CMC Podcast 12 - Fire Escape Bailout Systems


 Contributors in this Episode


Learn about the history behind bailouts, why training is so important, what new systems are on the market and the techniques for using them in a round table discussion with firefighters Kelly Byrne, Dale Pekel, and LeRoy Harbach.

Topics Discussed:

3:39 Dale, what was your first exposure to bailout systems?

9:35 When you started off making procedures and figuring out how to do bailout in the 90’s, was it mostly trial and error?

15:43 LeRoy, What was your first exposure to bailout?

19:42 Dale, do you remember your first solid bailout kit?

21:48 Dale, are you an escape belt guy or a harness in the pants guy?

24:14 LeRoy, were you a an escape belt guy or a harness in the pants guy when you were in the fire department?

27:28 Do you think there’s a negative connotation with the term ‘bailout kit’?

33:45 Forward deployed RIT teams.

38:01 The hook of the system rated as an emergency decent control device.

58:00 Fall protection harnesses for training.

110:03 Anchoring and running the rope or web around edges and corners to reduce force on the anchor.

116:58 What is the future of escape systems?

Links & Resources

0:58 Dale’s YouTube Channel:

2:16 / 12:55 Bailout wall prop. Reach out to Dale Pekel directly for his bailout wall prop at YouTube video :

10:35 &

18:16 / 105:07 Kelly Byrne, 2010 ITRS Defenestration Sensation Presentation:

18:50 London Fire Brigade training article from 1876:

51:40 Window Clearing, Anchoring and Exit Techniques:

58:30 Dale’s Improvised webbing harness YouTube video

105:20 Mike Forbes & Matt Hunt, 2016 ITRS The Impact of Extreme Fire Behavior on Firefighter Escape Systems

106:10 2017 Ole Kills & John McKently, Is My Escape Line Still Safe After … ? An Investigation into the Fatigue Strength of Aramid Fibers in Escape Applications:

113:50 Dale’s Tool in the Wall Technique YouTube video:

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Important Warning

  • Many of the activities discussed in this podcast pose a very substantial risk of serious injury or death.
  • Products and techniques discussed in this podcast are intended for use by specially trained professionals.
  • Technical rescue, rappelling, climbing and the training involved are very hazardous activities. Each situation has its own unique conditions and must be evaluated by those present. Effective risk management comes from experience, proper training and good personal judgment.
  • CMC is not liable for any damages arising from abuse or improper use of the techniques or equipment discussed in this podcast.
  • Topics discussed are the ideas and opinions of each individual.
  • Department protocol and regulations should always take precedent.