About the FDNY rope rescue and fire: from the IC, Manhattan, New York, US
The following about the Manhattan fire and rope rescue. At the FDNY, the Citywide Commander duty is rotated among the staff chiefs and each does a 24 hour shift approximately twice monthly. On Saturday, 5 November 2022, the Chief of the 9th Battalion arrived on the initial box and had command, then the 3rd Division Deputy Chief, an EMS Deputy Assistant Chief and then the CWTC as the IC as a large-scale incident. It should be noted that the four Chiefs ran the incident together, in a unified command fashion. (Note: Both the Chief of EMS Training and the Chief of Training, noted above, happen to be on duty that day-and the value of them being in the heart of it can only benefit the job, as well as all of us learning for our own departments.)
Simply a proud day for the FDNY. The video (below) of the rescues says it all.
A quick recap of the rope rescue
The first fire fighter from Ladder 16 descends from the 21st floor to apartment 20F. This fire fighter quickly realises that additional equipment is needed and relays this information to the members above.
A second fire fighter, also from Ladder 16 is the next fire fighter out the window on a separate rope. Shortly thereafter a third fire fighter, from Rescue 1 is lowered down. This fire fighter has a Halligan. With the second and third fire fighters now approaching the 20th floor; the first fire fighter from Ladder 16 continues his descent and goes into the 19th floor window.
With the two fire fighters now in front of the trapped victims; the fire fighter from Ladder 16 grabs and securely holds the victim while the fire fighter from Rescue 1 frees the trapped victim using the Halligan. With the weight of the first victim now on the fire fighter from Ladder 16, they are lowered to the 19th floor window.
The fire fighter from Rescue 1 then removes a second female victim on rope and they too are lowered to the 19th floor. With three fire fighters and two victims now safely secured on the 19th floor; a fourth fire fighter (from Ladder 2 ) is lowered to the 20th floor.
While he is descending, the engine companies working in the fire apartment get water on the fire and this life-saving rope evolution is aborted by Division 3. The fire fighter from Ladder 2 is lowered to the 19th floor and safely enters the window. This concluded the life saving rope rescues.
Perhaps lost in these heroic actions is the fact that the elevators stopped working early in the operation requiring the members to walk up the 20 flights of stairs and THEN execute multiple life saving rope rescues. The engine and ladder companies worked aggressively under punishing conditions to make their way into the apartment to gain control with failing lithium ion batteries exacerbating fire conditions.
Their efforts prevented the need for a third person to be removed via rope.
Some of our EMS personnel were staged inside the building and administered hydroxocobalamin to victims who met criteria; this further saved lives with earlier medical intervention. The command element was set up, including command presence. Sectors were established early and were beneficial to the overall operation.
Public fire safety messages
=Closed doors save lives
=Listen to fire fighters AND dispatchers when you call 911; often they will provide information that can save your life
=Know the type of building you reside in; there may be different actions to take depending on building type.
Overall an outstanding team effort that reiterates their training, teamwork and the winning mindset.
Radio traffic and command post video
More opportunities to learn.
Sources: FDNY, Firefighter Close Calls