1.5 In order to retain this strength, the rope must be properly maintained.






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August 16, 2007



1.1 The life saving rope is 9/16” in diameter. It is made of a continuous filament of

Nylon 707 with a length of 150’, weight of 14½ pounds, and a working load of 600 pounds.

1.2 Nylon rope is stronger than manila rope of the same size. A breaking strength test was conducted on the 9/16" nylon life saving rope. The rope broke at 10,240 pounds.

1.3 Acceptance of the rope requires that it have a minimum breaking strength of

9,000 pounds. In addition, our rope must survive a drop test. This test consists of tying a 600 pound weight to the end of the rope and dropping the weight from a platform ten feet, seven inches high. There must be two feet of slack in the rope. The rope must survive five such drops.

1.4 The life saving rope not only survived the drop test, it also survived an additional breaking strength test. The section of the rope subjected to the drop test was laboratory tested and broke at 9,800 pounds. The life saving rope has a high breaking strength quality.

1.5 In order to retain this strength, the rope must be properly maintained.

1.6 Members should be aware that the actual length of the life saving rope may be less than the nominal length of 150 feet due to natural shrinkage after several years in the field. Over a period of time some ropes have shrunk 8 to 10 feet. This fact should be considered when planning to use the life saving rope.


2.1 To lower a firefighter or another person from a roof or upper floor to a place of safety below. 2.2 To lower a firefighter from a roof or upper floor to enable him/her to remove another

firefighter or person from an untenable position.

2.3 To allow a firefighter trapped in an untenable position to remove him/herself to safety by means of a single slide.


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2.4 Communications are essential in all life saving rope operations. Often, information from the Roof Firefighter to the members operating in the building regarding the location of the victim will preclude the necessity of a life saving rope operation. This is especially true in fireproof buildings, where the victim may access a temporary area of refuge.

2.5 Communications with the Inside Team of the ladder company(s) is vital prior to any life saving rope rescue attempt. It is also critical that notification be given directly to the Incident Commander or Sector Supervisor prior to commencing a life saving rope rescue attempt. The IC must coordinate all interior operations and the life saving rope rescue attempt. The IC must determine if units are unable to place an operational hoseline between the victim and the fire in a timely manner, and if members are prevented from reaching the victim via the interior of the apartment, an adjoining apartment, a balcony or fire escape, or exterior ladders.

2.6 Upon determining that a life saving rope rescue is the only available option, the Incident

Commander may dispatch additional resources to the descent point as well as adjoining apartments and/or apartments on the floor(s) below to provide the greatest chance of a successful rescue. A life saving rope rescue must be a coordinated team effort with support coming from inside, above the victim, adjacent to the victim, and below the victim. Such coordination is only possible with clear communications.

2.7 Under no circumstances should a life saving rope evolution be attempted if: • a viable substantial object is not available

• the effectiveness of the anti-chafing device would be compromised due to building construction (protruding facades, exposure of the life saving rope to sharp surfaces)

• there are not enough members at the lowering point and at the adjoining windows or floors below to ensure a successful pick-up and retrieval of the firefighter and victim.

2.8 The life saving rope evolution shall only be attempted as a last resort when all other avenues have been eliminated. Any attempt to perform the life saving rope evolution MUST be in strict accordance with existing procedures and guidelines.


3.1 Number of turns required when using the Atlas Life Belt or Personal Harness. 3.2 Lowering of 1 person and/or use of the Single Slide... . 4 turns

3.3 Lowering of 2 people ... ... 4 turns


This life saving rope shall be used only for life saving purposes. It shall not be used for drill purposes.


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4.1 First and foremost, the life saving rope shall be used only for life saving purposes, and always with the anti-chafing device. Use of this rope for any other purpose is strictly prohibited.

4.2 A life saving rope subjected to the weight of two people shall be placed out of service forthwith and replacement requested.

4.3 Immediately after a life saving rope has been subjected to the weight of one person, the rope shall be carefully examined for any signs of damage or abrasion before being placed back in service. Proper journal entries shall be made by the company officer of the results of such examination. An entry shall also be made in red on the Life Saving Rope Record Card (RP-100). The officer, after supervising the examination of the rope, shall notify the Safety Command by telephone of the incident.

4.4 Care shall be taken to avoid wetting the life saving rope. The life saving rope can lose from 10% to 15% of its strength when wet. This loss of strength occurs when the rope is submerged in water at room temperature for twenty four hours. Whenever a rope becomes wet it shall be allowed to dry naturally before being repacked and stored on the apparatus. The rope regains its strength when it dries.

4.5 Ice particles within the strands of a rope can damage the inner fibers. Therefore, a frozen life saving rope shall be placed out of service.

4.6 Dirt on the surface and imbedded in rope acts as an abrasive to the strands and fibers. When a life saving rope becomes dirty, it shall be washed with mild soap and water. It should be allowed to dry naturally before being repacked and stored on the apparatus.

