Cartaya, Eduardo
Developing Tactical Rope Standards & Options for Law Enforcement

This seminar covers the growing effort to establish law enforcement-specific standards in training and qualification for tactical rope operations, like IRATA/SPRAT offers for commercial rope access. Establishing a global standard, that integrates advanced techniques from the cave rescue and arborist industries with tactical operations, will vastly expand critical incident options for commanders. This seminar opens with current vertical challenges facing law enforcement , the hybrid solutions that are being developed to deal with them, and then discusses the qualification programs emerging to give the tactical rope industry its own identity and standards. Like other specialized law enforcement techniques, the vertical option is for experts only. Tactical rope mobility is a contingency skillset, similar to bomb squad, crisis negotiator, K9, etc. If you don't train and maintain a vertical option, it cannot be considered a potential or viable solution. Tactical rope demands have evolved from simple police rappelling - one-way rope travel taught through traditional rappel master and confidence training - to complex rope access, rescue, and vertical intervention challenges that are reactive to suspect responses mid-operation. To be a truly useful tool, a vertical operator needs to possess unconscious competence and fluency in vertical mobility, common with cave rescue and arborist technicians. These hybrid technical solutions give operators access and extrication options seldom before thought possible. To achieve this, there must be a more holistic industry-specific standard and scaffolded certification program that is recognized between agencies. The tactical rope operations industry is relatively orphaned. It has no overall standards, playbook, advanced training curriculum, or dedicated equipment. Most courses and vertical gear are "borrowed" from fire (NFPA), mountain rescue (MRA), guide services (AMGA), or military basic training, which has no standard of depth in any branch of service. This practice of adopting training and equipment from other industries for law enforcement operators is risky because other disciplines don't consider the relevant tactical context. New standards and courses are evolving to approach vertical rope mobility from a law-enforcement perspective, and include critical life-saving techniques such as: use of force, integrating entry kit with vertical kit, post entry mobility, NVD / mask operations, interventions with non-compliant subjects, and other tactical-specific challenges and needs.

Eduardo Cartaya - Bio
Eddy Cartaya graduated the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1990 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He began his immersion in military/tactical rope training at West Point in 1986. Eddy graduated US Army Sapper School 1989, and served as an officer in South Korea and Ft Stewart, Georgia. Since 1993, he was a law enforcement and tactical officer. Eddy was on the Savannah Police Department for 5 years, including 3 years on the Emergency Response Team, which also served as the vertical intervention team for the city. He then spent 10 years with National Park Service federal law enforcement, where he led the NPS tactical tracking/mountain operations team in North Carolina. Eddy also served as a national coordinator/lead instructor for the NPS Technical Rope Rescue academy (training federal law enforcement and military special operations), and was the SAR coordinator for the NPS Blue Ridge Parkway unit covering over 40 counties. While there, he was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Secretary of the Department of Interior. Eddy then served 11 years in law enforcement with the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon, where he was team leader for the Pacific Northwest USFS tactical team and was awarded the Unsung Hero Award by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. He expanded subterranean law enforcement operations in the caves of the Pacific Northwest, teaching tactical units how to deal with this unique threat. Additional experience and credentials include: graduate of the Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School (LEMOS) and Snowmobile Operations for Law Enforcement (SOLEC); Federal firearms instructor; Use of Force instructor; NLTA instructor; Survival Shooting instructor; Field Training Officer; drug enforcement operations instructor; instructor and curriculum developer for tactical tracking operations and mountain operations. Eddy has over 35 years of experience as a vertical caver with the NSS (National Speleological Society), is a certified NCRC (National Cave Rescue Commission) instructor, and is a certified NCRC Small Party Assisted Rescue (SPAR) lead. He became a certified arborist with International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in 1999, has been as Rescue Leader with Portland Mountain Rescue since 2010, and is a current EMT. Eddy retired from, federal / military service in 2021. As co-founder of Direct Action Vertical, Eddy instructs nationwide on tactical rope access, rappel master, tactical tracking, winter/mountain LE operations, and wilderness rope operations. Eddy specializes in vertical protester and aerial blockade interventions, subterranean operations, and specialized firearms techniques for such venues. He is the current president of the International Technical Rescue Association (ITRA), and is convener for the tactical working group, which develops and assesses tactical rope rescue certifications. Hes a presenter for advanced tactical single rope techniques at the International Technical Rescue Symposium (ITRS), and is the Terrestrial Rescue Delegate for the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR).