FDNY distributes individual ropes after fatal Bronx accident

The FDNY started distributing safety ropes to its firefighters Tuesday, after a debate resulting from the death of two firefighters who jumped out of a Bronx apartment.

In the January 2005 incident, the firefighters were forced to jump out of a burning building with no alternative means of escape. The fire department had stopped issuing individual ropes in 2000, saying they were too heavy in the midst of duty.

A team of city firefighters familiar with rock climbing and metalworking designed the new ropes. The ropes consist of bulletproof Kevlar that resists melting in intense heat for more than two minutes. Each rope features a metal hook that can grip a pipe, wall or a piece of furniture. The new equipment will cost an estimated $11 million to purchase, distribute and train firefighters on its use.

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