Roco Rescue



NFL Quarterback Honors Boston Firefighters

Monday, March 24, 2014

This time, it was Tom Brady watching from the sidelines, as Boston firefighters battled the nine-alarm blaze near his home. From the back deck of his home, which was four doors down from the fire, Brady told how he watched the incident unfold. “I had a firsthand view of all the action and was blown away by all the bravery and the teamwork that they really displayed,” Brady told a local radio station.

 “I mean, we athletes think that we’re heroes, but when you witness it first hand, you realize who the real heroes are in this world and that’s the people that work hard to protect our lives and protect our safety and our freedoms as Americans. That’s certainly the Boston firefighters and the police and the state troopers. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Brady added. 

We, at Roco, couldn’t agree more! We also offer our condolences to the Boston Fire Department and the many families affected by this tragedy.

Source:, Bill Bradley, contributing editor 

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Potential Safety Issues Regarding Petzl CROLL

Friday, March 21, 2014

6-10-14 Update on Petzl CROLL Potential Safety Issues

After Petzl met with their distributors regarding the Petzl CROLL (B16 & B16AAA) issue, they have provided us with the following statements:

 • Estimated devices that would potentially be exposed to this event is less than 1 in 100,000 devices produced.

• The exposure was only documented in three known devices which were all the old style CROLL (Petzl has redesigned the CROLL and no longer produces the previous generation).

• Petzl has determined that the specific deficiency in devices could only come from either corrosion due to exposure to grain silo work, or from over use of the device (in the primary case it was determined that the device should have been retired at least a year prior to incident).

• After months of testing in various conditions and states of use, Petzl has not been able to replicate the condition documented with these devices in question.

Petzl has redesigned the CROLL to have a stainless steel cam as well as stainless steel reinforcement in the rope channel which attaches to the riveted portion of the device to ensure that there will be no replication of the events that occurred to the three older generation devices. Petzl also has no warranted reason to issue a recall of this device at present or in the near future.

Previous Post:

Roco Rescue has recently learned there are potential safety issues regarding the Petzl Croll (B16 & B16AAA). According to Petzl, two different customers have informed them of the failure of the rivet head on two Petzl Croll rope clamps. Although neither of these failures have led to an accident, the Petzl technical team is urgently reviewing this issue with in-depth investigations to understand what exactly caused these failures.

Petzl wants to remind consumers that "when connected to a rope device, the user must have a back-up device or a connection to a second rope clamp as a secondary means of support." They also encourage that users thoroughly inspect their CROLL B16 & B16AAA to ensure that the rivet head is not missing. The results of this investigation will be released no later than April 18th.

 NOTE: This notice does not affect similar products such as the CROLL B16BAA, ASCENSION or PANTIN. With the facts known today it currently only affects the old CROLL B16 and B16AAA that were produced in 2012.

Stay connected to Roco Rescue for your latest news on this issue.  


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Q&A: Strength Impact on Webbing

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Regarding the Roco video/technique for shortening webbing... what is the strength impact on the webbing with this technique? When going from the looping double/basket method to a choker configuration changes the strength quite a bit because of all sorts of twists and bends... would the strength impact be 50%?

After reviewing your question, we decided to do some “in-house” testing. Of course, it’s unofficial, but here’s what we did and the results are shown below.

Using new 1-inch tubular webbing anchored to a fixed anchor 2 inches in diameter, a “webbing shortening technique” knot was placed in the webbing. The webbing was marked with a felt tip marker on both sides of the knot to measure slippage. A carabiner was placed in the test webbing and attached to the dynamometer by a short piece of 1-inch tubular webbing that was looped, doubled and ran through the attachment opening on the dynamometer. The dynamometer was then anchored to the load.

Unofficial In-House Test Results:

  1. Unloaded 20-ft of 1-ft piece of tubular webbing:
    Force applied 3,340 lbf with 2½ inches of slippage in the webbing.

  2. Loaded 30-ft webbing of 1-ft piece of tubular webbing:
    Force applied 3,560 lbf with ¾ inch slippage.

  3. Loaded 30-ft webbing of 1-ft piece of tubular webbing:
    Force applied 5,080 lbf with 1 inch slippage.

  4. Loaded 30-ft webbing of 1-ft piece of tubular webbing:
    Force applied 5,460 lbf with 1 inch slippage.

  5. Loaded 40-ft webbing of 1-ft piece of tubular webbing:
    Force applied 5,620 lbf with ¾ inch slippage.

  6. Loaded 40-ft webbing of 1-ft piece of tubular webbing:
    Force applied 6,230 lbf with 1 inch slippage.

Tests #1 & #2 were slow tension pulls on the knot. Tests #3 & #6 were dynamic shock loading. Tests #5 & #6 both had failures of the 1-inch tubular webbing anchor at the attachment to the dynamometer. The failed anchor webbing was in a basket looped and doubled configuration and failed at the sharp angle connection on the device.
The test webbing did not fail in any of the tests, but on tests #5 & #6 it showed slight glazing on the inside of the knot when inspected.

Due to the failure of the anchor webbings, we were not able to generate more than the 6,230 lbf force on the system. Based on these unofficial tests, I would feel comfortable using the technique for NFPA General Use loads and would not expect it to weaken the webbing any more than the efficiency loss of any other knot that would be tied into the webbing, including a water knot.

