(Randalls Island-WABC, October 4, 2005) - The FDNY is ready to begin training firefighters today with new safety ropes. The move comes almost nine months after six firefighters jumped from a burning apartment in the Bronx.
Eyewitness News reporter Ken Rosato has the story.
Without a rope last January 23rd, six firemen had no choice. They jumped to escape a wall of flame.
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.
Starting 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.
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)
Video: Eyewitness News Video