What The NFPA Says About Choosing Rescue Equipment

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard 1983 is primarily a manufacturer’s guideline for certain types of rescue gear. In its Annex A “Explanatory Material,” the association provides some guidance in acquiring rescue equipment for your team:

“Rescue Personnel may elect to use either technical or general use labeled equipment based on anticipated loads and acceptable safety margins as established by the authority having jurisdiction* (AHJ). This choice should be based on the levels of operational capability of the organization. The AHJ should compile and evaluate information on the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the rope and equipment under consideration. For example, an organization at the operational level performing simple rescues might require the higher margin of safety offered by general use equipment. The highly trained or specialized organization performing the more complicated rescue might benefit from the lighter weight of technical use equipment, but due to their level of training can maintain an acceptable level of safety and efficiency for the specified operation.”

* AHJ Definition: An organization, office or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard or for approving equipment, materials, an installation or a procedure.

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