CSR2 Pulley System

Monday, March 21, 2016

By Josh Hill, Technical Equipment Manager for Roco Rescue

The CSR2 pulley system by CMC has been redesigned and includes many improvements. Its performance is quite impressive. The pulleys are milled from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum, which provides a lighter yet stronger piece of hardware. Couple this with anodized sheaves and sealed bearings and you have a highly efficient system at your disposal.

CSR2 Pulley System

The patented locking system is the most impressive feature of the pulley system. The locking mechanism eliminates the use of a toothed cam or prusiks for capture and can easily be released under load with positive control for maximum safety. 

The pulleys also incorporate a thrust-bearing swivel, which reduces torque by aligning the pulleys with the load as well as eliminating twisting in the system for maximum efficiency. 

Although the side plates are fixed, which requires rope to be threaded through the pulleys, the addition of the side becket allows for easy change out of rescue rope even with sewn terminations.

The CSR2 pulley system is a great addition to any rescue cache’ especially when utilized as a pre-built block and tackle system. The efficiency of the system with ½” (12.5mm) rescue rope is well worth mentioning. The locking system is amazingly easy to operate and makes the transition from hauling to lowering under load seamless.

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Service Life Guidelines for Rescue Equipment

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Regardless of the stated service life, the condition of equipment–as determined through inspection by a qualified party – is a key factor in determining whether or not a piece of equipment is fit for service.

THIS INSPECTION PROCESS OFFERS GUIDELINES FOR KEEPING EQUIPMENT IN SERVICE OR RETIRING IT.

Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentDepending on the manufacturer, you will find varying specifications for service life of rescue equipment. For example, Petzl specifically defines the “potential” service life of plastic or textile products to be no longer than 10 years. It states indefinite for metallic products. CMC, on the other hand, does not give specified times for their equipment stating, “The service life of equipment used for rescue depends greatly on the type of use and the environment of use. Because these factors vary greatly, a precise service life of the equipment cannot be provided.” However, in reference to harnesses, CMC’s cites ASTM F1740-96 as the industry standard for service life. SMC follows along the lines of CMC when stating the amount of time a product can stay in service.

Although the definition of “equipment lifespan” is very broad depending on the manufacturer, each will provide specific instructions on proper inspection of equipment and detailed explanations on when to the retire service item.

Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentMost manufacturers follow the same general guidelines for removing equipment from service. Several general identifiers that pertain to all equipment are shown below. 

Download Roco's Quick Checklist for your convenience. →

REASONS FOR EQUIPMENT RETIREMENT INCLUDE:

  • Item fails to pass any pre/post use or competent person inspection.
  • Item has been subjected to a major fall or load.
  • Item is constructed of plastic or textile material and is older than 10 years.
  • You cannot determine the complete full-use history of item.
  • You are not certain or have lost confidence in the equipment.

Most manufacturers will provide service for equipment items that are repairable. However, most caution against this because the cost of repair typically exceeds the cost of replacement. Any repairs attempted outside of the manufacturer may void any warranty and will release the manufacturer from any liability or responsibility. In addition, all manufacturers recommend destroying equipment once it has been retired from service to prevent items from inadvertently being recycled back into active service gear.

Manufacturers also provide indicators for different types of equipment that require it to be retired from service. These are not only capturing the general conditions mentioned above, but also bring in conditions that are specific to each category of equipment. It is important to identify these specific conditions as they are vital to the dependability and functionality of each component.

Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentHarnesses:

Harnesses are one of the most vital components of life safety equipment. Without a certified harness in serviceable condition, the best life safety rope and hardware in pristine condition will do little to protect the user. All individuals who are required to wear harnesses to perform duties should be trained and authorized in the inspection process. Harnesses should be inspected before and after use as well as once annually by an individual deemed a competent person by the facility or department.

