Often the only way to safely reach a victim to render emergency care is for a rescuer to be lowered to their location via a rope. Similarly, rope rescue systems are also used to bring a victim to safety. Whether a rescue needs to be made 150 feet down an embankment or 20 feet into a confined space, SBVFD members receive advanced training in rope rescue operations. Rope rescue techniques and equipment are very often used in other rescue disciplines, such as confined space rescue operations, swiftwater rescue operations and even to rescue a down firefighter. Rope rescue training is often the first program taught to new members of the Technical Rescue Team. Members learn the proper use of life safety rope and how to tie a variety of knots.
Rope rescue involves the use of specially designed equipment including static kern-mantle rope, anchoring and belaying devices, friction rappel devices and various other devices to utilize mechanical advantage for hauling systems.
Equally important to the devices used to create the rope system is the hardware used to securely package a patient so that they can be hauled to safety. SBVFD members receive additional training in the use of patient extrication and packaging devices for rope rescue operations including the stokes basket, Reeves Sleeve and other appliances.