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    Default Bail out bag recommendations

    Hi guys, I am looking to put together a bail out bag. I work in Chicago and not to long ago a guy got trapped in a big church fire and barely got rescued by breaking a window (he threw his helmet out). The truck happened to be right there and saved his butt.

    I'd like to be able to self rescue and am looking for recommendations. Right now my potential kit will include a Gut belt with twist lock type carabiner, 50 ft of 8 mm dynamic rope stored in a daisy chain in my coat pocket, about 15 feet of tubular webbing stored in a pants pocket, and two additional biners, screw gate type, as well as a figure 8 descender.

    Would I be better off with an ATC? Gri Gri? What do you carry and why? Thanks.

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    Send me an e-mail at rescue-2@comcast.net or give me a call at 240-462-6610.

    I've got some info for you. This topic is really where my passion lies!
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    I sent you an email DCFDRescue2, but in it I stated that I would like to keep the conversation going on here so that other firefighters can perhaps learn about this subject if they are perusing this area or do a search for this subject.

    After looking around a bit more, I REALLY like the Sterling F4 Escape Device and the CMC Escape Artist. I really like the idea of being able to bail out without having to keep constant pressure on my belay hand. To me, it's worth the extra $80-100 to use this instead of a figure eight or ATC. I think I know where my last uniform allowance check is going to be spent.

    I saw your video on YouTube, and it seems you prefer the CMC, but the only advantage I can see is the double brake system. I like the F4 slightly better because it looks like it would be smaller overall and have a smaller profile.

    I am still not sure about the Crosby hook vs. the Kong Tango Hook. I suppose I like the ability of the Crosby to attach to a window casing corner. I always figured I could use a Haligan, axe handle, or a even a flashlight body. There is certainly something to be said for the quickness of the Crosby.

    Please, weigh in with your experiences! I am relatively new to the fire service.

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    Default Bail out

    Yeah, each "system" or "kit" on the market definitely has its pros and cons. We've found in our trainings that descending is the easy part. The hard part is selecting an anchor and transitioning out the opening. The Kong Tango provides for super quick opening with a gloved hand, but basically limits you to tying off or "snapping" into an object (furniture, piping, tool, etc.). I haven't been a big fan of tying off to a tool for a couple of reasons. First, you can't always count on having a haligan bar with you unless your assigned to the irons that day. Second, the halligan bar can be finicky to set, and can really hurt if it lets loose on the transition and flys out of the opening after you. That being said, the hook also isn't perfect, but once set provides a really nice anchor point. The hook also allows the ability to tie off around an object. My experience is that guys will add an extra non-locking carabiner where the hook attaches to the rope to allow for "snapping" into or around an object.

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    I debated this myself last year and if you're really into it, it can take a lot of time and research to figure out exactly what you want.

    My first piece of advice: if this kit is staying in one set of gear, go with a class 2 harness. I have my kit mounted on a CMC kevlar escape belt (same on DCFDrescue2 uses) so that I can have it with either my work gear or vollie gear. CMC's full kevlar harness is only a little bit more.

    http://www.cmcrescue.com/product.php...otNode=0&pid=7

    Second, get a hold of some descenders and see which one you like. Hands free exit is an obvious advantage to the self breaking DCDs over a escape 8 or the like. I carry a Sterling F4 and like it.

    Anchoring is another area of debate. I won't repeat the advantages and disadvantages of the Crosby (which I currently carry) and the Kong. The only thing that hasn't been mentioned is weight. Compared to the new CMC hook, the Crosby is HEAVY. The CMC also has the built in feature for tying off around an object. IMO this is the best anchor hook currently on the market. Being able to hook the sill and go out with window could make the difference rather than having to find an anchor, tie off, feed out slack and then bail out.

    Speaking of weight, there is something to be said for the kits that are using kevlar webbing instead of rope. A lot of weight and space is saved by going this route if you buy the kit complete, however you must use a DCD that will work well with webbing (CMC Escape Artist, RIT AL descender). I haven't tried it, but I doubt the F4 would take webbing very well.