Since harnesses are a nylon product, they fall under the guidelines set forth by ASTM consensus standard F1740-96 and have a service life of 10 years. Manufacturers also state that hard or excessive use – as well as the conditions when a harness is used – may significantly reduce its service life. It is important to conduct routine inspections as well as keep records of harness use. This “usage” history could indicate signs that would require the equipment to be retired early.

Here are some conditions to help identify when it’s time to retire your life safety harness:

  • The harness has surpassed 10 years since the manufacture date.
  • Webbing shows signs of cuts, significantly worn or frayed areas, soft or hard spots.
  • Webbing shows signs of discolored or melted fibers.
  • Stitching shows signs of pulled threads, abrasion or breaks.
  • Hardware shows signs of damage, sharp edges, excessive wear or improper function.
  • If the harness has been subjected to shock loads, fall loads, or abuse.
  • If there is any doubt about the integrity of the harness.
  • If the harness demonstrates any of these conditions, it should be removed from service and destroyed.
Service Life Guidelines for Rescue Equipment
Life Safety Rope, Webbing, Anchor Straps, Accessory Cord:

Since these products are nylon or textile based as well, they fall under the same inspection process as harnesses. A complete inspection of life safety rope and associated products includes not only a visual inspection but a tactile (or touch) inspection as well. The tactile inspection should be done with tension on the rope, webbing or strap. 

The inspector is looking to identify any of the following conditions:

  • Chafed, glazed or discolored surfaces (these areas should receive a more thorough inspection).
  • Abrasions or cuts in the sheath where the core is exposed.
  • Variation of diameter of the rope that could indicate potential damage to the core fibers.
  • Soft or hard spots that could indicate core damage or that the fibers have been over stressed.
  • If the rope has been subjected to shock loads, fall loads or abuse.

If any of these conditions are noted, then the item should be retired and destroyed immediately. It is important to remember that an accurate history should be maintained for all life safety rope products. The date of manufacture should be identified and recorded as products are being put into service. Equipment inspectors or users should ensure that these products do not exceed their service life. As with harnesses, the amount, type and conditions of use can drastically reduce the service life of these products.

Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentCarabiners:

Since carabiners are metallic, they do not fall under the ASTM service life recommendation of 10 years. As long as these products are in serviceable condition and properly maintained, they have an infinite service life. Even though they do not have a dedicated service life term, it is still important to conduct the same pre/post use and annual inspections. 

Some conditions that would require the equipment, such as carabiners, to be retired from service include:

  • Carabiner has been dropped a significant distance.
  • Exposed to heat sufficient enough to alter the surface appearance.
  • Cracks, distortion or deep gouges.
  • Corrosion or deep pitted rust. (Note: Surface rust may be removed with a fine abrasive cloth and coated with a preservative such as LPS #1.)
  • Sharp edges that could cause damage to life safety rope (minor edges may be smoothed with the same process as rust removal).
  • Gate does not line up when closed.
  • Gate action does not return to closed position when opened and released.
  • Locking mechanism does not fully engage.
  • Complete history of use cannot be determined.
  • If any of these conditions exist, the equipment should be removed from service and destroyed. Records of use and inspection should be kept on these items even though the service life of the product is infinite.
Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentPulleys:

Pulleys, as with carabiners, are metallic in construction and do not have a service life recommendation. They will also have an infinite service life as long as they are in serviceable condition and are properly maintained. Pulleys fall under the same inspection requirements as carabiners. 

Below are some conditions that would require such equipment to be removed from service:

  • Pulley has been dropped a significant distance.
  • Exposed to heat sufficient enough to alter the surface appearance.
  • Cracks, dents or elongation at the carabiner hole on side plates.
  • Corrosion or deep pitted rust. (Note: Surface rust may be removed with a fine abrasive cloth and coated with a preservative such as LPS #1.)
  • Deep scratches or gouges to side plates or sheave(s).
  • Sharp edges that could cause damage to life safety rope (minor edges may be smoothed with the same process as rust removal).
  • Side plates that do not line up at the carabiner hole.
  • Elongation of the side plates at the sheave pin.
  • Side plates that do not move freely.
  • Sheave does not turn freely or significantly rubs against side plate.
  • If the item has been subjected to shock loads, fall loads or abuse.
  • If the history of use or manufacture date cannot be determined.

