A crisis situation can arise at any moment. In these uncertain times you never know what’s going to be next, another disease, a war or a natural disaster.

In any SHTF situation, you probably won’t be alone. It is likely that you will continue to live or at least be in touch with friends and family. Knowing how to carry a person might be one of the most important skills you need to know, if you want to keep your loved ones safe.

There are a number of ways to move, pick up or carry an injured person. The one you will choose will depend on specific circumstances, such as the type of wound and available resources.

The Fireman’s Carry

Firefighters are very well prepared for emergency situations. They are employed in wide variety of situations including medical emergencies, military crisis and natural disasters, among others. Carrying injured victims in extremely dangerous environments is one of the most frequent challenges they face. Picking up unconscious or disabled persons and getting them to safety are some of the most important parts of their training. The way you go about this is quite simple, I’m sure you’ve seen it on TV and in movies.

You want to lift the person to their feet and face them. Hold them behind the waist with your dominant hand. Begin by grabbing their corresponding wrist with your free hand and raising it above his or her head.

Drop on your dominant foot’s knee or squat a little. Pull the person over your shoulders. Holding your knee somewhat between the person’s legs could make it easier for you.

st_61.3Move your dominant arm from behind the waist to between the thighs and balance the victim over your neck and shoulders. You know you’ve done it right if your dominant inside elbow is holding the back inside thigh of the person’s leg and your other hand is tightly holding their wrist.

After you’ve caught your balance, slowly stand up, keeping your back straight and pushing with your legs.

While very effective and arguably quick, this method might be difficult to use for longer distances. It is very well suited for emergency situations or if you need to cross over rough terrain, however it does put a considerable strain on your knees and legs.

It will take a little practice to get it right. You would probably be able to lift a person straight away; however you’ll get used to it as you practice. This is one of the most important survival skills you could learn. Being able to carry someone to safety is a great addition to your own and your family’s survival odds in case of a crisis situation. It might not be possible to carry just about anyone with this grip for longer distances, however anybody, regardless of size, could at least move an injured person or help them reach a safer place, where they could get help.

Do you know how to do a fireman’s carry? Have you ever carried a person much heavier than you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. I really do thank you for this information. I had never even thought about the situation until I read the article. This is a truly public service, thank you.

  2. Being in my 80’s and not with a good sense of balance, I couldn’t carry anything more than a child. But I’ll be sure to remember these tips so I can instruct the untrained guy that might need to carry ME out.

  3. Lifting an unconscious/deadweight person of anywhere near equal weight, in the manner shown is nearly impossible. Deadweight is VERY difficult to handle. I could do it when I was 25 (6’2″, 215 lbs and quite fit), but certainly not when I was 45-50. the only time I lifted a heavier person, they were on their feet, or I would not have been able to do it. Though the above is good information, it would be helpful to include a drag method for us older folks (not to mention those who might not be very fit or strong). As to the diagrams, IF you are able to get the person to position # 3, at that point you should go down on one knee, their weight will settle into place better, and standing using the powerful thigh muscles is much safer and more efficient that using almost solely the back as shown. (tweak your back at that point and neither one may get out.)

  4. Thanks…..I’ve always wanted to know how his was done.

  5. Your emails are always informative and easy to understand. This is something that could definitely be of life saving value to both parties. Thank you for sharing it

  6. Good info, I never thought what I would do in such a situation, it’s definitely better to think about how to act in situations ahead of time.

  7. Good information, but for most people, especially those weak or smaller that the person in need, the ‘drag method’ will be more helpful. Rolling a person on their back, then lifting their upper body ( from waist up). Squat yourself behind the person while positioning your arms under the persons arms wraping your arms around as far as you can (gripping your hands together if at all possable). Then lean back as you stand and walk backwards, looking behind you occationally.

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