BSAR owns three Skeds – lightweight, portable and versatile stretchers that can also function as a sled. They consist of a semi-rigid plastic sheet, which is rolled up and stored for transport in a cylindrical pack. When unrolled and assembled, the sides and ends of the plastic slab are curled up to form the stretcher configuration.
Various accessories enable the Sked to serve in a wide range of situations. These include towing harnesses, belay ropes, carabiners, vertical and horizontal lifting slings and a pruning saw.
Summary of Instructions
Detailed instructions are provided in each Sked pack, and the Skeds are available on practices for first hand experience.
- Remove the rolled Sked from the pack. It will need to be re-rolled from the outer side as the plastic has a memory. Then lay it out flat on the ground making sure it is the correct way up.
- Place, slide or roll the casualty, with appropriate padding and protection onto the Sked. The head end has the provision for the chest strap.
- Secure the spare strap around the casualty’s chest and through the appropriate grommets if the circumstances warrant.
- Secure the four cross straps across the top of the casualty to the buckles on the opposite side.
- Secure the straps which curl up the head and foot of the Sked by passing them through the appropriate grommets.
For Carrying Over Short Distances
Hand loops are provided along the sides of the Sked and some extra ones are in the pack.
For Carrying Over Longer Distances
Long poles are easily attached to each side of the Sked similar to the bush stretchet But, unlike the bush stretcher, it is difficult for bearers to operate next to the Sked as it hangs below the poles. Very long poles are required.
For Horizontal Lift or Descent
Pass the two heavy-duty nylon slings through the slots in the body of the Sked and secure with the large steel karabiner supplied.
For Vertical Lift
For hauling the Sked vertically (ie. the casualty is vertical),one length of kernmantle rope is passed through all the grommets around the perimeter of the Shed, with a figure of eight knot forming an eye in the centre of the rope at the head of the Sked. Refer to the instruction sheet in the Sked pack.
For Operating as a Sled
Two lengths of kernmantle rope are supplied. These are passed through several of the grommets around the Sked so that the four ends form a towing line at each comet Note that the rope must pass through several grommets in such a way that towing and belaying forces are well distributed. A single grommet must not be used as a belay or tow point.
Four towing harnesses with plastic buckles are supplied. These are for use on flat snow-covered terrain by skiers or walkers, where there is no risk of the Sked breaking free. The buckles should never be used in steeper terrain, where proper belaying equipment and techniques would be required. The towing belts are long enough to secure with a tape knot, which may provide added security in some circumstances.
When being towed on snow the smooth base of the Sked gives it no directional stability at all and a hauler at each corner is essential. Itis virtually impossible to tow across a slope.
Packing up the Sked
This is just the reverse of the assembly procedure. The Sked needs to be rolled very tightly to fit into the pack. The head or foot end straps are used around the roll to secure it.
Care of the Sked
During and after use check that all the accessories are secured in the Sked pack. A check list is supplied to help this. Please use it. Report any damaged or missing items to the Field Organiser.
Ensure that all equipment is returned to the Field Organiser, who will ensure it is cleaned, dried and returned to its nominated storage.