View Poll Results: Should escape harnis/ropes be required for PPE

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  • Yes, escape harnis/ropes should be required on all structure PPE.

    40 49.38%
  • No, escape ropes/harnis should NOT be required on all structure PPE.

    22 27.16%
  • Undecided, need to study/think about it more.

    19 23.46%
  1. #1
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    Exclamation Required escape harnis/rope for structure PPE?

    Should the NFPA/OSHA/Powers that be mandate that structural PPE be required to be equiped with escape harnis/ropes for self rescue from elevated places?

    If not, then what are your reasons?

    If so, how much rope should be required?

    What should the minimum strenght of the rope be?

    Would this adversely affect the cost of PPE to a point of diminishing return?
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    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  2. #2
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    I am of the opinion that there should be self rescue harnis/ropes built into all structure PPE.

    The additional cost IMO is minimal compaired to the alternative. If it is made a standard feature then the cost will come into line eventualy.

    Not sure what the best way to do it would be, probly the rope hidden in the coat, harnis buit into the pants. Are there any SCBA with escape gear built in?

    Not sure what the industry standard is, its seems to me that enough rope for 5 stories would be a good starting point.

    Minimum strenght should be about 600 lbs IMO, not that far out considering the super rope they have these days.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  3. #3
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    While mandating self rescue gear be installed in all turn-out gear is a good idea in theory, it is just not feasible when you look at several factors...

    1) Cost = in my area, money is not an issue...depts. will drop
    $1,200 a set for Morning Pride gear so they can have the gear
    that they want (bear in mind, it gets quite a workout so it's
    worth the investment) but many FD's barely have enough money to
    buy the basic, no frills bunker gear (no pants pockets, minimal
    trim, etc.)...there are a tremendous amount of depts. in this
    country that have outdated gear (hey, if it's all you got,
    something is better than nothing) and there are those depts.,
    particularly in rural areas (Samson FCDES you probably know a
    few) that respond in street clothes which I think is appalling...
    not that they have the dedication to respond even without proper
    PPE, I'm appalled that this country (the richest in the world mind
    you) cannot provide our first responders with proper protective
    clothing yet the president nows wants 80 BILLION dollars more for
    the war in Iraq...don't get me wrong, I'm 100% for supporting the
    troops (our other 1st responders) but sending money over there so
    we can feed Mohammed rice & beans is a waste of OUR tax dollars
    that should be spent on OUR people here first.

    2) Lack of training = while it would be great if every FF was well
    trained in not only basic FF'ing but also self rescue, this
    simply just isn't the case...I've been all over this country
    and seen depts. that are progressive, well trained & know their
    SH&* and then there are those that are, well "foundation savers".
    I'm not picking on rural depts. with limited manpower/equipment
    or extended response times - I'm talking about depts. big & small,
    well equipped or not that just don't give a damn about training
    whether it's the basics or advanced things like self rescue, RIT,
    etc.

    A key point here is RIT...since the whole RIT thing took off
    within the last 2-3 years, how many depts. so you know that say
    they have a RIT team but haven't done anything other than SAY they
    have a RIT team? How many have actually gone through hands-on
    training (I'm not talking a 3 hr. awareness lecture), trained on
    SCBA changeover, large area search, FF removal techniques, etc.
    How many of them just "show up with some rope & a few hooks" (an
    actual quote to me from a local FF...his dept. has improved their
    RIT team since a new chief took office)...

    In a perfect world, every FF would be trained to the exact same
    standards but in reality, this just isn't feasible so do we want
    Joe Fireman who hasn't been to training in 6 months bailing out
    an upper window with the rope the dept. stufed in his
    gear 'cause it was NFPA mandated? The alternative isn't much
    better I guess....

    3) Practicality...is it REALLY necessary to have it mandated that
    EVERY set of gear worn by FF's all over this country have self
    rescue gear installed? While a FF in a metropolitan area would
    probably use it at one point in their career simply due to call
    volume, would a FF who volunteers in a farming community with
    nothing but mobile homes & maybe a single two story building
    in the whole town really need the means to bail-out 50'???
    This added expense from the NFPA mandate might preclude smaller
    depts. from buying new gear that they DESPARATELY need.

    4) If you want to equip each FF with self rescue equipment, the more
    practical, cost effective measure would be to equip each SCBA...
    you may have a dept. (vol. or paid) that has 200 members...it's
    not feasible to equip every FF but every SCBA is "doable"...the
    rationale is if you are inside, you should have a pack on so
    you'll have the self rescue gear with you.

