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Chapter 15 Ropes and Knots.

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1 Chapter 15 Ropes and Knots

2 Introduction Rope is one of the most important and routinely used tools in the fire service In this chapter, you will learn: How to select the proper rope The proper uses of rope in fire service The essential skill of knot tying How to properly inspect, maintain, and store rope

3 Rope Materials and Their Characteristics
Constructed of a wide variety of materials Each material has different characteristics Earliest ropes were made of natural materials The fire service has re-examined the type of rope materials being utilized as life safety lines

4 Natural Materials Materials that fall into this category
Manila, sisal, and cotton Share same poor characteristics with regard to: Rot Mildew Abrasion resistance Natural deterioration Low shock load absorption capability

5 Figure 15-2 Type 1 manila rope.

6 Synthetic Materials Primary synthetic materials utilized:
Nylon Polypropylene Polyethylene Polyester Today, ropes made of these are the rule rather than the exception High strength-to-weight ratio

7 Figure 15-6 Brightly colored polyethylene rope floating on water.

8 Construction Methods and Their Characteristics
Natural fiber ropes dominating fire service were constructed using laid method Modern ropes utilize a number of different construction techniques Two broad categories: Static Dynamic

9 Laid (Twisted) Most common type of construction for natural fiber ropes Formed by twisting individual fibers together to form strands or bundles Tends to accentuate spinning and twisting Advantage is that all fibers are exposed Easy to inspect Exposed fibers also susceptible to damage

10 Figure 15-7 Example of laid construction method.

11 Braided Utilized predominantly with synthetic fibers
Formed by weaving small bundles of fibers together, much the same as braided hair Smooth to touch, high flexibility Does not accentuate spinning Every fiber exposed to abrasion, sunlight, and physical damage

12 Braid-on-Braid Formed by braiding a sheath over a smaller braided core
Ropes of this kind are quite dynamic Soft sheath more susceptible to damage from abrasion Figure Example of braid-on-braid construction method.

13 Kernmantle Kern is a derivative of the term kernel
Mantle is defined as “anything that cloaks, envelops, covers, or conceals” Kern carries vast majority of load Can be dynamic or static depending on configuration of fibers of kern Quite resistant to abrasion

14 Figure Example of kernmantle construction method with the outer kern cut and pulled back at the end, showing the inner mantle section.

15 Primary Uses Fire service utilizes ropes on a regular basis
Operations divided into two classifications: Utility Safety Firefighter should be familiar with department standard rope use

16 Utility Rope used for utility purposes has no governing standards
Firefighters must take extra precautions when using utility rope Firefighters should become familiar with common uses within their own department

17 Firefighting and Rescue Uses
Ropes for structural search and rescue guide ropes do not fall into category of life safety ropes Ropes, harnesses, and hardware utilized anywhere there will be life supported must comply with NFPA 1983 NFPA 1983 categorizes life safety ropes as: Light-use General-use NFPA 1983 also sets tensile strength requirements for each

18 Fire Service Knots Each service will have preferred methods and knots
Consult local protocol, policies or SOPs to find which knots expected for various situations Some knots introduced with switch to synthetic fibers

19 Terms Used for Rope and Knots
Three separate and distinct parts of a rope: Working end Standing part Running end Firefighters need to know terms used to describe elements combined to form knots

20 Figure 15-12 The three parts of a rope: working end, standing part, and running end.

21 Figure 15-13 Left to right: a round turn, a bight, and a loop
Figure Left to right: a round turn, a bight, and a loop. Take the loose end of the working end after tying the primary knot, and secure it by making a round turn around the standing knot and bringing the loose end through. Make a round turn in the standing portion of the rope, and slide the round turn down over the object being hoisted.

22 Knots Dressing: make sure parts of the knot are lying in the proper orientation to other parts Setting: make sure knot is snug in all directions Most commonly used: Half hitch and overhand (safety) knot Clove hitch Becket bend and double becket bend Bowline knot and figure eight knots Rescue knot and water knot

23 (A) (B) Figure (A) A loose and sloppy knot. (B) A knot properly dressed and set.

24 Inspection All ropes must be inspected and properly maintained
Inspections should be a matter of department policy Life safety rope found damaged must be removed from service Ropes should be inspected along their entire length

25 Figure 15-16 It is very important that rope is inspected as it is being put back into a rope bag.

26 Laid (Twisted) Firefighters should look and feel for:
Foreign matter Slippery spots Voids in center fibers Stiff or hard spots and soft spots Laid ropes should be untwisted at random intervals to inspect between strands

27 Figure 15-18 It is important to twist apart a laid rope to inspect between strands.

28 Braided Should be visually and tactilely inspected as well
Inspecting inside is not possible All strands appear on the surface somewhere along the rope

29 Braid-on-Braid When inspecting braid-on-braid rope, there is no way to see the inside braided rope Pay attention to tactile inspection Watch and feel for damage Outside braid will sometimes slip over the inner braid causing the rope to invert Immediately remove from service Outside braid represents 50 percent of strength

30 Kernmantle Cannot see kern portion
Represents 75 percent of total strength of rope Tactile inspection is best and only way to discover damage to kern Key is to search for a different feel Flat spots, voids, bunches, stiffness, and limpness

31 Maintenance Maintenance of ropes is not difficult
Firefighter may be called on to assist with placing new rope into service Carefully adhere to manufacturer's instructions

32 Cleaning Follow manufacturer's instructions
Brush dirt off natural materials; do not use water Lose 50 percent of strength when wet Do not regain strength when dry Ropes manufactured from synthetic materials can be cleaned in a number of ways Hand wash Rope washer Clothes washing machine

33 Figure 15-24 A kernmantle rope can also be “chained” and washed in a front-loading washing machine.

34 Drying Rope must be completely dried prior to storage
Different drying methods: Lay flat to dry Hang to dry Use clothing dryer with extreme caution Even a low temperature setting could surpass manufacturer’s recommendations

35 Storage Quick identification is important
Type Length Different material types, sizes, or colors of bags or tags can be used to differentiate Each department needs to establish policy Standard coiling Utilization of special bags

36 Figure 15-27 The two most common methods of storing life safety ropes (bagged or coiled).

37 Rigging for Hoisting One of the primary uses of rope on emergency scene Much smaller rope can be utilized Can be stored bagged or coiled Some departments have policies governing the use of tag/guide lines

38 Specific Tools and Equipment
Small figure eight on a bight with half hitch up handle is easiest and quickest way to hoist an ax Pike poles should be hoisted point up Hoselines can be hoisted charged or uncharged Power tools have closed handles or support pieces Ladders are hoisted on regular basis

39 Securing a Rope between Two Objects
Need to secure a rope between two objects may arise at any emergency scene Rope may be used as a barrier using one of two methods Figure eight on a bight may be used to secure an anchor point

40 Lessons Learned Ropes have many uses
Fire service uses ropes on a regular basis Experience is the most effective teacher Firefighters are encouraged to practice the basics learned Maintenance of rope is not difficult or complicated

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