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Fire Evacuation Carry Techniques

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When a fire breaks out in a home, business or vehicle, the occupants need to get away from the danger as quickly as possible. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to help someone out who is either unconscious, injured or handicapped from a fire. Understanding proper ways of carrying the victim either by yourself or with the help of another can help save lives and prevent personal injury.

Cradle Drop

Use this method to extricate a heavy victim from a room if a blanket is handy. Fold the blanket in half and lay it on the floor. Gently position the victim on the blanket and pull them headfirst from the room. This method works best on non-carpeted floors.

Fireman's Carry

Raise one arm of the victim while she is in a standing position. If she is unconscious, you will have to support her weight. Stoop down and pull the patient's arm over and down your shoulder. This brings the patient's body across both your shoulders. Bring your other arm between the victim's legs and grab her arm by the wrist. Raise up and carry the victim out, having your other hand free to open doors or move objects.

Saddleback Carry

Use this carry, often called a piggyback carry, only on a conscious victim. Have the victim stand behind you and place his arms over your shoulders. Reach back and grab under his legs and lift him up on your back. Have him lean over your shoulders so more weight is put there instead of your arms and lower back.

Pack-Strap Carry

Use this carry for medium distances. Pull the victim behind you and lift her arms from behind over your shoulders. Lean forward and carry her on your back with her legs dangling behind. To prevent injury, make sure you hold her arms with the palms down.

Arms Carry

Pick the victim up in front of you with one hand under her legs and the other behind her back. Picture the groom carrying the bride after getting married as an example. Hold her high to lesson fatigue. Only use this carry if traveling for a short distance.

Swing Carry

Two people work together on this carry. Stand on either side of the victim, who is sitting up on the edge of a bed or chair. Each of you places one hand behind the victim's back and clasp shoulders. Place your other hands under the patient's knees and clasp wrists. Lift up the victim and carry out, making yourselves a human chair.

The Extremity Carry

Use this carry if you have another helper. Place the victim in a sitting position. Have one of you from behind reach under the victim's armpits and clasp hands in front of his chest. The other stands between the victims knees and faces away him. Lift the victim up with arms around the legs and carry him out feet first.


Greg Stone began writing professionally for various websites in September of 2010. He lives in Branson, Mo. and is the marketing director for Doulos Discipleship of Doulos Ministries. Stone holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Central Missouri University and a Master of Ministry from John Brown University.