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Learning the ropes | A new lifesaving tool for firefighters in Manchester

The training was to learn the ropes – moreover the intricacies of what is known as a personal safety system or “Bailout Kit”.

MANCHESTER, Conn. — The Manchester Fire Department was going over the edge on a Wednesday morning inside an empty warehouse on Harrison Street. 

The purpose was to learn the ropes – moreover the intricacies of what is known as a personal safety system or “Bailout Kit”.

Through a grant from the private group called the Joseph DiBernardo Memorial Foundation, the Manchester Fire Department is now learning how to operate the bailout kits which attach to a utility belt and are designed as a last resort to help a firefighter escape through a window. 

Gordon MacMillan, a 25-year veteran and Battalion Chief at the Manchester Fire Department said, “If you find yourself in a situation where the room is flashed you can get to a window hook up your bailout kit, that’s the purpose of it.”

The technology continues to evolve, the bailout kits come from a company called Rescue Products International and are lightweight and portable, the hope is that, within a year, all 80 Manchester firefighters will be trained to carry one. 

Helping to lead the training, 14-year Manchester Department vet Ray Marconi said, “this is made for when all other things fail, when we need to get out of a window really quick.” 

Fellow trainer Ryan Paretti, who applied for the grant added, “this is another tool in our toolbox… this will help us as a last-ditch effort.” MacMillan also remarked, “if we ever have a need for them, it will save lives.”

   

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