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  1. #1
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    Default Large Area Search Line marking?

    We are upgrading to a new Search Line kit with the Sterling Searchlite rope. It will be 220' long. I know one of the most popular ways to mark the rope is using knots and rings at 20' increments. We can deal with the knots, since they add no weight to the line and they are not a major hassle to smooth feeding of rope out of the bag. We are trying to avoid using rings because of the weight and rope feeding issues. I tried to find someone making aluminum rings but had no luck.

    Does anybody have any tips or suggestions in regards to marking a rope for both distance and direction? One option that was suggested is to put knots close together for the distance marks and then have a seperate knot 10" away as the directional knot. It has to be something large enough to allow an easy feel with gloves.

    Paint and tape will not work obviously.

    Anybody?


  2. #2
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    Suggest that you contact a seamstress or tailor, and ask them to make nylon tags as follows. Cut nylon cloth rectangles about 1 1/2" wide by 3" long. Sew a nylon string (mason's line) into a hem completerly around the rectangle, leaving about 2" of string sticking out of the hem at one corner. After rolling the hem the finish tag should be about 1" wide by 2 1/2" long with two masons strings sticking out of one corner. Measure the distance from the start of the rope, and using a heavy crochet hook, work one side of the masons line through the sheath. Knot the mason's string and melt the knot to prevent fraying. The mantle covering is the wear surface, so the strength of the line won't be compromised. Use an indelible marker to mark the distance on the tags. If you are aftaid of dirt covering the marks, have the seamstress embroider the number or hash mark on the tags.
    Last edited by KuhShise; 01-19-2011 at 10:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member sfd1992's Avatar
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    If I read it right, you'll have knots every 20', and multiple knots that indicate the total distance to that point? (1 knot at 20', 2 @ 40', 3 @ 60', etc)

    For a knot indicating direction you could either try the 10" idea you mentioned, or use a different, easily recognizable knot for the directional knot. For example, use an overhand, or even double overhand for the distance markers, and a butterfly with a small loop as the directional knot. Keep the loop small enough and it shouldn't interfere with the rope playing out of the bag.

    This should be obvious, but probably needs to be said anyway. If you decide to use some sort of directional indicator the rope must ALWAYS be deployed properly for it to work as intended. If the rope is set up to be tied off at the entry point and deployed from the bag as you go, you have to do that every time for that directional knot to be useful.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the great tips. I knew you guys would come up with some stuff we did'nt.

    On the subject, i had contacted the dealer we ordered the new line from and had asked him the same question and he pointed out something i had not considered. Once you mark a lone with any knots or rings, you have eliminated any chance of using it for most rescue applications in an emergency. While a search line would never be something that would be normally used for rope rescue, it's nice to know that if the need ever came up, you could. The Sterling Searchlite rope has a tensile strength of 3017 lbs and meets MBS requirements for Personal Escape Rope. But if you put knots the rope and add rings, it will not be of much use for rope work. So now we have to consider that.

    This is the kit we ordered:

    http://www.allhandsfire.com/FDNY-SEA...EARCHLITE-ROPE

    I like the rope flag idea, another person mentioned just buying nylon webbing and tie it where you need it, but it could move.

  5. #5
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem with rings hanging up, nor do I know anyone (from any department) who ever has. The rings do not add much weight at all. We have 200ft rope with knots 25ft and rings.

    If there's a problem deploying the rope...train until you get it right like we did. If a few small rings are a weight issue. Someone's just looking to complain or needs to work out. What are you looking at 10-11 little rings?

    I'll be glad to answer any questions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    I have never had a problem with rings hanging up, nor do I know anyone (from any department) who ever has. The rings do not add much weight at all. We have 200ft rope with knots 25ft and rings.

    If there's a problem deploying the rope...train until you get it right like we did. If a few small rings are a weight issue. Someone's just looking to complain or needs to work out. What are you looking at 10-11 little rings?

    I'll be glad to answer any questions.
    I was not implying that the rings would add so much weight that te bag would be too heavy. I was mereley trying to find any way to cut down on weight where possible. The biggest issue was the deploying of the rope. But if you have not had any issues, i am not worried.

    I think we are now going to go with the knots and rings vs the clean rope. I think the benifit will outweigh the loss as a rescue rope. The rings and knots are the easiest solution. I like the flag idea too, but the rings we can do in house, no need to go to a tailor and aqquire the materials.

    Now i need to find a source for the rings. But i am sure google will turn something up. I was told to use 2.5" OD rings.

  7. #7
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    When deploying the rope, just don't have the bag closed tight. Loosten up a bit on the draw string that holds it closed. Works fine. Guide it through your hand holding the rope snug. When a ring comes just loosten your grip a bit to let it through, then snug up after the ring passes.

    The knots are excellent. As you advance, radio to the IC the number of knots you just passed. This lets him know how far in you are. This is useful with large buildings.( 5 knots in on Bravo side) if you call a mayday. He knows approximately where you are. Is there a door about 150ft along that side? Is the building 150ft long and it's closer from the rear? If there's a need to breach the wall he has an approximate idea where to start.

    The knots also help mentally. You're crawling in and in and in. You feel like you've entered a bowling alley. Now you feel 3 knots. Not too far. Also when exiting. You're in 6 knots, exiting. Now you feel 5, then 4, then 3,etc. It's reassuring knowing you're getting out. Radio your exiting knots to the IC too. This way he knows your team is making their way out OK.

    Knots also indicate direcftion. You feel 4. If you feel 5 you're going in, 3 you're going out.

    We have them every 25ft on a 200' kevlar rope. The rope bag has two waterproof strobes, two 25' tag lines to branch off, and 5 non-locking carabiners.

    Part of my first due area has several large warehouses. 250'x2000' is common. You should consider large area tactics if you have a school, hospital, church, big box store(Home Depot etc), supermarket, community center. It can get complicated so it's best to plan and train.

  8. #8
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    Cool Our Large Area Search Line

    We are setting-up our Large Area Search Line to have clips/carabiners on both ends to secure the rope back onto itself.

    At intervals of 50' we are making (1) knot for each 50' of line that has been deployed (we chose 50' because that is how long each section of our Fire Attack hoses is). To indicate which direction you are going it's fairly simple; the rings lead into the building and the knots lead out of the building.

    From the beginning of the Kevlar Rope it goes like this: Clip/carabiner, rope, 50' in (1) knot, 6" after that is a knot with the 2" ring tied into it, rope, 50' (2) knots, 6" after that a knot with another 2" ring, rope, 50' (3) knots and then the end of the rope on the 200' bags. The 300' bags have (1) additional ring and the appropriate number of knots for the distance.

    We have several "Wide Rises" that both bags work well for. If you're going to use them for Residential Occupancies I would recommend the same length as your Attack Lines.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  9. #9
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    We just got our line and marked it.

    220' feet long, One knot at 20', two at 40', three at 60' and on up to 200' where their is 10 knots. Each knot is 4" apart. Their is another knot 8" before the start of distance knot(s) that has a 1-1/4 ring attatched to indicate direction. Rings lead out, knots lead in. Their is a large Kong Tango hook on the anchor point end. Will fit around railings, door hinges and pipes/conduit up to 1-1/4". The rope is secured to the bottom of the bag with a swivel hook. The rope deploys through a hole in the top flap. Really slick kit. We had the same bags before with our nylon line, but this new reflective rope is amazing.

  10. #10
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    It looks like you found rings but we used SMC Rappel Rings. They are made out of aluminum. You can get them at any REI or climbing store. They are inexpensive and strong. They are designed for rigging your rope to rappel after climbing a route. They are cheap enough to leave behind after rappelling.

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