My name is Mike Karash,
Before my retirement in October of 2009, I was the Division Chief of Operations for the Key West Fire Department. My career with the KWFD spanned over 26 years.
My background includes:
FLUSAR type II Team Member (Florida Urban Search and Rescue)
Public Safety Diver
Fire Instructor II, FL Certified
Fire Inspector, FL Certified
Hazardous Materials Technician
E-Mails and comments from all over the world have been very positive and encouraging. "Best Knots", an iphone app has included the knot, in their application, YouTube visits continue, and many rescue teams and professionals have added the Karash knot and KRR Harness to their approved practices.
Rope and knots have been such a basic and readily available tool set, that I found myself wondering what might be improved. Although it is a safe and useful knot, I selected the "Rescue Knot" taught to me at the Florida State Fire College 25 years ago for self-rescue, for potential improvement. The original "Rescue Knot" is the bowline on a bight, or double loop figure eight for leg loops, with a hitch wrap knot at the chest. The prior options for the leg loops each had drawbacks, and the chest wrap was cumbersome for me to tie. After developing what I believe is a "better" knot for the leg loops, the Karash Double Loop, I combined it with what I call the "Rapid Bowline". I've taught the rapid bowline to my crews for years as a fast and safe method of attaching a bowline to oneself, others, or equipment. The result is the Karash Rope Rescue Harness. Now, with just a little training and practice, anyone can tie my harness in 30-40 seconds, with leg loops, waist wrap, and chest wrap. The result is a more secure and comfortable rope harness accomplished by distributing the attachment, load, and stress over a greater area. Both knots are tied while maintaining a grip on the body of each knot. This feature enhances low or no visibility proficiency during the knotting process. The harness can also be tied in the middle of a line for multi-person applications, or when the end of the line just isn't there!
Developing the knot was very exciting and personally rewarding. My hope is that new editions of training manuals, knot books, and reference books will continue to add this knot, and the harness configuration, to the options available for the rope and rescue community.
Regards to all, and be safe,