 8am to 5pm Intermediate Rigging Systems Focus: Low-Angle Stokes Management and Use of RPM-Line Systems

  • Rescue Scene Organization and Management
  • Command and Control in Rope Rescue Operations, Rope Rescue Position Descriptions, ICS and Rope Rescue Operations
  • Optional Litter Walkout Evolutions: Single Litter Walkout, Caterpillar Technique
  • Optional Rescue Ladder Systems: Construct and Operate a Moving Ladder Slide
  • Access, Stabilize, and Package an Ambulatory: Victim for a Low Angle Walkout (1 Rescuer)
  • Access, Stabilize, Package, and Rescue a Non-ambulatory Victim (3 and 4 Litter Tenders)
  • Optional: Access, Stabilize, Package, and Rescue a Nonambulatory Victim using a Ladder Slide
  • Closing: Clean-Up and Certificates

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