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Thread: NFPA 1983 is always a must?

  1. #1
    Forum Member MichaelXYZ's Avatar
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    Default NFPA 1983 is always a must?

    Rope gear is pretty expensive and anyone who has had to fill out a purchase order for some can attest to. Now, the Europeans have their own standards for rescue gear and I doubt they skimp on safety anymore than we in the US do. Take carabiners for example; EN362 sets a standard comparable to the NFPA, and when shopping for carabiners, one can save a substantial amount by purchasing a EN rated part versus the NFPA rated part.

    I purchased a handful of Fusion beiners recently, and they felt remarkably robust. Now I have no test data to back up what I say, but are departments putting undue cost on their rope rescue budgets based on a standard that may just mean higher cost?
    BTW; the units I bought have a 50Kn rating, and stamped with the EN362 rating, also this purchase was for personal use.

    Last edited by MichaelXYZ; 05-20-2013 at 04:12 AM.


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    Forum Member jdcalamia's Avatar
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    I honestly don't care about the NFPA ratings. We've talked about this somewhere before, as long as the stuff meets or exceeds the proper MBS ratings, Kilonewtons are kilonewtons.
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

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    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Real World; Mr. Calamia has it right.

    Legalise speaking; NFPA allows for third party testing that meets or exceeds 1983. If you live in a NFPA state, or your non-NFPA state has adopted 1983 as a standard then you need to get clarification from your state agency in charge. If you are in, say Texas, a non-NFPA state that has not adopted 1983 then the Authority Having Jurisdiction has the say so in equipment used. That said, buy 1983 or independent third party tested gear that exceeds the standard, and insure you have access to that testing documentation in case the lawyers ever come calling.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Attached is an interesting read.

    There's also a powerpoint floating around the internet called "My Confusion Surrounding NFPA Standards and Rope Rescue Equipment". I can't seem to attach it here; if you can't find it on the internet I can email it to you.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Golzy12 likes this.

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    Forum Member MichaelXYZ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Here's the ppt. link:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...46751780,d.cGE

    I was amazed to read some depts. are using 16mm rope to make the SSF. Can you even get NFPA rated gear to fit 16mm rope or was the guy exaggerating? At any rate there was some good and interesting info.

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    [QUOTE=I was amazed to read some depts. are using 16mm rope to make the SSF. Can you even get NFPA rated gear to fit 16mm rope or was the guy exaggerating? At any rate there was some good and interesting info.[/QUOTE]

    Yes you can find gear to fit those ropes. Most 6 bar brake bar racks accommodate it easily. Knot passing pulleys will fit it. Prusik cord will fit and you can use larger diameter prusiks since the people using this huge rope are obviously concerned about strength.

    Weight of the rope becomes a major concern. Imagine climbing to the top of a 150 ft tall water tower or several hundred feet up a communication tower carrying a bag of 16 mm rope. You'll need to set up a hauling system with your smaller ropes just to lug it up there. If I'm trying to lift something really heavy I'll likely be using air bags, rams, jacks, and cribbing, etc., instead of really big rope.

    I was on scene when a series of 3" hawsers broke on a crane barge in the Mississippi River several years ago when we were working a water rescue standby job. 600 ton crane mounted on a barge trying to pick up a sunken barge at flood stage. It got pretty ugly real quick. They were a lot bigger than 16 mm rescue rope but if you overstress anything, expect a bad outcome.

    Mike Dunn

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