Firefighters learn a lot during their first year on the job by performing different tasks to challenge their skills and find their weak spots. One of the hardest skills that some firefighters might forget or never learn is rope knots. Knots help workers ascend and descend buildings, hills, and trees without injury. Learn these different types of knots firefighters should know.
The first knot you learn is the overhand. The overhand knot is a simple safety knot that secures the end of a rope. This knot prevents the end from damage and fraying. Many people have tied overhand knots without knowing it. To tie an overhand knot, form a loop at either end and pull it through the hole. Then, tighten it.
Did you know you do the overhand while tying your shoes? The loops in this knot are the “bunny ears” we learned to tie our shoes with. However, the guidelines are slightly different at the firehouse. To master other knots, you need to practice this one first.
The Half Hitch
Like the rest of these knots, you have most likely unknowingly tied the half hitch many times. You tie the half hitch around items to pull up toward you.
All you need to do is create an overhand knot, but instead of securing an end, loop it around an item. Once it’s looped through, tighten the knot. This knot helps with carrying things while working.
If you’ve done work anywhere near water, whether recreationally or professionally, you may recognize the bowline. The bowline is used to create a knot that’s easy to tighten around fishing lures and animal restraints.
The bowline is easy, but it takes practice. Firefighters use this knot as a way to move things and people out of burning places safely.
The clove knot is another you need to know. This one helps balance motion when scaling a railing or a building, but it limits movement, so it’s not the easiest to climb.
When working with this knot, wrap it around a stable area a few times and tie it down. After that, it’s simple to use. However, it becomes loose if you don’t secure it underneath the knot. Only use this knot as a temporary fix while working.
Firefighters need appropriate tools on hand to stay ready for emergencies. Everything you have in your turnout gear helps improve your readiness. Learning the essential knots for firefighters to know enables you to develop your skills so you can succeed. Keep practicing your skills to grow in your field and become safer on the job.