Looking into getting new rescue rope for my vol. fire dept. Looking for suggestions on brands, types (static or dynamic), lengths? We don't really preform a lot of rope rescues, but we do have some steep terrian, and we have the Mississippi River running through our fire district. We have Ice rescue suits that we train with and we deal with some swift water rescue training. Anyone I ask at the fire house doesn't know when we purchased our current rope and I was going to do some research on getting all new stuff. When I searched it online the results are overwhelming. Any help is appriciated. Thanks everyone.
NFPA 1983 comes into play here with guidelines for life safety rope. One place we've used before is RocoRescue I would advise static, braided kernmantle, synthetic, 1/2", virgin rope, in 300ft length minimums. To get a better idea of the lengths you will need, take into consideration your tallest building that you might have to perform a rescue from. I say 300ft length minimums because if you need more rope just use a figure-8 bend/tracer knot, although keep in mind you will need knot-pulleys (larger pulleys designed to allow knots to pass through) to effectively use this. Anymore questions hit me up, confined space/high angle rescue are one of my favorite courses to train on.
start by getting some training from a rope rescue company or your state fire academy. Rope has to meet a performance standard so you need to shop around and see what features work best for you. i could suggest a company (and i have my favorites) but there are so many. you must select one that works best for you because they all have their good and bad parts but make sure you develop a STRICT POLICY for rope use (ie)-LIFESAVING ROPE is only used when the strength of the rope has a life on the line. a UTILITY ROPE should be used for safety and guide line and when a life IS NOT on the line. rope can be purchased in many colors. two different colors (one for rescue another for utility) is a suggestion.
also remember that rope's basic leingth is 600' (like fire hose is 50') so consider buying your rope on a reel of 600 and cutting it yourself to the leingth you want (that was a tough sell to my chief) but they made us deal for buyibng it like that
When he says tallest building, don't think about occupied buildings. You may also have some water towers or radio towers in your district that may potentially involve a rescue incident. These may be taller than an occupied building.
I will be able to help you out with this since my dept handles all aspects of rope rescue, water rescue and technical rescues. Polypropylene rope cant not be used for anything beside water based operations, and Static Rope is used for any other rope operastions ( lo,High angle, Confinded space ) please email firstname.lastname@example.org. I have some other questions to ask you but dont wanna tie things up on here
Dept of fire-rescue services Clyde, NY
We have several lengths of static lifeline from CMC and Blue Water. Get half inch with the highest rating possible. Don't forget to buy good quality rope bags to keep your ropes organized and clean. And keeping good inspection and cleaning records are a must.
Any end-user that buys rope that is not NFPA 1883 compliant isn't making the smartest move.
If you get 1983-compliant rope, you know that you're getting rope that meets specific standards for strength, shock resistance, and load capacity.
Other rope - you're rolling the dice with your people's safety and your organization's legal liability, at least in the U.S.
Multiple uses - I disagree. Use rated Life Safety rope for high-angle and confined space applications and anything that requires lifting or lowering a rescuer or victim.
For moving tools and equipment, keep the loads light and use utility rope in good condition. Don't mix utility and Life Safety rope use.
Water rescue - if you're rigging technical rescue systems over the water (Stokes trolley systems, tension diagonals, boat Telfer systems) then use Life Safety rope. If you need throw line or rescue swimmer tethers, use rated polypo or spectra-core polypro rope that floats.
BY multiple uses, I was thinking more along the lines of something like the i'D or MPD that can be used for main line, belay, rappel, lowering, etc... Not for utility. Sorry, that didn't come out well in my post.
While it is not a bad idea to have your rope meet NFPA standards, do you feel that all of your rope equipment (hardware, etc) should?
I think that people misuse and misquote 1983. It is a consensus standard set forth so that a manufacturer can meet a certain spec. It does not make equipment that does not have that NFPA stamp on it bad.
If the hardware isn't 3rd party certified to the 1983 requirements, how do you know it will hold up under use in a system that puts stress on every individual part of that system?
Yes, the hardware should meet the standard, too.
I'm very familiar with 1983 and I don't misquote it. I have a copy in my office and a copy at home.
The lack of a NFPA 1983 certification doesn't make the equipment bad, it just makes its strength and performance under load uncertain, at best. I want to use gear that has as many uncertainties as possible removed before the gear leaves the manufacturer.