    I strongly believe there needs to be more of a push for FF survival/self rescue training in BASIC fire school...we need to teach FF's how to stay out of trouble so the need for RIT is diminished...FF'ing is a dangerous job, always will be so the need for RIT will always be there.

    Lastly, I want to epxress my condolences to the FDNY brothers & their families...best wishes for a speedy recovery for those injured & a wish of peace for the fallen FF's and their families.

    Just my 2 cents...Stay Safe...

  4. #4
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    I agree that all interior FFs should have some sort of bail out rope. I know there have been arguments that it is bulky, takes up space for other tools, etc. It would be great if all FF were given individual ropes, harness, and whatever else is needed by their departments. As for an OSHA standard, I need more time to think about that.

    I know it cost me about $45 dollars for 30ft of 8mm rope, and two load bearing carabiners. Couple of canadian figure 8's on each end and I have a bail out rope/search rope. 30ft of rope works in my district(s), we don't have to many taxpayers above three stories.
    Last edited by sbfdco1; 01-25-2005 at 11:35 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Rope should be part of almost any fire fighters gear even if it's only a 10-20 foot length. Every firefighter should know their basic 3 or 4 knots. If you had to make an emergency bail out tie off on something solid wrap the rope around you and lower yourself. As for a harness I just think it's just another thing to get in the way of effective firefighting. It really comes down to the area. If you are fighting 4-6 story structure fires, 20 foot of rope isn't going to help much, carry more. If your area is mostly 2 1/2 story homes 20 foot of rope will almost reach the ground.

    So I guess I'm saying, required no, recommended yes.

    ~Jeff
    Last edited by FFTide; 01-25-2005 at 11:45 AM.
    Piscataway Fire Dist #2
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    Default I voted NO

    seems to me win anything new is MANDATED it will be very expensive (read cost inhibative) it should be made a option, I think MSA airpacks have a lower back piece on there PBA's that can cary a baile out rope. Let other co. compete or come up with better places for a rope. It should be more heat resentant rope than a certain amount of waite IMHO

  7. #7
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    Sad thing is, you'll find people who protect primarily trailers and ranch houses, who don't train or conduct aggressive searches without hoseline protection, and for that matter probably don't even have a real good concept of coordinated fire attack...

    Who'll think they're safe 'cause they got the bailout harness on them.

    Lot, lot more issues out there of far higher importance than this.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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  8. #8
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    We've been kicking this around the station the last year or so and I think tonight I'm going there to take the bull by the horns and say lets stop forming commitees and talking and get the s%&t done.

    Our RIT team currently has a setup for when the are on a job, but it is exactly that... for RIT calls only. The harnesses are put on over your gear as part of getting your equipment out when you go on scene.

    We were talking about outfitting the SCBA certified guys with a bail-out setup but never took any action... time to change that. The good part for us is our response area demographics. We are more or less a bedroom community of 1 to 2.5 story single family dwellings/garden apartments and townhomes. So we are not faced with the 4 or 5 story bail like these poor guys in NY were faced with. We have a couple of 'low-rise' office buildings and any industry or other commercial structures we have are single story structures. The joys of being able to grow horizontally not just vertically like the cities.

    Its tough to say if a standard should be created. I realize that in some places if you threaten non-compliance with a standard that's the only way the governing body will fund it, but on the other hand for every feature you add you drive up the price of gear... prices that are already too high for some of the rural, low budget departments in the country. At the same time, I realize that you can't put a price on your life and safety, but I think you know what I mean.

  9. #9
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    I wear a Gemtor harness. I have a 35' length of webbing. Is it designed for this purpose? Nope. Does it work? Yup.

    Almost all of our FF's are having Gemtor harnesses provided to them and the webbing. It's more designed for FAST applications, but can be used other ways.

    Use your tools (including your head) and think outside the box.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  10. #10
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    Putting harnesses in PPE can slow down putting them on. I'd much rather see them incorparated into SCBA packs. While back I ran a 10 foot piece of webbing through the frame on my scba and set it up to turn into a harness. Bail out kit fit on the waist strap and worked great for bail outs.

    We all know how long it can take to get something set as a standard. Others will point out that comments, suggestions or ideas can be sent to the NFPA and they can be considered. This is an outlet for voicing your opinion.


