(Randalls Island-WABC, October 4, 2005) - They've called for a lifeline, but this is no game, it is about life, and the sanctity of it...as the FDNY issues ropes to it's Bravest, so they can remain that way.
Eyewitness News reporter Ken Rosato has the story.
The ropes are being re-issued after six firefighters were forced to jump from a burning building in the Bronx nine months ago.
Two of them didn't make it, but their legacy, as their families say, lives with these ropes.
Lt. Curtis Meyran died alongside firefighter John Bellew. Their widows are suing the fire department and the tragedy pushed the Firefighters union and the FDNY into a testy reexamination of the department's rope policy.
The fire department stopped providing ropes in 2000. Firefighters had complained the ropes were too heavy and hard to use.
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta ordered a new rope system developed with $11 million in emergency funding.
At around one o'clock today firefighters from the Bronx and Harlem will be in the first class to train with the new personal safety system. It includes a harness and a lightweight rope. The training will be conducted at the department's facility on Randalls Island.
The FDNY expects to have all of its firefighters and officers fully trained within eight months. After, every member from the department will have to carry the lifesaving device.
The new rope system was developed in-house by firefighters, fire-officers and the department's own research and development group.
(Copyright 2005 WABC-TV)