WCBS New York reports New York City firefighters began getting safety ropes this week. New York is leading the way. Though a few departments already issue personal safety ropes many more cities will follow suit now.
“The ropes have been the subject of debate since twofirefighters died from jumping out a fourth floor window of a fire in the Bronx back in January.
The firefighters were trapped by flames and had no other choice. Four of those who jumped were injured.
The new rope systems were designed largely by a team of city firefighters. It’s a ligtweight rope make of Kevlar, the material used in bullet-proof vests. With a harness, a hook on one end, and and a descent control device, it weighs six pounds. It’s worn in a harness bag at all times, and can be secured, with a firefighter then exiting a window in seven to ten seconds.
The fire department says the ropes will cost about eleven (M) million dollars to buy, distribute and train the firefighters.
The devices cost 350-dollars apiece. The 100-foot ropes are coated in Kevlar,weighing six pounds with hardware and harness. And easier to wear and deploy than older ropes, according to Lt. Tim Kelly of the Fire Adademy. “Older ropes, their weight and their size were probably detriments. We found out a lot of firefighters weren’t carrying them.”
The need for the ropes became tragically apparent on January 23rd when Lieutenant Curtis Meyran and Firefighter John Bellew died after jumping from a fourth-floor window to escape a fire in a Bronx apartment. Four other firefighters who also jumped were seriously hurt, including two who tried to use a rope that failed…..WCBS New York “
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