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Is the Petzl EXO Firefighter Escape System the same exact system as is used by the FDNY?

No. The only component within the Petzl EXO Personal Escape System that is used by the FDNY is the EXO descender.

What type of experience does All Hands Fire Equipment have in providing training for Firefighter Escape Systems?

All Hands Fire Equipment has extensive experience, having trained thousands of firefighters and having supervised/trained over 15,000 bailout slides/jumps. We have provided training for large (and small) career fire departments, including the Philadelphia PA Fire Department, Paterson NJ Fire Department, Bayonne NJ Fire Department, Wichita KS Fire Department and many more. We also also trained Large (and small) volunteer fire departments including Wayne NJ Fire Department, Pearl River NJ Fire District, Setauket NY Fire District and many more.

Can I purchase an escape system and use it at the End User training class?

According to NFPA A., escape rope is intended only for emergency self-rescue situations and cannot be used for other rope rescue situations. Escape rope is designed for one use only and destroyed after any use. Some customers or fire departments, due to budgetary constraints and financial restrictions, choose to use their escape systems for the training course and once complete, place their escape system in service. All Hands Fire Equipment and our cooperative trainers assume no responsibility in these instances. It is the manufacturer’s recommendation that Fire Departments purchase extra escape systems and use them for training purposes only. If a Fire Department chooses not to follow this recommendation, they will need to create an appropriate program to control the use of field units for training. Note that all Fire Departments who purchase escape systems are ultimately responsible for proper inspection, care and maintenance of these units and they need to take this responsibility very seriously. All Hands Fire Equipment and the manufacturer are not responsible for damages that occur on “in service” units used for training. Damages to “training” units are handled by the manufacturer on a case by case basis. With regards to life expectancy of training ropes: For reference information, the FireTech 32 rope used by FDNY on their training units becomes glazed and stiff and it needs to be changes every 200 to 300 descents under normal training use. The EXO training units themselves need to be retired after 400 to 600 descents under normal training use.
All Fire Departments need to understand that escape systems may need to be retire on the first descent if the rope, descender unit or other components get damaged on the windowsill. Proper inspection, maintenance and care is the key to a safe and successful bailout program and Fire Departments are responsible for this.

I have watched your videos on the “AllHandsFire” YouTube channel and have seen photographs of your Firefighter Escape Systems training. I notice that you instruct your students to “walk” down the wall versus descending vertically with their toes either facing downward or against the wall. Can you explain what the difference is?

Both methods – walking down the wall and a vertical descent – are acceptable methods. There are PRO’s and CON’s to each. Our manufacturer-approved programs teach that the “walking down” method, as our staff of over 30 instructors feel that it is the safest method. We have taught and seen this method proven through the more than 20,000 bailout slides that we have supervised.
Descending vertically (toes against the wall)
– May introduce slack in the line IF the user comes to a ledge or similar building fixture and offsets their weight. Introducing slack could allow the anchor to come loose and/or detach its hold
– May cause less “stress” on the anchor
Setting Feet and Walking Down Wall
– Allows user to gain composure to reduce uncontrolled and possible free-fall
– Allows user to “walk down” wall, see where they are going and maneuver around obstructions, such as an AC units

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