    Last suggestion I have is to get two lengths of rope: a sections of kevlar or the like escape rope to keep in the kit, and a section of basic escape rope to train with. When you get your setup put together you need to get some window bails under your belt (no pun intended) to get used to the operation. TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    After looking around a bit more, I REALLY like the Sterling F4 Escape Device and the CMC Escape Artist. I really like the idea of being able to bail out without having to keep constant pressure on my belay hand. To me, it's worth the extra $80-100 to use this instead of a figure eight or ATC. I think I know where my last uniform allowance check is going to be spent. I saw your video on YouTube, and it seems you prefer the CMC, but the only advantage I can see is the double brake system. I like the F4 slightly better because it looks like it would be smaller overall and have a smaller profile.
    I use an F4 and love it. Great piece of equipment. Lightweight and very compact. Sits neatly on top of the rope in my bail out bag. I paid $79.00 for mine. They are not expensive. I am about 300lbs fully geared up and it works fine. The Escape artist is nice too, especially the double brake version. But like you noticed, it's not as low profile as the F4.

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    I am still not sure about the Crosby hook vs. the Kong Tango Hook. I suppose I like the ability of the Crosby to attach to a window casing corner. I always figured I could use a Haligan, axe handle, or a even a flashlight body. There is certainly something to be said for the quickness of the Crosby.
    I would use neither of those hooks, get this: http://www.allhandsfire.com/CMC-RESC...PE-ANCHOR-HOOK

    I have a Crosby now, great hook, but it's heavy and lacks the slot to tie a hitch through or to simply loop through. The CMC hook is a much nicer design. I too think about using an axe or Haligan as an anchor, but i would NEVER rely on an item i have to hand carry as my anchor point. You could drop it, lose it or need both bands free to escape something and now you lost your anchor. A good hook is always on the bail out kit ready to deploy.

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    Please, weigh in with your experiences! I am relatively new to the fire service.
    Here is my advice to you. In an ideal world, you will NEVER use your bail out kit. You always want to hope that you will never be in a situation where things inside a structure have gotten so bad that not only do you only have one way out, which is a window but you have no time to wait for a ladder as a means to escape. If and when the times comes that you need to deploy your bail out kit, you want to make certain that you have the best components money can buy, that the kit is properly rigged and that you have trained on it enough that you can do it without any real thought.

    With all that being said, i would suggest buying a pre packaged kit. Bail out kits that need to be "assembled" are completley unrealistic in my opinion. They are time consuming to rig even in ideal conditions. If you need to use one at a fire scene, it's safe to say condtions are NOT ideal. Do you really want to screw around pulling out your daisy chained rope, rigging it through your descender, hooking up your biner then tieing off on your anchor all while flames and smoke are shooting out the window over your head in a nightime sky and all hell has broken loose?

    A pre rigged kit atached to your GUT belt will allow a simple escape. Grab the biner end already sticking out the pouch flap and pull. Attach the biner to the GUT belt D ring and then grab the hook now hanging in front of you and your ready to anchor and bail to safety. Quick and simple. Nothing to rig, nothing to drop.

    If you buy a good hook, fireproof rescue rope, a descender, biners and a pouch and buid your own system, you will not be saving much money Vs just doing it yourself. This is the kit i would reccomend. It comes completley pre rigged and the hook is stitched on on already so their is no bulky knot to stuff in the bag. Thier is a video of the system on the same page: http://www.allhandsfire.com/STERLING...NFPA-1983-2006

    If you like the CMC hook and the Escape Artist, here is a great package: http://www.allhandsfire.com/CMC-RESC...-ESCAPE-SYSTEM

    DCFD knows his stuff, talk to him. The links i provided are to AllHandsFire.com. Fantastic bunch of guys who specialize in bail out systems. They can answer questions for you as well. Good luck. And please don't skimp on important safety items.
    Last edited by WD6956; 09-09-2011 at 01:07 PM.

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    Thank you gentleman. I appreciate your thoughts. Of course, like anything, when first contemplating a purchase of gear, you think, "Well, this is cheap and better than nothing." As you do more and more research, you learn why certain set-ups are better and why they cost extra. I first planned on using an old climbing rope a friend gave me and $30 worth of parts.

