Many people fail to see the significance of a rope except as the bigger version of a string with yarns twisted together, for the purpose of pulling hard to move items. However, for emergency responders, a rope is viewed as an emergency device often used to help save lives and property.
For many years, climbers have brought along emergency ropes for steep and treacherous inclines as well as caves. Emergency responders have also been utilizing ropes to access locations that do not accommodate the use of ladders or aerial equipment. The emergency rope that is usually attached to the harness helps responders to climb or descend into areas deemed as difficult to maneuver. The support received from the rope eliminates the chances of them falling while responding to an emergency. Even though it is highly unlikely that anyone will fall, two ropes are used as added precautionary measure.
A technical rescue is one that goes beyond the daily or anticipated rescue tasks usually undertaken by fire fighting personnel and other emergency responders. These can include rescue from fast flowing/swift water, tight spaces, ski slopes, mines, caves and many other places. In North America, emergency ropes play a significant role in effecting these rescues. In confined spaces it is especially needed in the event a responder gets stuck or gets weak from inhaling an unexpected or unknown gas.
The types of ropes used for emergency situations are static kernmantle ropes. They are used in addition to other specialized equipment that would otherwise be ineffective by themselves to recover life and property. Emergency ropes fall into three main groups: City, mountain and cave rescue. The differences between them are major in that they require different methods to be used and different support equipment based on the terrain but they are all significant.