How to Carry and Injured Friend

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How to Carry and Injured Friend

When there's a crisis, you'll get to experience first-hand just how brutal 'Murphy's Law' can actually be. As the world descends to chaos, everything that could possibly go wrong often does, which makes it all the more difficult to actually survive once the SHTF. Now let's say you're bugging out, and your buddy goes down. Perhaps it's a rolled ankle, or a gunshot wound sustained as you escaped whatever hell you are running from. When someone in your team is no longer able to move under their own power, you're in a very tough situation. Normally, we'd advocate hunkering down, administering first aid, and getting them comfortable and warm while you seek assistance. This may not be the best decision. Depending on how bad things have become, there may not even be someone you can find to help. In this instance, it falls to you now to decide what to do. Here at APE Survival we believe that you should never leave a member of your team behind, and the ‘every man for himself’ argument isn't one that flies if you want to be able to respect yourself and the decisions you make in a crisis. Now what happens if the area you're in is no longer safe? You're going to have to carry them out. There's a few different ways you can achieve this, and today we're going to cover two of the easiest, that you can use to help get your friend to safety and out of a dangerous situation when time is of the essence. Here's how.

The Fireman's Carry

This technique has been developed by our nation's heroes, and is what they use time and time again to carry an immobilized victim to safety. It's usually best used when you need speed, the terrain is uneven and rough, and the distance to travel isn't all that far. Of course, the stronger you are the further you'll be able to carry your friend, and get them to safety. To perform this technique you need to:
  1. Get the victim standing on their feet, and face them.
  2. Bend at your waist and put your shoulder into their belly.
  3. Place your strongest arm around their waist for support (usually it's your right arm).
  4. Grasp the wrist of the victim with your left hand, and raise their arm above your head.
  5. Squat (or drop one knee down) as you begin to pull the victim onto your shoulders.
  6. Take your arm off their waist, and slip it between their thighs.
  7. You can adjust their weight so they're evenly distributed across your shoulders.
  8. Position your right elbow to lock around the back inside thigh of the victims right leg.
  9. Keep a tight grip with your left hand on their wrist, holding it down and in front of you.
  10. Using your legs, slowly stand up while keeping your back straight.
  11. Take a few cautious steps first, to ensure you're balanced correctly before speeding up.
  12. Get the heck out of dodge, and find somewhere safe to administer first aid.

The Pack-Strap Carry

This technique works better than the fireman's carry if you need to move a larger teammate, or you aren't quite as strong and need to take more frequent breaks as you run to safety.
  1. Crouch down in front of the victim and drape their arms over your shoulders.
  2. Pull their arms down in front of you and cross their wrists.
  3. Grab their opposite wrist with each of your hands (i.e. your right hand should be holding their left wrist).
  4. Pull their arms down again, and take a firm grip on each wrist.
  5. Squat slightly and position them onto your back so their armpits are almost resting on your shoulders.
  6. As you stand, push your hips back into the victim to take the majority of their weight.
  7. Don't stand up all the way, bend forward slightly so their weight is supported by your hips.
  8. Carry them to a safe location, taking breaks as needed and being wary of straining your back.

What if you're just not able to carry them?

Perhaps you've got an old football injury or a knee problem and just the thought of carrying another person's weight has your joints throbbing in protest. Or maybe, you're the smaller one in the pair, and there's no way you're going to be able to bear the weight of your partner. Never fear, there's still a few things you can do now, before you find yourself in a crisis. Be part of a team. Many hands make light work, and if you're not confident in your ability to carry your partner to safety, consider bringing friends into your preparation planning so you can ‘spread the weight’ if the situation ever calls for it. Plan ahead with a trailer. If this isn't an option, look at folding bicycle trailers that could double as a way to carry your supplies as you bug out, and if you ever need it as a makeshift stretcher you've got it handy. It's far easier to pull someone than it is to carry them, especially if you have a long distance to travel or there are elderly people in your group who are most probably going to require assistance. Build a drag-carry. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book for carrying heavy objects a large distance, and is relatively easy to execute. Build a quick frame out of a couple of straight and sturdy branches, with a piece of tarp or a rug stretched between. Tie one end of the drag-carry to your backpack, and get your friend on it, maintaining a 30-45° angle so only the tips of the branches are dragging on the ground. Like all survival techniques, being able to carry an injured person safely requires practice, so make certain you incorporate the training for these into your preparations. Try it with your children first, or a lighter adult to reduce the risk you strain yourself, and learn just how far you're able to carry them in a real situation. It might actually be farther than you think.