1. #1
    FFD#30
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Search Ropes - Yes or No?

    After attending numerous sessions this past week at FDIC, one thing a few of us picked up on was everyone endorsing using search ropes for all searches. Currently we definetely are not real good about this in our dept. mainly because of a lack of knowledge about these tactics.

    What to you guys think? What do you use? What problems have you had using ropes while searching? Have you guys come across any references or instructors that specialize in utilizing rope lines while doing searches?

    Thank you for all your help, and stay safe!

    FFD#30

  2. #2
    Staylow
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I don't believe search ropes are necessary for EVERY search. For your ordinary SFD they just get in the way and end up slowing you down. In these types of buildings you can search a majority of the area and still stay connected to a wall if you feel you have to.

    Ropes become more necessary in those structures where you have to separate yourself from the wall for a long period of time in order to perform an effective search. Large warehouses, commercial buildings and highrises are specific examples where a rope may be prudent. They have large floor areas where you will loose contact with the wall that provides you with an exit or window while doing a search.

    Stay Safe!

  3. #3
    FLAME5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I AGREE WITH STAY LOW.
    BUT LET ME ASK A QUESTION WOULDN'T A ROPE NOT MAKE MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE WITH THAT PERFECTLY GOOD HAND LINE. IT PRETTY MUCH AS EFFECTIVE AS A ROPE.
    IF YOUR NOT USING A HANDLINE (WHAT ARE YOU NUTTS!) A ROPE SHOULD BE STANDARD.

  4. #4
    FAM
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Yeah, the current method of not using a search rope allows the RIT team to recover bodies instead of survivors, let's not change tradition now!

  5. #5
    Staylow
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Flame5,

    I would not bring a hose line with me while I conduct a search. It is far too cumbersome and time consuming. I'll leave the hoses to the engine companies. There is a very good article about searches in the February issue of Fire Engineering by John Coleman. He makes many very good points.

    I am confused though on how the use of a search rope will increase the effectiveness of a search team in a SFD, and guarantee the recovery of survivors instead of bodies over that of not using the rope??

  6. #6
    FLAME5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    got to agree with you again staylow.
    lets see about a 2 minutes for the report of a fire, 3-4 responce time, and 1-2 minutes to locate and remove the victim, and even a longer wait if an ambulance is not on scene.
    It takes 6 minutes for brain death, so let's see i am looking for bodies not survivors.

    now i am just estimating (unless you have a ferrari for an engine company)


    now as far looking for other firefighters a search rope is essential but a hosline should be considered due to the current conditions. but one point i would like to make is hoslines are not "TRADITIONAL" it is an extra incentive to prevent extra bodies. I as a RIT member should consider my saftey first, and then the rest of the teams, and lastly the person(s) we are looking for.



    [This message has been edited by FLAME5 (edited 03-08-2001).]

  7. #7
    FireLt1951
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    StayLow, you're right on the money. The use of a search rope in SFD and smaller apartment buildings has its flaws. They consistently get hung up on the obstacles inside these areas. The use of a handline for primary search and rescue is time consuming and yes cumbersome. The areas where disorientation is more likely i.e. commercial buildings, wharehouses and structures with large open areas, the use of a rope is necessary. I carry a 30' search rope,18' peice of webbing and a biner at all times. They are very effective. If you want contact Michigan State University for their RIT manuals. It's one hell of a good course. The course teaches the use of taglines and webbing for rescue purposes.

    [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 03-08-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 03-08-2001).]

  8. #8
    mwest3232
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Using rope to search (A/K/A Team Search) is a valuable tool when standard search techniques (e.g. right hand wall search) may be ineffective. A SFD does not require search ropes as the majority of the rooms can easily be covered while maintaining contact with walls. On the other hand, complex layouts such as office cubes, industrial facilities, or 6-story cold storage warehouses and large open areas such as gyms and auditoriums require a method to maintain direction and not to duplicate efforts.

    What do I mean by duplicate efforts? You are searching the right hand wall and go 3 rooms when you locate a trapped security guard in a warehouse. You remove the worker to the outside and pass down to the next team that you went right and 3 rooms and they need to complete the search. Where do they start searching? From the front door that you just left. They have no choice because they have no ability to move to the point that you left off without maintaining the same contact with the wall. By securing a search rope you will leave a clear indicator as to your last point. By operating in a team of 3-4 you can cover large spaces and find your way back out.

    Searching with a hoseline is not effective regarding speed and efficiency in anything larger then a trailer house. As stated before the engines’ job is too handle the hoseline and attack fire. If you have the opportunity, sign up for Team Search hands on training at FDIC or FDIC West. I think you will find it a useful technique to search the unusual or large occupancies that we all have.

    Be safe



  9. #9
    Lone Hunter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I also agree with staylow.I don't need a rope when searching the 12x14 bedrooms of a 2 1/2.

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