Article Archive
Defining Non-Committal Rescue
Volume 22, No. 6

Searching for the perfect word to describe a rescue situation where someone did not have to go over the edge to rescue a fallen victim suspended helplessly from a safety harness, SureClip founders Steven Mortensen and Mike White discovered the term "non-committal." Though the term was coined by Douglas Hansen with High Angle Technologies, he gave SureClip approval to build upon the word and concept. SureClip is a non-committal industrial rescue device that holds a carabineer, which attaches to a safety harness.

While committal rescue involves rescuers putting their own lives at risk to save the life of a victim, non-committal rescue decreases the odds of further tragedy that can increase when rescuers have to put their own lives on the line.

White uses a drowning victim scenario to provide an illustration of committal rescue versus non-committal rescue. "Think of a drowning victim for a moment," he said. "They thrash around in the water, exhausting their energy, gasping for each breath of air. What would be the safest, quickest and most effective method of rescue: swimming out to the victim, rowing out in a boat or throwing out a flotation device attached to a rope?

"Committal rescue would require a rescuer to swim out or row a boat to the victim, potentially placing them in harm's way. Non-committal rescue would use the flotation device attached to the rope. This would not commit anyone to enter the water and the rescue time would be cut in half. By simply throwing a flotation device out to the victim and pulling them to safety via the rope, the rescuers are not placed in harm's way and the rescue time is fast and efficient."

The path to defining committal versus non-committal rescue started with a routine instructional course. During a training session with his industrial rescue team, Mortensen watched an instructor attempt to secure a carabineer onto a rescue mannequin. After it fell out several times, Mortensen began brainstorming for an answer to a swifter rescue.???

SureClip is a rescue tool, which works with a standard D-ring, modified D-ring and heavy steel auto locking carabineer, attached to the end of a telescoping pole. A safety or rescue rope attaches underneath the carabineer gate. With the gate open, the rescuer slides the carabineer between the fingers of the SureClip. He can safely extend the telescoping poles and attach the carabineer and safety rope to the victim's harness in preparation for rescue.

Mortensen said, "When we pull the stick away, we want that carabineer to lock and the gate never to come open until we have the person in our hands."

Since SureClip opened its doors in March 2007 at the IFW conference, word spread that a new product was available to help rescue professionals decrease rescue times and increase safety.

"We've gone to a number of countries," White said. "We moved in to Canada, Australia and Germany. It's exciting to us to think that other countries see benefit from this product."

Emergency responders who find themselves in high angle or confined space rescue scenarios can use SureClip to reach a victim, attach a safety rope and bring the victim to safety. "If you are an industrial rescue professional, we provide a device that will help you decrease your rescue times and increase your safety margin as a rescue professional," White said.

SureClip delivers industrial rescue teams and trainers success in rescue situations. For more information about SureClip, visit


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