    Now that I've done the research and watched the YouTube videos, I am contantly "upgrading" what I plan to purchase for my kit. The two things that got me moving in that direction are these two videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu47dUuTwP8 The "Black Sunday" Bailout in NY.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZoXF...5F9F307A44FB71

    A training video. Awesome.

    In the video by FFDGP, he shows an awesome technique in which he makes an anchor point in about 5-10 seconds with an axe or Halligan bar that appears to be very fast and safe. In order to do that, you need to make a small loop in the rope between the hook and descender to place on the tool. That would preclude using the preset up systems. Or, I would have to cut the pre-sown hook off to tie the loop. I think, right now, I am leaning toward this kit:

    CMC Anchor

    50' of Strerling FiReTech 32 rope

    The Black Diamond Screw gate Carabiner I just bought

    Sterling F4 Descender

    Black Diamond twist Lock Carabiner

    The Gut Belt I already own.

    Obviously, all pre-rigged. I wouldn't keep the biner attached to the gut belt ring, to much chance of the rope getting caught on something crawling around in a fire. Leave all that in the bag.

    I like Sterling's bag. I assume I can purchase it seperately.

    I really don't care that it cost more. I buy certain things once, and buy the best. Things like condoms, hand guns, brake pads, etc. Things I am betting my life on. This is one of those instances. Better to use the generic toilet paper and have the money to buy gear that I have confidence in. (My life saving equipment.)

    One quick question. I just got out of the Chicago academy, and there was almost NO instruction on any of this. (They were testing systems while I was in the academy. The testers said everyone in the department was going to be getting one. Apparently, that isn't going to happen.) What techniques to use when you are in a "Black Sunday" situation and you are the only one with a bag? How to get the other guys with you down? Put it on them first, and go last? Go first, get off, and tell them to pull it back up? Just curious. Like I said, i know that my co-workers don't know this stuff, and don't carry it.

    AOF

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    I sent an email to AoF because as a dealer of both equipment and training on this topic, I didn't want my public response to sound like too much of a sales pitch. I do, however, agree that this should be a public topic.

    Dale has a lot of great videos on youtube; that guy has put a ton of work into his videos!

    As for how to get others down, there are a few options. Here is one if you have a bit of time:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDEHtDejBrY

    If you don't have time, then I think you have to make the decision of whether or not you are comfortable leaving somebody in there. Take the time to get it into your head what you are going to do now so you aren't hesitating at the most crucial moment. I think that the pure instinct for self preservation will give you your answer, whether you like it or not. I don't like it, but have accepted that that's what is going to happen.

    Rather than hook to the ring of the Gut Belt, why not hook to one of the side d rings on the belt? I think when the merde hits the fan, you will not be able to hook up fast enough. I've worn my in roughly the same configuration for several years and have yet to have anything snag my biner. My hook deployed a couple of times, but that has been completely resolved with a new bag designed for my system.
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    In the situation where you are the only one with a kit, you can use the DCD to lower another person, pull the slack back up, reline the DCD and do it all again...if you have the time.

    If not, using your kit and having the others attempt a body slide with the rope that is now hanging out the window is a much better option than jumping.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Great posts! I'll keep this short and sweet. I prefer a class 2 harness such as a Yates or Gemtor as opposed to a class 1 belt. The harness sits nicely on my gear with a little help from some sewn on belt loops. As far as a decent device I like the Exo and the F4. Both are great based on ease of use and most importantly their auto locking and hands free meaning (if properly anchored) I could through my self out of the window and just hang there until I'm ready to lower myself. I like the anchor hook simply because I can hook a windowsill and go or remote anchor to a wall stud or anything else I choose. 50 foot of rope is standard and I wouldn't go with any less. Most prepackaged systems come in a nice compact bag that connects right to your harness.
    If you need to bail the last thing you want to be doing is rigging your system then. Pre-rigged is the way to go.
    Great post topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    In the video by FFDGP, he shows an awesome technique in which he makes an anchor point in about 5-10 seconds with an axe or Halligan bar that appears to be very fast and safe.
    Yes, it is a very effective and safe anchor in most all residential structures. But that technique is worthless in a masonry building such as a commercial structure. So you cannot assume that any building you enter will have beautiful plaster or sheetrock walls right next to a window. And beware that in some masonry buildings that do have sheetrock, that Sheetrock is not secured to 2x4 studs. It's secured to 1" thick furring strips. You will be in for a rude awakening when you try and slide the axe or Halligan down the sheetrock and it pops open the whole way like a zipper. The only option in those situations is to put the tool at an angle in the corner of the window. But keeping tension on the rope and in turn the tool is critical. If the tension comes off and the tool shifts enough to allow one end of it to reach the window, your anchor is gone and so are you.

