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11 Story Rappel - Emergency Office Escape


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#1 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:03 PM

Ok, I have a survival situation for you and this one is actually a possibility. I work in DC, just a few blocks from the Capitol and lately I've been thinking that I don't have a real escape plan ready. (Oh and the topic of a 'get home bag' is coming up, I want some input on that, but not for now)

 

The only real option right now is the stairwell. Well, as a recent fire drill pointed out, getting down 11 stories is not fast. Even with no real threat, we were at a gridlock. 

 

As I was getting a breath of fresh air on the roof, it dawned on me. I can rappel from the roof! Well, I mean, theoretically. But that's where you guys come in.

 

I need to know the best way to get down 11 stories. Maybe it's not by rappelling but donning a parachute or something. And you may laugh at the parachute idea but check this out.    

 

Anyway, rappelling is probably the best idea because I have a solid anchor point and it's a straight shot down. But what's the fastest/simplest way to go about this.

 

I enjoy climbing and rappelling but I haven't done a lot of it so I don't have any gear. I'm thinking the best thing would be to wear the Ultimate Riggers Belt from 215 gear and keep a carabiner, descender, and rope at the office. But what kind of carabiner, descender and rope (and how much of it) so I need? 

 

Here are some pics of the rooftop. Feel free to hit me up with any questions. I look forward to your tips! 

 

Here is the Ultimate Riggers Belt from 215 Gear

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Here is the Enhanced Riggers Belt from 215 Gear

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#2 papa_tango

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:40 PM

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Edited by CENTCOMSurvivor, 02 February 2011 - 04:54 PM.

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#3 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:58 PM

Hahah, love it!

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#4 CENTCOMSurvivor

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:06 PM

North American Rescue makes a Tactical Bail-Out Kit.  There is a video HERE toward the bottom. I think a commercial story is about 10 or 11 feet so you would need over 100' of rope.  Maybe you could get your boss to install one of these. On a side note this is a good example of why you should never get a hotel room past the third floor.

Edited by CENTCOMSurvivor, 02 February 2011 - 05:24 PM.

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#5 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:13 AM

Thanks Eric, I like the idea of an all in one solution!

What do you guys think of just the riggers belt with rope, carabiners, and a descender? I really know nothing on the subject.

Surfing around Tactical Distributors I saw they sell something from Petzl called the 'Pirana Descender.' It looks pretty cool because you can install it on the rope without removing it from the harness.

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Would this work for me? How much rope do I need (100-150 feet)? What kind of (and how many) carabiners do I need?

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#6 spenceman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:08 PM

I recommend a the classic Rescue 8 descender.They're kind of big, but the size helps heat dissipate which is a good thing when descending rapidly, anyway keep that and a carabiner pre-loaded on your rope (with about 10 feet of working room) so you just need to clip in and go. Other than that stuff the rope in a big throw bag and put a 'biner through a figure 8 knot at your working end so you can rapidly hook onto a good anchor. I'm pretty sure CentcomSurvivor is right about the 10-11 feet per story, but I would plan on 16 feet per story to be safe, newer structures can have quite a bit of space above the drop ceiling for ducting and such. As far as carabiner's go, I like Omega Pacific Jake/Tactical Jake autolockers. They're big and the gate opens at a slight angle so you get a slightly bigger opening.

Edited by spenceman, 04 February 2011 - 12:11 PM.

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#7 Scuba CN

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:22 AM

Even though I don't have any experience in rappeling, it seems to me that you also need a pair of rappel of fast rope gloves. I agree with spenceman about having everything in the system ready for use so all you have to do is anchor and go.

#8 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:50 AM

Thanks guys, as far as gloves go, can you recommend any? I just saw these ones by Petzl on TacticalDistributors.com and they seem decent enough. Posted Image

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#9 spenceman

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:14 AM

Friends of mine that have been attached to Force Recon just use oversize welding gloves. They put a big zip-tie loop through the wrist of the glove, and then they put their hands through the loop and into the glove, that way when they get to the bottom they can fling the gloves off (either to get the hot leather away from their hands or to quickly regain control of their weapon) and still retain the gloves. If nothing else it will save you $20. Here's a link to a 200ft capacity throw bag for about $25http://www.columbussupply.com/products/?productid=1682200ft of static rope runs about $150, but maybe less if you shop around.

Edited by spenceman, 06 February 2011 - 08:26 AM.

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#10 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:40 AM

Oh by the way, what carabiners do you recommend? Should I be looking with any specific style?

