Rescue Equipment FAQ

Rescue Equipment FAQ


1. Can I use my fall arrest harness as a rescue harness?
2. What is the difference between a fall arrest harness and a rescue harness?
3. Can the front, sternal “D” ring of a rescue harness by used for fall protection?
4. What are the differences between classes of harnesses as stated in NFPA 1983?
5. Are shoulder “D” ring attachments a good idea for confined space work?


1. What is kernmantle rope?
2. What is the difference between static, low-stretch, and Dynamic rope?
3. What is the difference between polyester, nylon, and aramid rope construction?
4. Which rope diameter is better for rescue, ½ inch or 7/16 inch?
5. Should a lightly-used rope (that passes visual inspection) be retired once it reaches a certain age?
6. Is there a rope manufactured that is arc-flash rated and/or di-electric rated?
7. What does the term “handle” mean when considering rope?
8. What does “fall factor” mean, and why is this a rope consideration?

Rope Grabs

1. What is a rope grab and what types of rope grabs are available? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
2. Will a rope grab work on any type of rope?
3. Can a rope grab cut a rope if too much stress is applied?
4. What are the advantages of sewn prusik loops compared with tied prusik loops?


1. How are carabiners designed to be loaded?
2. Are rescue carabiners rated for loading the gate (minor axis)?
3. How strong does the gate (minor axis) of a carabiner need to be if the gate is not designed to be side loaded in the first place?
4. Isn’t 3-stage locking carabiners preferred over 2-stage, and screw-lock carabiners?
5. What is the pros and cons when comparing steel carabiners with aluminum carabiners?


1. What types of descenders are available and how do you know which one to choose?
2. What is "anti-panic"?
3. Will a descender work on any type of rope? What about the rope diameter?
5. What anchor position options are there for descending?


1. What are the differences between ascenders and rope grabs?
2. Should ascending skills be required by rescue personnel?
3. Can ascenders be used for belaying?


1. What makes a one pulley more efficient than another?
2. What is a PMP (Prusik-Minding-Pulley)?
3. Can carabiners be used as pulleys?
4. Is the fire service required to use only pulleys rated to NFPA 1983 General Use?


1. Is there a single helmet the fits all rescue needs?
2. What rescue helmets should we look for when considering the fire rescue/service?
3. How does OSHA and ANSI classify hard hats and helmets?


1. Is there a single headlamp that fits all needs?
2. Are permanently helmet mounted headlamps preferred to removable ones?
G November 9, 2016
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