If any of these conditions exist, the equipment should be removed from service and destroyed. Records of use and inspection should be kept on these items even though the service life of the product is infinite.

Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentDeScent control devices:

Descent control devices, if metallic, do not have a service life recommendation. If the device is constructed of plastic or other textile material, it will have a service life not to exceed 10 years. 

Below are some conditions that would require this equipment to be removed from service:

  • Cracks, deformations or elongation to any portion of the device.
  • Corrosion or deep pitted rust. (Note: Surface rust may be removed with a fine abrasive cloth and coated with a preservative such as LPS #1.)
  • Deep scratches or gouges to any portion of the device.
  • Sharp edges that could cause damage to life safety rope (minor edges may be smoothed with the same process as rust removal).
  • Excessive wear to friction surfaces or cam (see wear indicator on some devices).
  • If the device has been subjected to shock loads, fall loads or abuse.
  • If the history of use or manufacture date cannot be determined.

If any of these conditions exist, the equipment should be removed from service and destroyed. Records of use and inspection should be kept on these items throughout their service life.

Service Life Guidelines for Rescue EquipmentAscenders:

As with previously mentioned equipment, the same inspection procedures apply to ascenders. 

Below are some of the conditions that would require ascenders to be removed from service:

  • Cracks, deformations or elongation to any portion of the device.
  • Corrosion or deep pitted rust. (Note: Surface rust may be removed with a fine abrasive cloth and coated with a preservative such as LPS #1.)
  • Deep scratches or gouges to any portion of the device.
  • Sharp edges that could cause damage to life safety rope (minor edges may be smoothed with the same process as rust removal).
  • Fouled teeth on cam (handled type ascenders).
  • Excessive wear to surface of cam.
  • Damage to rivets (if applicable).

If any of these conditions exist, the equipment should be removed from service and destroyed. Records of use and inspection should be kept on these items throughout their service life.

Service history is an extremely important part of ensuring life safety equipment is properly maintained and that service life is not exceeded. Not only does this help rescue teams control inventory and operational capability of equipment by documenting each use and inspection, it also assists the teams in forecasting budget costs for the replacement of items that are nearing the end of their service life.

Maintaining records of the manufacturer’s information received when purchasing new equipment is vital to identifying and keeping track of the manufacture date. It is also important to keep this information on file for the exact procedures for inspecting and removing equipment from service. If the manufacture date of equipment, such as life safety rope and harnesses, cannot be identified; it poses extreme liability for agencies or facilities whose teams may potentially be operating with equipment that has passed its service life. It could also create a compromise in the safe operation of the equipment. Also, if record-keeping of equipment inspection and use is not a primary focus, it could potentially expose team members to operating with unsafe equipment due to abuse or excessive/extreme conditions that go undetected.

All team members should be qualified and knowledgeable enough to perform pre- and post-use inspections of equipment. It is crucial that all members document each use of equipment, denote any deficiencies, and report to the proper person. One person should be designated to perform the competent person annual inspection. This person should have complete knowledge of the equipment and inspection procedures as well as the authority to keep or remove equipment from service as they see fit. If team members are unable to fill this role, a qualified third party with applicable manufacturer certifications in competent person inspection should be brought in to assist in determining the condition and estimated service life of rescue equipment. For assistance from our rescue equipment professionals, call us at 800-647-7626.

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Annual Equipment Inspections for Rescue Teams

Monday, September 14, 2015

Roco is now offering an on-site inspection service for rescue gear used by emergency response teams. Save time and manpower by having our rescue professionals perform your annual equipment inspections.

