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  1. #1
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    Default Bailout Kits and Gut Belts

    I'm trying to get some input on what bailout kits people are carrying. My department doesn't issue 'em so I want to buy my own. So far I have found kits from Sterling, CMC, and Petzl. What are your opinions on the subject and what do you carry.

    Also, what are people wearing for escape belts? I've heard a lot of good things about "Gut Belts", but I don't know much about 'em.

    Any Ideas are appreciated! Also where are good places to get the stuff?

    Thanks, Joey


  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    Build your bailout kit based upon what type of structures are in your area. I'd suggest carrying some of the following:
    - Life Safety Rope (like RIT 900): Versatile, practice quickly tying knots. You can anchor it off something and tie it around your waist and slow yourself down enough to survive with minimal injuries.
    - Webbing: Can be used as an anchor or as a harness to drag someone out.
    - Lineman Pliers (or the such): Used to cut stuff you might be trapped in, or battery cables, etc.

    Gut belts are nice. We have a couple guys in our dept that wear them. They have had their bunker pants professionally altered with PBI belt loops that can withstand the stress of the belt. That way, it's on their gear and ready for use all the time. They are useful since they can be used as a ladder belt, tool belt and harness.

    Depending on how much extra weight you want to carry around you can get these in little "bailout bags" with descenders and carabiners and hooks and everything else. Just remember that it's more stuff in your pockets for every run.

    As far as where to buy the stuff, check the internet. The Fire Store (a FH.com site sponsor) has a good selection and prices are usually very reasonable.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Mayorkinos View Post
    I'm trying to get some input on what bailout kits people are carrying. My department doesn't issue 'em so I want to buy my own. So far I have found kits from Sterling, CMC, and Petzl. What are your opinions on the subject and what do you carry.
    You should also look at RIT Systems. They currently have one of the largest arrays of bailout kits and they are top notch.

    http://www.ritrescuesystems.com/products.php

    Sterling is currently offering an excellent system that is NFPA certified and comes with everything you need for a great price.

    The CMC systems are pretty basic. Well made, but nothing special. The RIT and Sterling systems offer you more.

    All Hands Fire has the largest online selection of Bailout Systems out there.

    http://www.allhandsfire.com/FIREFIGHTER-ESCAPE

    The Petzl EXO system is another great system, but keep in mind, it cannot be purchased unless you take the all day training class. The class and EXO system will run you upwards of $1,000 and it may require you to travel to where they give the class.

    We are currently evaluating the Sterling system and a few of the RIT Systems. They are all great systems, so it's tough to choose. Right now i carry an RIT pocket kit with a Sterling F4 Descender with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Mayorkinos View Post
    Also, what are people wearing for escape belts? I've heard a lot of good things about "Gut Belts", but I don't know much about 'em.

    Any Ideas are appreciated! Also where are good places to get the stuff?

    Thanks, Joey
    A Gut Belt or Truckmans type belt are fine for emergency escape. They will allow you rappel out, but you are risking injury since the belt can slide up on your body and crack ribs and it is possible to become inverted on a fast bailout in which case you could fall out of the belt. That is why the prefered way to do it is to wear a Class II harness. Gemtor, RIT and Yates all make excellent external harnesses and a few companies, such as Rock-N-Rescue make harnesses designed to be mounted inside your bunker pants. These are the safest way to go. But if wearing a harness is not an option, then sure, the Gut belt or any of the other high end escape belts will work fine. Just make sure to have it cinched on you properly before you bail.

    As far as places to buy the Gut Belt and other bailout gear and harnesses, i highly reccomend www.thefirestore.com or www.allhandsfire.com. www.paulconwayshields.com is selling the gut belt too.

    Another option for really nice escape belts made by a firefighter is www.savajake.com. Also, www.rescuetech1.com has a good array of gear.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx View Post
    We have a couple guys in our dept that wear them. They have had their bunker pants professionally altered with PBI belt loops that can withstand the stress of the belt. That way, it's on their gear and ready for use all the time. They are useful since they can be used as a ladder belt, tool belt and harness.
    How are they using a Gut Belt as a tool belt if it's attached to the top of their bunker pants? That would mean their turnout coat was as high or higher then the top of the bunker pants?. Otherwise if the turnout coat covers the gut belt, then how would you carry an Axe and use the ladder rings?

    The whole idea of a rescue type belt is to wear over the turnout coat so it's unobstructed.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2007
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    Maine
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    I use this harness on my set of gear with the combo department I work with: (department owned) http://www.ritrescuesystems.com/prod...tail.php?id=16 I'm also issued a ladder clip extension that stays in my pants pocket for aerial ops.

    And this on my other set of gear with my hometown volunteer department: (personally owned) http://www.thefirestore.com/store/pr...harness_nylon/

    The RIT harness works extremely well and as long as you have loops on your pants it's very easy and never gets in the way. This harness was issued to me as one of the 4 that the department bought to try them out. I also have a Yates Ladderman Class II that I personally own but I don't really like the design, it works but it's not nearly as easy to put your pants on and the clip is off-set and makes it awkward to tighten down/clip. Unfortunately, the RIT harness costs twice as much...but WORTH IT!


    As far as a bail-out kit:
    40 feet sterling rope in a bag (not sure of the type of rope exactly, other than it's life-safety)
    Pre-rigged to the rope is a 'biner on the end to hook to/wrap around the tool/whatever and then I have a generic descender with a 'biner hanging off that to clip onto my harness. I've trained with this simple system and it works great as long as you find a good spot to hook to. (tool in the corner of the window is usually the answer)

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