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Petzl Lezard

The new Petzl Lezard addresses and effectively eliminates one of the biggest issues involved with technical HEC (Human External Cargo) rescue. When a rescuer is inserted into an area where there is risk of falling off, such as a ledge on a cliff, they must protect themselves by attaching to an anchor. In the past this left two options. They could unclip from the helicopter longline and then clip into the anchor, however this left a rescuer vulnerable to a fall for the time they were unclipped. The other option was to clip in first, therefore eliminating the risk of falling off, however there was now the issue of momentarily having the helicopter attached to a fixed point and unable to fly away or maneuver effectively. This was often minimized by incorporating a manually releasable hitch such as a tied off Munter into the rescuers lanyard. This however required an extra step to release.

Neither one of these scenarios were perfect and in some cases even dangerous. The risk was always calculated and fully understood by all parties, however there needed to be a better way.

Petzl has come up with a solution. Le Lezard (the Lizard) is a lanyard that creates an interface between rescuer/ victim/ helicopter and anchor that is automatically releasable in a situation where the helicopter must fly away. This effectively eliminates the previously discussed issues in a very easy to use product. Le Lezard is easily and quickly adjustable to length to provide optimum work positioning for rescuers.

Although this tool is limited in use to highly technical rescue scenarios, it does however increase safety substantially in those situations and will be a very welcome addition to the rescue technicians tool box.  Click on the link below to watch video of Le Lezard in action.

Le Lezard in Action

 

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