4.7 The detrimental effect of rust on nylon rope cannot be overemphasized. The life saving rope should be stored where it will not come in contact with rust. When a rust stain is found on the life saving rope, it should be immediately removed with soap and water. A persistent rust stain is a definite indication of fiber damage and a reduction in the strength of the rope. It should be placed out of service and replacement requested.

4.8 Nylon rope is susceptible to damage from acids and their fumes. Formic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid and phenol are highly destructive to nylon rope. If the rope comes in contact with acids or their fumes, it shall be placed out of service and replacement requested.

4.9 Ropes that are damaged or show signs of wear are to be put out of service and replaced. 4.10 Prolonged exposure to sunlight (ultra-violet rays) or fluorescent light is injurious to nylon

rope. Therefore, the life saving rope shall be stored where the effects of sunlight and fluorescent light are kept to a minimum.

4.11 Nylon rope when exposed to heat over 300°F will progressively lose strength, and will melt at 482°F. Rope that has been exposed to highly heated surfaces cannot be considered safe and shall be placed out of service and replacement requested.


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4.12 The life saving rope must be stored in the driest compartment on the apparatus and the carrying case must be stored in the upright position. Due to heat transmission, the rope shall never be stored on engine covers or in compartments adjacent to the engine compartment.


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4.13 When a rope is repeatedly twisted in one direction, a kink will develop. Kinks pulled through a restricted space will seriously damage a rope. A kink should be removed from a rope by rotating the rope counter to the direction of the kink. (Figure 1) Every effort shall be made to prevent a rope from kinking during its use.

Figure 1

4.14 Strand hockles develop when force is used to remove a kink in rope. A hockle is very

difficult to remove. A hockle reduces the strength of a rope by 40% to 50%. Should a hockle occur in the life saving rope, the rope should be placed out of service and replacement requested. (Figure 2)

Figure 2

4.15 All units, except Engine Companies, shall inspect and repack the Life Saving Rope every

Monday on the 9x6 tour. Engine Companies shall inspect and repack on Tuesdays on the 9x6 tour. Record the inspection on the Life Saving Rope Card (RP-100).


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4.16 Inspection shall cover the entire length of the rope. Look for cut fibers, abrasion, rust, wetness or anything that might indicate possible degradation of the rope.

4.17 This inspection should not be conducted on the apparatus floor due to the possibility of the rope coming in contact with material that might be harmful to it. Since the apparatus floor is concrete, it is a prime means of causing abrasion to the life saving rope. Abrasion is one of the primary causes of a rope losing its strength.

4.18 When any doubt exists regarding the serviceability of a life saving rope it shall be placed out of service.

4.19 A Lost Property Report (FS-112) is required for lost equipment.

4.20 A history of every life saving rope shall be maintained on the Life Saving Rope Record Card (RP-100).


5.1 Whenever the Life Saving Rope is placed out of service, the officer on duty shall notify the administrative division by telephone and fax and have it immediately replaced.

5.2 An RT-2 shall be prepared by the officer on duty and shall include the unit number, date, and reason. A copy of the RT-2 shall be retained for unit records. The officer placing the life saving rope out of service shall make entries in the Company Journal and the Office Record Journal and on the RP-100. When a new life saving rope is issued, the officer shall make an entry in the company journal, the office record journal and on a new RP-100 dedicated to the new rope. The RP-100 for the rope placed out of service shall be filed in the UFS, Section 5.3.4.

5.3 The officer must complete an Out of Service Life Safety Equipment Report (SCF-2) and forward it through the Chain of Command to the Chief of Safety. Investigation of the circumstances as stated in the report is required by the Battalion Chief on duty. A statement to this effect is required as part of the chief's endorsement.

5.4 Each division has been supplied with two (2) life saving ropes to facilitate a rapid

exchange to field units when needed. Upon notification, the administrative division will direct division messenger to deliver new life saving rope to affected unit for exchange. A copy of the RT-2 and SCF-2 report will be faxed to R&D and then attached to out of service rope. The rope shall be delivered to R&D, where a division replacement will be issued. R&D operates Monday-Friday during normal business hours. If exchange is required at other times, the division messenger will proceed to Special Operations Command (SOC), 750 Main St., Roosevelt Island, where a replacement will be issued. SOC has been issued several spare life saving ropes that can be exchanged by divisions to maintain their quota of ropes if needed.


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5.5 If the life saving rope is placed out of service due to contamination, this should be noted on the RT-2 and faxed to R&D. The contaminated rope will be retained at the unit until pick up by SOC as per the CFR-D manual. The division messenger will then report to R&D with RT-2 and SCF-2 in order to receive division replacement.


6.1 The 9/16" nylon life saving rope is stronger than any rope available today that will satisfy our needs. Given proper care and maintenance, it will provide us with a reliable life saving tool.