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  • personal escape rope

    okay I know this has probably been discussed already but can't find thread for it. Q: What do you use & pro's and con's of your system, also how many systems have you tried before you settled upon your current system.
    For my FDNY brothers, what's your take on the EXO. I listen to Jeff Cool's braodcast and he didn't think that the EXO was the answer but never explained why. I was lucky enough to be able to take the bailout class at the Rock, thanks to Capt's Hayes and Foy and thought that the device was great and easy to use but don't really have enough info about other systems to judge. Any info that can be passed on, would be greatly appreciated.
    Or if someone knows how to find the thread for this, that's cool too
    Thanks

  • #2
    On my old vollie department,the "in"thing to get is a 20 foot piece of tubular webbing,double it up and tie a figure eight knot into the ends for a 10' self rescue rope.
    They were counting noses to see how many rescue loops they'd need when I left.This is simply 5 loops of webbing sewn up like the Olympic rings.You can get one around each limb and use the fifth to drag the downed FF to safety,use the loops to climb down a window after bracing a hallegan in the corner,pretty much whatever comes to mind.
    There's supposed to be a company that charges $500 for them but I don't see the point when you can buy enough webbing at the local True Value(tm)to cut and sew up yourself for a lower cost.

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    • #3
      info

      I attended a FAST class in Gwinett Co. Ga just out side of Atlanta. Their we were taught to save our brother as well as ourselves. From Head first ladder bailouts, to rigging up your own harness out of webbing and going out of a window and other techniques. I carry 40 ft of rope, and 15 ft of 1 in tube webbing in my gear. I based the length upon our response area. It just all depends on where ya are I guess.

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      • #4
        As I stated before time is of the essence when you are in a bail out situation. The less steps in the evolution the better. A prerigged system with a desending device attached to a personal harness is probably your best bet.
        The FDNY PSS is good , but I think they could make it better. I think they need to add a inline knot to the system with a carabiner attached. This could be used if you have a substanial object to tie off to. I know FDNY teaches that you throw two half hitches to the hook if you have a substanial object, but as I stated earlier time is of the essence when you are in a bail out situation.It wouldn't take much to add this to the system and I know some departments are doing this.
        As far as using webbing to make a harness out of during a bail out, it's not going to work. Believe when I say this. You don't have time when fire is lapping at you.
        The hand belay or body belay is out also. You will not be able to control the rope after your gloves are wet and fire is at your back. I know first hand of this and it may work in a training enviroment, but it will not work in a job.
        Just the other day six firefighters bailed out in Ottawa, Ontario. They fell to a concerte surface 30 some feet below. These Brothers are lucky to be alive and if they had a PSS , this may have been avoided. I wish a full recovery to my Brothers in Ottawa .
        I will continue to try to educate the fire service on the importance of the PSS and I will try to get the NFPA to change the protective clothing standards and implement the need for a personal harness and personal rope for all firefighters.

        J COOL
        Last edited by RESCUECOOL; 02-17-2007, 09:56 PM.

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        • #5
          Hey Jeff, thanks for posting on here. Hope things are going well with you. Although I've never had to bail out, and hope to god that I never have to,there have been times where things got hairy and your right, that is not the time to start building a harness or system to get you out of the situation your in. The inline knot w/carabiner makes sense. Throw it around the object and hook it with the carabiner. Like I said before, I really liked the EXO system and I'm leaning towards that and I'm going to keep that inline knot and carabiner in mind. Do you know which dept is usuing this setup right now. I'd like to see how they configured it. Also does this void the safety parameters as it pertains to Petzl. On behalf of this FF, keep up the great work your doing, we need to start looking after ourselves because no one else. Thanks again

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          • #6
            I would prefer if the bag wasn't on my hip....but rather on my lumbar. With the radio and the bag....it adds to my profile and adds weight to one side of my body rather than evenly distributing it along my body.
            IACOJ Member

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            • #7
              Jeff,
              What about the Gemtar harness that the rescues and trucks wear. What advantages/disadvantages do they provide? Do the problems with the systems you see deal with anchoring, decending, or both?

              Thanks

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              • #8
                Originally posted by VinnieB View Post
                I would prefer if the bag wasn't on my hip....but rather on my lumbar. With the radio and the bag....it adds to my profile.
                What if they added pockets for your pants, and you stuck the rope bag there? Do you think that would help?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CTJAKE View Post
                  What if they added pockets for your pants, and you stuck the rope bag there? Do you think that would help?
                  No, I dont think so. Having pockets and filling them up adds weight to your legs and will quickly sap you out when you climb stairs. There is a system out there that has our set up in a lumbar bag.....but I am sure there are a few nomial factors as to why we have the hip bag.
                  IACOJ Member

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                  • #10
                    What is the smallest diameter rope that can safely lower a single person in an emergency situation?

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                    • #11
                      Here in Portland we have the MSA system. 75' in the lumbar of our SCBA. It has made the pack less comfortable but it is a pretty nice system. The things I dont like about it are the snaps that hold the beener in place are hard to open with or without gloves on and they seem to think that we will have time to measure off the distance between the sill and the descender before we bail out. Its probably not the best system out there but at least they gave us something.

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                      • #12
                        I recently had a piece of nomex stitched into the inside bottom flap of my coat . I wear morning pride so there is the small flap on the bottom that tapers on the sides.. Basically it is stitched sides and bottom so the top is open like a pocket. I also took a couple of the replacement snaps that are used for connecting your pants to your suspenders and set them into the top so the pocket wouldnt flap open and risk losing the rope.. the rope stays laid on itself with the biner on top .. It also sits low and under you so sitting and riding the truck is not at all uncomfortable.

                        I had read about this somewhere and someone on the job that does stitching had some extra material so i tried it.. I wear the gemtor harness and found that i didnt allways take the rope bag with me on all calls . i would grab it based on the run , which defeats the whole principle of having the ability at all times to bail in the event you should have to.

                        After reading about the ny sitauation and others like it i swore i would try to be more cognizant of the potential for the situation to occur and now i have it all on , all the time .. I hope i never have to use it , but if i do not only will i be able to get out, but it will be nice to see the response of all the too cool types that would rather talk **** about all the extras that "we never needed before " .

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                        • #13
                          Sterling Firetech 7.5mm rope and hook

                          The above is the link to the rope FDNY uses for their PSS system. The size is 50 feet at 7.5mm, I imagine that anything of smaller diameter is a bit untrustworthy.

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                          • #14
                            Lumbar bag is out supposedly cause no more money to pay for it. I dont think I would look for the substantial object, I would just bury that hook in the sill and pray that the laws of physics keep it in place! The only issue would be in the instance that you have multiple guys bailing at the same time and the lack of space and hooks that COULD come free. I like the idea of having the biner already there, I guess you could just butterfly knot one in than just wrap it around the working end of the rope.

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                            • #15
                              I didn't feel that the FDNY PSS added to my profile that much to make a difference. I too carry my radio in a harness and everthing felt comfortable but that's my opinion. I do like the idea of having a carabiner on a butterfly knot ready to go if you had to capture something other than the sill. I guess as long as you have a system that works, can be easily put in to service in minimal time and your comfortable with it, that's a start. Hopefully more time will go into this and better changes and systems will be available for us

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