    But either way firefighters should have a bailout kit and harness available at all times.
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  11. #11
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    We have bail out ropes on all of our SCBA. I believe they are 30'...... We've had them on there for a few years.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    All FFs that have completed the training in rope bailouts is given a 35' NFPA rated 8mm escape rope. The rope is stored in their gear wherever they see fit. We dont use harnesses, simply connect the rope to an anchor point inside the building, wrap around the waist, grab both the line to the anchor and the tail side of the line and out the window you go. Each set up costs about $35.

    I believe in giving each person their own rope, since it is my life hanging off of it in the unfortunate event I have to use it, I like knowing how it was treated.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    So realy given some of the responces we are not talking huge dollar figures here.

    Realisticly there could be a rope rescue system in place for <100$ for the basics.

    I realy like the idea of haveing them on the SCBAs. At least if they were going to be high dollar.

    I have seen some PPE with an extra pouch on the lower leg. That might be a good place to put a longer rope. Or I am sure there are dozens and doezens of options.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    On my volly FD we haven't pursued this yet. Perhaps because we only have one structure over 2 stories. A good excuse? Probably not. Just the truth.

    On my career FD every riding position is issued a Gut Belt and a rope bag with 25 feet of 8mm kevlar sheated nylon rope, 2 caribiners, and a figure 8. The thought process is even if you can't reach the ground from a taller building you can get to safe floor below with this much rope. Training is the issue. Initially we trained hard with this stuff but for me I haven't practised in about a year and a half and my confidence level is down.

    Is a bail out device a good idea? Depends on your circumstances I guess. Mandated for each set of turn-out gear? Nope, don't think that including it in the turn-out gear itself is a good idea.

    FyredUp

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    Default How Much Time

    I think it all sounds great but my concern is the time it takes under perfect conditions to find and tie off to a substantial object, deploy the rope, wrap the carabiner and slide down. I know about the Halligan in the corner of the window but you had better practiced it before and keep a lot of tension on the rope while heading out. Now do it under rapidly deteriorating conditions, zero visibility and very high levels of stress. I don't think there is enough time for it all. No one goes to a fire knowing you will have to make an emergency escape. I carry rope for that reason but no harness. I will wrap the rope under my arms or the bottom of my foot for an emergency escape. The rope is already tied into a figure 8 at the top and into a carabiner. The plan is to take a few turns around the anchor and put the carabiner back on the rope. I have practiced it under non fire conditions just as I am sure everyone else has. Hope to never have to do it during a fire.

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    Default Re: How Much Time

    Originally posted by cfdeng3
    I think it all sounds great but my concern is the time it takes under perfect conditions to find and tie off to a substantial object, deploy the rope, wrap the carabiner and slide down. I know about the Halligan in the corner of the window but you had better practiced it before and keep a lot of tension on the rope while heading out. Now do it under rapidly deteriorating conditions, zero visibility and very high levels of stress. I don't think there is enough time for it all. No one goes to a fire knowing you will have to make an emergency escape. I carry rope for that reason but no harness. I will wrap the rope under my arms or the bottom of my foot for an emergency escape. The rope is already tied into a figure 8 at the top and into a carabiner. The plan is to take a few turns around the anchor and put the carabiner back on the rope. I have practiced it under non fire conditions just as I am sure everyone else has. Hope to never have to do it during a fire.
    This is my plan too. I have been timed at using the halligan, and am able to get it done in 10 seconds. That isnt under fire conditions, but it did involve some instructors attempting to make it stressful.
    I would rather have the option when the brown stuff starts flying, than be stuck, or have to jump.
    Shawn M. Cecula
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    Thats hits it right on the head. The self rescue rope would not be inteded to let you push into places you shouldnt go or as a often used option.

    But if you need it its there, like a PASS device or what have you. Just another pieces of safety gear.

    It should be cheap enough to have a quality unit.

    Wheater it needs to be in the PPE/SCBA I guess realy doesnt matter.

    Maybe the best option is just to make sure everybody had one which ever way works.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  18. #18
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    Default

    We have been shopping around for new SCBA, and I see that most manufacturers now have rated waist belts available as an option that can be used to self-evac. Most have a steel ring or other connection point on the harness, and one even had the 8mm rope hidden in the waist belt.

    It looked like a great system, and while we didn't budget for it during the initial purchase, I think it will be an upgrade for next year.

