April 7, 1995 Roof Rope Rescue
Ladder Company 6 was designated as the FAST truck at a fire at 629 E 5th Street in Manhattan. Moments later, firefighters monitored a "May Day" transmission, stating that firefighters were trapped on the top floor, out of air.
Members of L6 ascended the roof and worked their way to the rear of the building, where they spotted Lt. Robert Ryan at a sixth floor window. FF Hodges was assigned to perform a life-saving rope rescue.Hodges was lowered through the heat and smoke to the sixth floor window, where the rescue pick-up was made. But there was a problem.
As FF Hodges made the pick-up, the lowering man's hand and harness became entangled in the rope and the rope rescue had to be stopped, leaving FF Hodges and Lt. Ryan dangling between the 5th and 6th floors. There was only one solution. The men being lowered would have to be transferred in mid rescue. Two firefighters secured the life saving rope and a third wrapped the hook of his personal harness. Then, the original lower man's harness was cut. The switch caused FF Hodges to free fall for eight feet until slack in the new rope was eliminated.
Despite the frightening drop, FF Hodges never lost his grip on Lt. Ryan. Finally, both firefighters were lowered to the fourth floor, where they were pulled to safety.
View the video of this rescue.