It’s been said that where there’s rope, there’s hope. I couldn’t agree more. In my fire gear, there is rope. In my truck, there is rope. On my plate carrier, there is rope. The option to personally bail from a dangerous situation or access and rescue SOMEONE ELSE who finds themselves in harm’s way should not be taken for granted. Sometimes it's the only way.
Bail out and improvised rope access/rescue is nothing new. In fact, it's Biblical! In Joshua 2, Rahab the prostitute hid the spies from Israel in the city of Jericho and “...let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall…” so that they could escape. In 1 Samuel 19, David’s wife Michal “...let David down through the window…” to escape King Saul. In Luke 5, the friends of a paralyzed man “...went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus”... because the crowd was too great to access Him through the door. And in Acts 9, the Apostle Paul escapes those trying to kill him when “...his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.”
If I had to guess, there were probably some improvised and meat anchors involved!!! But we’ll save that for another Friday.
Bail out technology has come a long way over the years, with particular leaps following the 2005 Black Sunday fire in NYC that forced six members of the FDNY to jump from the height of 5 floors, resulting in three LODD’s, two that day and one later on. Rope would have made a difference that day, and it did for some of those who survived (I highly recommend you dig into the lessons from that fire).
Bottom line, whether you’re issued it or not, whether it's a pre-rigged kit or not, find a way to carry some rope or webbing capable of human load. Where there’s rope, there’s hope.