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Rope Tether during Primary Search & Rescue?

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  • Rope Tether during Primary Search & Rescue?


    I'm in the process of trying to get me head around the need for a rope tether during Primary Search and Rescue during a fire. Do any of you have recommendations on the correct equipment setup for this?

    As a rule my Dept. Makes all entry through the same access do any of you have experience with this type of entry scheme? How will this effect your tether scheme.

    What works best of this sort of operation? Rope and Drop bag, Rope and Real. How Fire Resistant should this stuff be??

    Let me know anything you can about this. We got to do more than we are today or someone is going to get hurt.


  • #2
    Rit Teams

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by tether. We've been doing RIT work for several years and our procedure is to take a 5 gallon bucket with about 300 feet of 3/8 poly rope paying out of the top. We opted to take the bucket with the team for several reasons. It seemed that having the rope pay out as you walked (layin in, if you will) was less cumbersome. Also, we you reach your destination inside, the bucket is easy to spot when it's time to leave. For really large open areas, team members will attach to the primary line with personal ropes. What is your procedure?? Hope this is helpful.


    • #3
      Check my post in Searchline Tactics



      • #4
        Tether lines / tag lines

        In reply to using tether lines with a search, their are several good articles which can be found in the archive section of Firehouse magazine as well as Fire Engineering. Using tag lines needs a minimum of two firefighters three is the best. One firefighter is to tend the search line hold tension in the line and is the point of origin where the tag line searchers will report back to. Using a 30' approx. 8mm rope, the two fire fighters split off from the search line making archs out away from the initial search line (if in a large area) or going out and using a normal search pattern in a smaller room. the tag searches can then recoil their rope or follow back to the firefighter who is holding tension on the search rope. If you have the opportunity, their is a great one day class offered at FDIC on team searchs. As far as the initial search rope, it should be anchored at the entrance and the remainder of the rope is taken with the crew. I am in favor of using a bag with a shoulder strap (the bucket idea is to cumbersome). Also when the crew reaches a stopping point, the rope should be anchored to a secure object. This will prevent the rope from be pulled back from the next crew coming in, the bucket idea will not prevent more rope from being pulled out by the next crew coming in. Hope this answered your questions, let me know if you need more info.


        • #5
          Search Lines

          My department uses a 200 foot search line that is deployed out of a bag that goes over the Officers shoulder. The search Line has a series of knots and rings. A knot for every 20'. so add a knot every 20'. There is a ring at the point of entry side of every series of knots. This provides the directional and depth reading for the crew searching on the search line. There are 6 25' tag lines kept with each search line bag. The search lines are located on our ladder trucks.
          I would like to say that we taught the search line class for our department so the firefighters understand that the search line is not replacing a hose line. What I mean is if a crew would like to take in a hoseline then they are more than welcome. I agree that a search line would be less cumbersome. I believe that the search line actually replaces firefighters searching without a means of orientation other that the wall.
          Every Search instructor will tell you to NEVER leave contact with the wall. I agree. However they are not talking about when you are searching with a search line. Search lines give firefighters mobility, safety, speed and efficiency.
          We also stressed that the search lines are designed to be used for three primary uses. Large area search operations, Orientation, and RIT operations. However I never say never, so we teach that just as you would use an axe as a tool the search line is a tool and anyone can use it anytime they feel necessary.
          We have firefighters who will not search without a hoseline. These are the engine guys who are used to suppression. Hopefully they will be able to use the search line if needed.

          I hope that I helped a little bit.
          Check out my Post on searchlines under RIT.
          [email protected]


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