Benefits include:

    • • Certified personnel to inspect equipment to manufacturer's standards
    • • Inspection documentation from an independent third party
    • • Frees your personnel from the responsibility of equipment inspections

This service will include a “sight and touch” functional inspection of hardware, nylon products (including rope, webbing, and anchoring components), harnesses, and accessory equipment (including litters and stretchers) utilized in confined space/high angle applications. The inspection will be conducted in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and will satisfy the requirement for an annual1 inspection by a competent person.

Annual Equipment Inspections for Rescue TeamsReporting documentation will include pertinent information such as the manufacturer, product number, and serial/lot number (where applicable), date of manufacture, and in-service date (when available). It will also include the results of pass/fail testing for both visual and functional inspection. All equipment deemed unsuitable for use will be tagged for removal from service. 

A full report of findings will be provided to include storage conditions, accessibility of equipment to responders, and any other recommendations to improve overall team performance. 

Annual Equipment Inspections for Rescue TeamsRescue team members are encouraged to attend this inspection where they will receive information on proper pre- and post-use inspections for their equipment. Guidance can be also offered in areas of equipment care, inspection, record-keeping, and proper storage. Please note that equipment recommendations will NOT be provided unless requested to do so.

For more information or to schedule dates, call us at 800-647-7626 or email info@RocoRescue.com.


References include: 1926.502 Appendix C; ANSI Z359.2 Section 5.5.2 Inspections; ASTM Rope Inspection Guide; NFPA 1983 Section 5.2; ANSI Z359.11 Annex A (harnesses); and ANSI Z359.4 Section 6.1.

NOTICE: The client remains responsible for ensuring that all guidelines and requirements for maintaining and, where indicated, removal of equipment from service, are followed. This includes removing equipment from service anytime there is a situation or incident that occurs during handling, training, or rescue, that might have caused damage or otherwise compromised the integrity of the equipment, particularly where internal damage that is not visible might be present (e.g. equipment dropped from height, exposure of nylon products to chemicals or other potentially degrading substances, etc.). Client will be required to complete a certification that between Roco inspections, the equipment was properly stored, was available only to personnel trained to use the equipment properly, and that any equipment that was exposed to any condition or occurrence that could have resulted in hidden damage has been removed from service. A company representative, preferably someone from the rescue team, must be present during the inspection process.
 
 
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Firefighter Council Releases PPE Guidance Videos

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Firefighter Council Releases PPE Guidance Videos The National Volunteer Fire Council has released six new videos on the proper use and maintenance of personal protective equipment for firefighters.

The short videos, available on both NVFC's YouTube channel and its equipment resources webpage, cover the following topics: The importance of PPE during overhaul, PPE cleaning guidelines, Guidance on replacing PPE, Protective clothing and equipment standards, Securing grants for PPE and New PPE regulatory standards. 

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VFD Acquires Rescue Equipment Through Firehouse Subs Foundation

Monday, November 24, 2014

VFD Acquires Rescue Equipment Through Firehouse Subs FoundationMore than $15,000 in fire rescue equipment was donated to a local volunteer fire department in Washington, WV through the Firehouse Subs Foundation.

The equipment for the Washington Bottom department is for confined areas such as off-road, industrial and water-related accidents. And the department's members are already trained to use it.

"It's nice to know we have the people with the knowledge, the skills, and now, the equipment to use the equipment properly," said Fire Chief K.C. Lindner. "We have the folks who have spent the many hours training and perfecting it. Now, we have the equipment to use."

 


Picture above: Roco Student, Ryan Goldsmith demonstrating the rope rescue equipment.

Money for the donations comes from the purchase of Firehouse's used pickle barrels by its customers.

The chain has been providing equipment to first responders for nearly a decade.

Story source: http://www.thenewscenter.tv/news/headlines/Fighting-Fire-With-Firehouse-283402671.html 

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