A new tool to help Spartanburg City firefighters


Spartanburg City firefighters say a federal grant will help them save themselves while they fight fires.

They now have new equipment that will help them get out of harm’s way in eight seconds or less.

When a fire breaks out, firefighters come to help and when they need help, they have a new tool to keep them safe.

Spartanburg City firefighters now have a bailout kit, also known as personal escape rescue harnesses, designed to help firefighters get out of any structure, if smoke and flames get too close.

Lieutenant Ronald Hunter with Spartanburg Fire Department explained how the equipment works.

The bailout kits have a 50-foot rope that can withstand up to 980 degrees and the hook can hold up to 3,000 pounds.

It will help firefighters get out of a window and rappel down the side of a building. The entire kit can easily fit in the firefighter’s pocket, for easy access. 

A FEMA grant paid the $86,000 needed for firefighter training and to purchase 76 kits. Many of the firefighters have already started  training with the kits.

“We’ve already had a few situations where they had no way out, they jumped, a couple of them had to jump out of second stories one ended up with a broken back, if he had this it wouldn’t have happened,” Lt. Hunter said.

He said only a few fire dpartments across South Carolina have this equipment and the crews in the city of Spartanburg are lucky to have it.

“We have a crew standing by to save us if something happens, but if that crew can’t get to us because the fire situations got bad this is our way out,” Lt. Hunter said.

Twelve firefighters began training on Monday. All city fire crews will be trained by the end of February.

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