NOTICE: The information provided on our website and by our Tech Panel is a complimentary service for our readers. Responses are based on our understanding of the reader’s inquiry, the equipment and/or the technique in question. All rescue systems should be evaluated by a competent person before use in the support of any human loads. Proper training is required prior to use of rescue techniques or systems discussed. Because standards and regulations are typically performance based and often dependent on specific circumstances, it is important to review all regulations in their entirety and to follow the proper protocols for your company or organization.

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Roco QUICK DRILL #2 - SCBA/SAR Proficiency

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Proficiency in the use of PPE is critical to the safety of rescuers. If you can’t protect yourself, you can’t save others!

1. Disassemble the major system components of SCBA and/or SAR system and place in a room in an unorganized pile.

2. Take groups or individual team members into the room and turn out the lights.

3. Instruct them to put the systems together and don the units before exiting the room.

This forces personnel to rely on their other senses to identify the components and put the systems together. The more an individual’s senses are involved in training, the greater the retention of key elements. It is also a good emergency drill for situations that may require a better understanding of PPE at a time when vision may be restricted.

We want you to make the most of every rescue practice session, so our Roco instructors have created "Quick Drills" that can be used any time you have a few minutes to practice with your team. In order to have a well-rounded rescue team, it is so important to maximize your training time and rotate the skills practiced to keep everyone interested and involved. Make sure you cover the basics as well as any techniques or special needs that may be unique to your response area. As always, practice, practice, practice! And, make sure you have the proper training and equipment to safely and effectively do your job.

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Hazcom 2012 & GHS: What Rescuers Need to Know

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

As an emergency responder, it is important to have a good understanding of the dangers and precautions regarding hazardous chemicals. Whether you’re a member of an in-plant industrial team or a municipal fire department, chemical hazards are always a critical factor in emergency incidents. That’s why it’s imperative to identify any particularly hazardous chemicals in your response area. Learn as much as you can, before the emergency happens.

The Time is Now
The first requirement went into effect in December 2013, which means that workers who use hazardous chemicals must be trained to understand the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). While employees must already have fluency, manufacturers of these products have until December 1, 2015, to switch over to the new format.

OSHA’s HazCom 2012 standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) was revised to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The changes make the information easy to understand across industries, countries and education levels. By adopting and enforcing one standard for labels and safety data sheets that accompany chemicals, employers, workers, health professionals and emergency responders will be better able to address the risks associated with these substances.

As in the past, the HazCom standard imposes certain requirements on manufacturers and importers of chemicals - as well as on employers whose employees can be exposed to chemical hazards in the workplace. The standard “applies to any chemical which is known to be present in the workplace in such a manner that employees may be exposed under normal conditions of use or in a foreseeable emergency.”

Note: This article addresses rescue teams that are subject to Federal OSHA requirements or State Plans operated in lieu of Federal requirements. In states that are not OSHA State Plan states, rescuers employed by a state or political subdivision of the state may not be subject to these requirements.

Q&A for Rescue Teams

Is my rescue team required to meet the HazCom standard?
For rescue services or in-house rescue teams in certain types of industrial facilities, the answer is normally yes. HazCom requirements would apply because team members are working inside the facility and can obviously be exposed to chemical hazards under normal working conditions or in a foreseeable emergency. For others, however, what appears to be a simple answer may not be that simple.

Is compliance required if we don’t work around hazardous chemicals?
The simple answer would seemingly be no, but that answer can be, and likely is, incorrect. In fact, the rescue team often needs to look no farther than its own cache of equipment to find the “hazardous chemical.” The reason the applicability of HazCom to rescue teams is often overlooked is because of assumptions that we make - in this case, rescuers often assume that the term “chemicals” means what we commonly think it means. But, as is often the case with regulations and statutes, words may be specifically defined to include or exclude certain things that common usage does not.

For example, under the HazCom standard, “chemical” means “any substance, or mixture of substances.”  “Hazardous chemical” means “any chemical which is classified as a physical hazard or a health hazard, a simple asphyxiant, combustible dust, pyrophoric gas, or hazard not otherwise classified.” 

As explained by OSHA in its Guidance for Hazard Determination:

The definition of a chemical in the HCS [Hazard Communication Standard] is much broader than that which is commonly used. The HCS definition of chemical is "any element, chemical compound, or mixture of elements and/or compounds."

According to this definition, virtually any product is a "chemical." By this definition, it would mean that “air” is considered a “chemical” under the standard, and OSHA includes “gas under pressure” in its definition of “physical hazards.” Consequently, as one example, the rescue team needs to look no further than its SCBA bottles or its air source for supplied air respirators and charged airlines to find a “hazardous chemical” for purposes of the HazCom standard. Even facilities with comprehensive HazCom programs sometimes overlook their rescue team’s air sources in their programs.

As a rescuer, it's important to get familiar with the new formatting of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and the GHS symbols now. Make sure to review these standards in their entirety as well as your organization’s HazCom policies and procedures. You and your team will be more prepared as these changes are put into place.

Here's a quick guide to the new GHS symbols from OSHA, which will be required by June 1, 2015.

Note: These new OSHA pictograms do not replace the diamond-shaped DOT labels required for the transport of chemicals.



National Safety Council’s newsletter, “Safer Workplaces”

OSHA Fact Sheet – Hazard Communication Standard Final Rule

OSHA Quick Card – Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets

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