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#11 spenceman

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:02 PM

As far as carabiner's go, I like Omega Pacific Jake/Tactical Jake autolockers. They're big and the gate opens at a slight angle so you get a slightly bigger opening. The main thing is just to use locking carabiners they are stronger and are intended for belay devices and descenders, but OP Jakes are my favorite.

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#12 Maverick9110e

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:31 PM

Definitley look at the Bail out type kits for the fire service.  I used to carry a kit like that in my left leg pocket.  I had a harness built into my gear with a caribeaner on it so i can clip the rope onto something rap it around my harness beaner and out the window i go if need be.  Now i'm sure you could device something similar up with that riggers belt for emergency's.  Basically a rope with a caribeaner at the end of it Preferably an auto lock so in case you panic and forget to screw the gate closed, and then keep an extra beaner in your pocket or somewhere you can clip onto your riggers belt.  Again i reccomend an auto locker style beaner.  When the SHTF you grab your rope bag (coiled beforehand to come out properly with the beaner end hanging out already) clip onto something drop your other beaner into your riggers belt, wrap the rope around your rigging belt harness properly adn decend down.  It takes some practice, espescially wrapping your caribeaner properly (i'll try and find a youtube video or something for you) but once you figure it out and get it down, its about the fastest, no frills way to get the hell out of dodge in a hurry. Also that extra beaner can come in handy if your in a smoke filled room and need to drag someone but thats another story for another time. 

#13 Maverick9110e

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:34 PM

Something like this is what i was reffering to: http://www.thefirestore.com/store/product.cfm/pid_1118_brandywine_personal_escape_bag/ They have a couple different options: http://www.thefirestore.com/store/category.cfm/cid_84452_escape_systems/ And for the LOVE OF GOD, if you remeber one thing about your rope.  If it's a life saftey rope (which this would be) It's a 1 time use rope.  1 TIME. if you ever use it for anything get rid of it, or use it as utility rope. 

#14 spenceman

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 01:52 AM

One more very important thing, put a nice fat knot at the bottom end of the rope, just in case the building is taller than you thought.
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#15 Maverick9110e

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:07 AM

One other thing,  Get some good Pants.  Those Belt lops are gonna have to do a hell of a lot of work.

#16 CENTCOMSurvivor

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:07 AM

Great points, sounds like we need a ITS article on the subject.

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#17 walrus61

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:15 AM

Maybe you should look also take a look at that: http://www.petzl.com/us/pro/verticality/descenders/exo-individual-evacuation-system-0/exo-eashook Petzl is a good manufacturer of climbing and rescue equipment.
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#18 Irishmanlost

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:59 AM

For a descender you would probably want some sort of figure of eight descender, I'd personally recommend DMM's Cardiac Arrester as it's harder for the rope to twist with it. As for rope static line is generally fine for abseiling. Of course the length is dependent on the height of the building. Also get some climbing cord and tie a prussik loop just incase you may need to ascend the rope for some reason. You may want to invest in a rope bag for quickly launching the rope off of the building. For the anchor you will need three locking carabiners (proper climbing ones) and a section of webbing. Here is a link for constructing rappeling anchors:   http://pages.uoregon...cs/anchors.html Personally I wouldn't use a riggers belt but would go for a light, cheap harness such as this one: http://www.rei.com/product/699550 ( I think REI is the main outdoor shop in the US ?), a harness would be safer and you could keep all your gear on it for quick access. I have a pair of petzl cordex gloves for belaying and abseiling and they work very well. So if you want go for those petzl gloves. For carabiners just use non-locking snapgates or clipgates for attaching things to your harness and for attaching the prussik knot to your harness. For clipping in use a locking carabiner such as the petzl locker, I wouldn't recommend an autolocking carabiner for clipping into your descender, they are prone to failure. but really it's your choice as they are a lot faster. I would also recommend to put  a small headlight into your kit as if you get caught at night you will need it. You will need your hands free.If you haven't climbed in a while and time and money permits I would advise taking some basic climbing lessons at your local wall just to brush up your skills. Okay, I think that's everything. Hope that's proven helpful. Anymore questions feel free to ask or send a message.
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#19 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for the info @Irishmanlost! A full harness is probably a much better idea. Have you used this one? Is the quality pretty good? Oh and @walrus61, here is a video of the EXO in action:  Thanks or all the help with this guys! Maybe we'll get Bryan to come out to DC and rappel from my building! Haha!
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#20 CENTCOMSurvivor

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:53 AM

EXO looks pretty neat.  That would give you more options in case you had to go back up a floor to a window or something. 

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