Thread: search ropes

  1. #1
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    Default search ropes

    how often do you use them? when?

    what type? and do you modify them at all(such as tie know every 10ft)?

    who carries it? and how long?

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    Every ten feet is a little extreme, go 20 feet.

    Also at each tied point, tie a ring into the rope, that way you can hook on and search from there. After each ring you tie knots corresponding with the location. The first one, at 20 or so feet you tie one knot, at the second tie off you tie two knots, third three knots and so on. That way you crew can easily identify how far in they are by counting the knots; "I'm in 60 feet" because I am at the tie off with three knots.

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    very good! how long is your rope?

    im trying to find a different way of the 'ring' as i also use this rope to bailout if neccesary, the knots can pass but the ring cant...

    and how often do you use the rope?

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    Is this a search rope that is in the company inventory or a personal search rope. I would think that it needs to be a company tool not a personal tool. When using a search rope you have to work as a company not as a single firefighter. I would seriously frown upon using it for both a search and bail out rope.

    We use 150' of search rope in a bag. Every 25' their is a set of knots (1 knot=25, 2knots=50, etc) and a ring. Each firefighter should carry a tag line of about 15'-20'.

    We would use it in a few different settings. One being a large open area. In that case one firefighter would carry the bag and would be in charge of feeding out the line and keeping it taunt. The firefighter would crawl to the first knot/Ring (knot 1). The officer is directly behind him once at the ring. the Bag firefighter would crawl forward unitl he reaches the next knot (knot 2) and stop. At the ring the officer would attach 2 other firefighters tag lines to the ring. they would then crawl down the search rope until the reach the half way point of the tag line (marked with a knot). They would then arch off the search rope until they reached the search line (180 degrees). Then they play out the rest of the tag line and crawl making another arch (180 degress until they reach the search line again.) basicly making two half circles one at 10' and one at 20'. the officer would monitor the progress of the search by feeling and watching the tag lines on the ring. At the completion of that the officer and two firefighters would crawl up to the 2nd set of knots on the search rope and the bag firefighter would crawl foward to the third knot.

    Another setting would be a office cubical or center hallway hotel/apartments. In this case the bag firefighter would crawl foward and keep the rope tight. down the hallway. as the company reaches an apartment/cubical/hotel room the officer can either send 1 firefighter into each cubical/room to search and preform and oriented search. Or in the case of a apartment building or hotel room. the officer and 2 firefighters enter and preform an oriented search of the enter apartment. The search rope is used as a highway to safety. The bag firefighter is monitoring conditions to determine if it is time to leave. In the case of an apartment he stays at the door to the apartment.

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    my department does not and will not purchase "search rope" as we have life saftey rope on the rescue and utility laid rope on the wagon. soo i guess my bag is a personel bag used when needed for the company. also for my general personell reasons like raising tools...

    does your rope get used any other times, rather than direct search and rescue?

    what do you normally attached the end too (ex: tool ,doorway, pumper)?

    and how often is it actually deployed?

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    our search ropes only get used for search. hence the name search rope. we have utlity rope and life safety rope for other firefround functions. No the search rope does not get used that often. currently they are only carried on the three rescue companies. We attach to a solid anchor ina safe area. that might be a railing for instance, or even knocking a hole in the walll to wrap a stud. The key is it must be an anchor that is solid and is not going to move when someone trips over the rope. Tying to a truck would not be practical it needs to be close to the point of entry in an area of safety. We would not use it for a run of the mill SFD fire or garden apartment fire. The times it would be used are for large areas that need to be searched.

    I am thing we are thinking of two different things. our search rope is in a large bag to large to carry in a pocket or on every call.

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    Search rope is a very good tool for large area searches, as already stated. I would say it really has no place on an engine, since large area S&R aren't really in their job description. Trucks and rescues, it is a must. My idea would be that the rope bag be at the officers seat, and each FF carry a 20 foot section with a snap hook in turnouts. That way, it is the officer's call if it is used, and each firefighter is able to quickly be ready to deploy. I would have rings every twenty feet, with knots tied after corresponding to which ring on the rope you are located.

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    I am not a fan of the officer deploying and carrying the search rope. In my department the Senior man would carry/depoy the rope. The officer is responsible for directing and monitoring the search. They must keep track of the searching firefighters. by having the senior man deploying the rope, you now have a experienced guy monitoring overall conditions and smoke/heat changes. he can the relay that information to the officer.

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    Search ropes are a great tool for certain situations, but it should ONLY be used as a seach rope, NEVER for anything else. The fact your laying the rope down in a fire building where it can wet, dirty, come in contact with glass shards, hydrocarbons, heat, etc would make it a poor choice to ever rely on in a bailout situation. While it's certainly better then nothing if you have no other option, it should never be something you plan on doing.

    Here is a link to show you some of the systems offered. They can give you some ideas. The RIT Systems kits are beautiful and super well made, but very pricey. They do all the work of tying the knots and adding the rings.

    http://www.allhandsfire.com/Categories/Search-Kits

    We use the "FDNY Old style" kit with one of our units and it works fine. Very inexpensive too. And it's simple nyon rope, so if the rope gets damaged by heat, it's easily and cheaply replaced. The new FDNY style kit with the Searchlite rope is a very nice. For one the rope is fireproof and two, the rope is reflective, a great idea. If and when we upgrade, that is the system we are using. We tied knots every twenty feet.

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