    I also think it would be valuable as an NFPA standard. It is not the end-all and be-all, but why put the RIT in jeopardy in circumstances where it would be possible and safer for the FF to self-evac. Again, one more tool in the box.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  19. #19
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    Default F.F.R.E.D. - Opinions

    Anyone see these in action, or use one ever?

    http://www.ritrescuesystems.com/cont...ns.asp?topic=1

    Seems like a simple solution to the escape belt question (besides the additional cost). If you use the SCBA option, you will always have one one your person, and it doesn't look like it is too bulky, or adds alot to your profile....

  20. #20
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    Do you really need a harness if you are bailing out? The plan is to get the heck out of there, not stop on the way and do anything, so why not just carry rope and fast rope down military style? If you are fifty feet up and have only twentyfive feet you are not going to be happy, but atleast it is something.
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    i carry 50ft of bail out rope already
    so i vote yes
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
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    Post From the AP Wires

    Rope said to have saved two firefighters in Bronx blaze
    NEW YORK (AP) - Two firefighters who survived a Bronx blaze that
    killed two colleagues were saved by a length of rope tied to a
    window's safety bars.
    37-year-old Firefighter Jeffrey Cool lowered himself partly down
    the rope before it snapped, sending him crashing several stories to
    the ground.
    34-year-old Firefighter Joseph DiBernardo used the remaining
    length to descend about one story from the fourth floor of the
    burning building before he too fell.
    That's according to DiBernardo's father, Joseph DiBernardo
    Senior, who spoke to reporters yesterday.
    Both firefighters suffered critical injuries in the Sunday
    blaze.
    Cool and DiBernardo made their escapes shortly after two other
    firefighters jumped out a window in a neighboring room. Both of
    those firefighters, 46-year-old Lieutenant Curtis Meyran and
    37-year-old Firefighter John Bellew, died.
    The Fire Department stopped issuing individual ropes to
    firefighters in 2000, but Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta says
    the FDNY is reconsidering that policy.
    Two other firefighters, Eugene Stolowski and Brendan Cawley,
    were also injured in the fire. Stolowski is in critical condition
    at Weill Cornell and Cawley is in stable condition at St. Barnabas
    Hospital.
    The fire apparently started when sparks from an overheated
    extension cord ignited a mattress and bedding.
    Fire officials are investigating whether tenants of the building
    constructed illegal partitions in the apartment, obstructing
    firefighters' view of the fire escape.
    Another fire the same day, in Brooklyn, killed 37-year-old
    Firefighter Richard Sclafani.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    APTV 01-27-05 0358EST
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

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    NJFFSA16 - AHH! you beat me to it, I was just going to post that article.

    Bottom line, for less than $50 bucks there is no reason when we/you can't buy your own personnal rope. Ask your wife for the money, I'm sure she lend it to you!
    Jim
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    I am in favor of the "bail out" ropes, in the hands of trained firefighters they may save lives. Training is a must, members must be trained to get the rope into operation and be out in seconds. The members at Sundays job have collectively operated at thousands of stuctural fires, they were in another area of the apt when it hit the fan and got to the windows without so much as a halligan to tie-off to. The conditions were such that 6 trained experienced firefighters were forced to jump or burn. Conditions prevented them from checking out the rooms they were in, they beat feet and did what they had to do. One member attempted to lower another using a personal rope, the member slipped or ran out of rope and dropped, the lowering member then tied off to the only thing he could find and went out, he got about 10' before the object broke free causing him to fall. Did the personal rope save their lives yes, is everything peachy no.
    As for the Bail out mask frames, do you think the member who climbed over the air conditioner took came out the window with his scba on? how bout the member who went over the window gate?
    Your rope should be on you, do you need a harness? you can do it without one, but the harness comes in handy for alot of things.
    Should the FDNY issue every member a rope and train them how to save themselves? yes
    Should the FDNY issue members assigned to trucks and soc units personal harnesses? absolutely
    Will it cost them alot of $$$ not as much as we paid this weekend.
    Saty safe brothers sorry for the rant.

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    I don't think anyone here is second guessing what the FDNY brothers had to do. You can plan the most elaborate escape system in the world but sometimes you end up in the worst possible situation such as they did. God bless the fallen and good thoughts for the injured.

    I really like the RIT Rescue Systems setup that scottab96 posted. Ease of use has to be near the top of the list for a bailout system. As others have stated you won't have time to set up an elaborate system in the conditions that would require you to bail.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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