    The other issue is what i mentioned before. That anchor only works if you HAVE an Axe or Halligan. It's always smart to have a tool in hand going into all fires but anything you are holding in your hand can get dropped or lost. It happens. I would never rely on a tool as my primary anchor.

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    In order to do that, you need to make a small loop in the rope between the hook and descender to place on the tool. That would preclude using the preset up systems. Or, I would have to cut the pre-sown hook off to tie the loop.
    You can very quickly hand tie a loop in a pinch or with the CMC hook, you can make a very fast loop. I would not worry about cutting off a presewn hook just to add a loop. The Axe or Halligan in the wall is not going to be quicker or safer then the hook anyhow. The hook is purpose built to be an effective anchor. An Axe or Halligan is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    I like Sterling's bag. I assume I can purchase it seperately.
    You can, it's a Sterling Part Number: F4-50 Here is a link to buy it direct, but a dealer can likley get it a bit cheaper: http://www.sterlingrope.com/product/...ag/_/F4-50_Bag

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    I really don't care that it cost more. I buy certain things once, and buy the best. Things like condoms, hand guns, brake pads, etc. Things I am betting my life on. This is one of those instances. Better to use the generic toilet paper and have the money to buy gear that I have confidence in. (My life saving equipment.)
    That is a good way to think. I cannot tell you how many people i know and see on forums who cut corners on critical life safety equipment. Like using non fire rated rope on a bail out kit and making thier own hook out of Rebar. Very stupid idea. You should never be cheap on critical life safety gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    One quick question. I just got out of the Chicago academy, and there was almost NO instruction on any of this. (They were testing systems while I was in the academy. The testers said everyone in the department was going to be getting one. Apparently, that isn't going to happen.)
    You should definatley train with the system you assemble and do it the right way, have someone Belay you. If their is no fire training place that can do this near you, talk to some rock climbing places, check the yellow pages. You should easily find someone who can help you out to get comfortable with the system. The hardest part is learning to set the anchor and then transition out the window while holding tension on the hook. But you can practice this on a ground floor window with no real risk of injury. A buddy of mine laid a matress outside his ground floor window and then clamped a piece of plywood next to his window for the hook to bite into. He practiced bailing out that window enough times that he was doing it with his eyes closed. Ideally that is how it should be. To train on how to use the descender itself, go to a rock climbing gym that has a climbing wall. Have them set you up in a belay harness and then hoist you up to the top of the wall. Using a biner on your rope, tie onto one of the anchor points they have and then practice your descent. I have done this at several rock climbing gyms with friends and i have never had the staff be anything but happy to help out. They have even said we are welcome back any time, no charge. They liked seeing the technology we use and like the publicity it gives them.

    Quote Originally Posted by AssOnFire View Post
    What techniques to use when you are in a "Black Sunday" situation and you are the only one with a bag? How to get the other guys with you down? Put it on them first, and go last? Go first, get off, and tell them to pull it back up? Just curious. Like I said, i know that my co-workers don't know this stuff, and don't carry it.
    That is something you should talk to some senior guys about. It's a tough call. Once you reach the ground with the sytem, the descender would need to be sent back up the rope to the top, but it's not possible without holding the lever in and even then, it's time consuming because of how the rope feeds through it. Basically once someone goes down on the system, it's worthless because their will be no time to get it reset. Best bet is once you are down, tell them to use your rope as a bail out rope using the under the arms/around the SCBA cylinder method of descent. Not much else you can do. The system could hold two firefighters in theroy. The weight or two average guys decked out with gear will not snap the rope or anchor. The descender might be a bit fast, but it will you will not be free falling. If their is 3 or 4 of you, you bail out the window first, then have someone climb out and bear hug you and then descend together. Then the reaming guys would have to use the Emergency body wrap technique. Not the greatest option, but FAR safer then jumping.

