|If moving an injured or ill person is absolutely necessary, encouraging him to move by himself is by far the best approach, minimizing risk to both you and him. However, this is not always possible. There are a number of dangers inherent in lifting and moving people and the task should not be undertaken lightly. The following techniques require no real equipment and in an emergency situation can be very effective.
The human crutch
If you find yourself in a situation where the injured person has, for instance, sprained an ankle and is having difficulty in walking, this technique will provide additional support if nothing else, such as a walking stick or crutch, is available.
- Stand on the person’s injured or affected side, pass her arm around her waist and grasp her hand or wrist.
- Place your other arm around her waist and grasp her clothes, preferably the top of the trousers or a belt.
- Move off with your inside foot first, walking at the victim’s pace.
Although this is an effective carry, how far you will be physically capable of moving the victim will depend on her size and weight. It is also reduces your ability to carry your won equipment, particularly if you are hiking with backpacks.
- Crouch in front of the victim with your back toward her and ask her to put her arms over your shoulders.
- Grasp the victim’s thighs, pull them in toward you and slowly stand up, remembering to keep your back straight.
This technique is really for extreme emergencies and will be effective only over short distances as it is very labor-intensive. Its key use is in moving people from very hazardous areas quickly.
- Crouch behind the victim. Carefully pull him toward you. Stop, take a step back, and pull the victim toward you again.
- Repeat this procedure until you have reached your destination.
It is far easier for two people to control and move someone. However, these techniques do have their limitations, even with two people, and require a little practice.
Two-handed seat carry
- Crouch down, facing each other on either side of the injured person.
- Cross over your arms behind the victim and grab hold of her waistband or belt.
- Pass your other hands under the victim’s knees and grasp each other’s wrists.
- Bring your hands toward the middle of the victim’s thighs.
- Get in close to the injured person and stand up slowly; you are now ready to move off.
FOUR-HANDED SEAT CARRY
The two-handed and, in particular, the four-handed seat carries can only be used with conscious people because they require the person being carried to have some control over her body and give some assistance to the rescuers.
It should be noted that this is extremely strenuous and awkward for the rescuers.
- With the person to be carried standing close to you, first hold your left wrist with your right hand, and ask your carrying partner to do the same.
- Now, link hands, taking hold of your partner’s right wrist. This should form a square.
- Allow the victim gently sit back onto your hands and get her to place her hands around your shoulders.