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    Thanks guys. You've given me food for thought. I talked to a couple of guys from the Squad, and there is actually two of them who have a competing escape system called the HALO. It's supposed to be pretty close to the CMC because it utilizes a double brake. One of my overall goals is to be on a Squad, so I think it would be beneficial to get a system from them, learn to use it, and get to know the guys on the special teams. One of the problems is that I won't be eligible for a Squad for another 3-4 years.
    The other problem is that I can't find ONE other person willing to put down their own cash for a system. The guy I talked to, (B) said if I could get a couple of more guys, he would go through and teach us how to use them. (B) said they were about $330-$380 for a system, I think without a hook. Otherwise, it's off to a rock climbing gym and a guy I know to do some sort of training.
    Any of you guys ever hear of the HALO system? There is a short clip on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMzMBSD7VB8

    (B) said the same company created the "Gut Belt". Any ideas on how to talk two of my 164 classmates on dropping ONE uniform allowance check on an escape system? This is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts. They get this money for EXACTLY this sort of thing, but no one will drop the coin.

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    As already stated, a gut belt will hurt. Get a class II harness that can go into your gear. Make sure that it has some sort of extension at the d ring in order to hang out of your gear. There are several on the market and all have their places. The F4 is the lightest system I have seen and it is slick. As an EXO carrier, I have to say its a great system as well. However, its expensive. Get the best things that you can get and make sure you can get opinions from the guys who use them. The other this to consider might be continuity in your area in case someone has to help you also. The HALO system is interesting, VERY expensive too.
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    Default Skip the Rock Gym

    The other problem is that I can't find ONE other person willing to put down their own cash for a system. The guy I talked to, (B) said if I could get a couple of more guys, he would go through and teach us how to use them. (B) said they were about $330-$380 for a system, I think without a hook. Otherwise, it's off to a rock climbing gym and a guy I know to do some sort of training.
    Any of you guys ever hear of the HALO system? There is a short clip on YouTube:

    Shoot me an email @ collin@elevatedsafety.com We do most of our training in Glenview at NIPSTA and could probably put together a useful training scenario for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    .............................................. Basically once someone goes down on the system, it's worthless because their will be no time to get it reset. Best bet is once you are down, tell them to use your rope as a bail out rope using the under the arms/around the SCBA cylinder method of descent. Not much else you can do. The system could hold two firefighters in theroy. The weight or two average guys decked out with gear will not snap the rope or anchor. The descender might be a bit fast, but it will you will not be free falling. If their is 3 or 4 of you, you bail out the window first, then have someone climb out and bear hug you and then descend together. Then the reaming guys would have to use the Emergency body wrap technique. Not the greatest option, but FAR safer then jumping.
    Munter "family" of hitches would have application in that instance I would think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    As already stated, a gut belt will hurt. Get a class II harness that can go into your gear. Make sure that it has some sort of extension at the d ring in order to hang out of your gear. There are several on the market and all have their places. The F4 is the lightest system I have seen and it is slick. As an EXO carrier, I have to say its a great system as well. However, its expensive. Get the best things that you can get and make sure you can get opinions from the guys who use them. The other this to consider might be continuity in your area in case someone has to help you also. The HALO system is interesting, VERY expensive too.
    Comfort is way overated in the selection criteria, in my opinion. I think the trade offs for the comfort of a 5 second ride aren't worth it:

    1. You can really only use an integrated harness on one set of turnout gear. That means it won't transfer between your volly/paid house or between different sets of turnout gear if your lucky enough to have that.

    2. The weight of an integrated system feels like sticking a 5 pound dumbell in your turnout pants pocket; it wants to pull them down. This almost forces you to wear suspenders. I'm not a fan of them. A belt system allows the weight to ride on your hips.

    3. You have to get some sort of extension or d ring so it sticks outside of your gear to make a connection to the descender.

    4. You don't have the option of leaving your system on the rig for bloody medical calls, car wrecks with battery acid, every other call that doesn't require a bailout kit.

    I think it's obvious that I am a fan of a belt based system. So much so, in fact, that I still wear one despite being issued an integrated harness by the department which sits in my locker.
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