Author Topic: NFPA knot test for firefighters  (Read 360 times)

agent_smith

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NFPA knot test for firefighters
« on: December 20, 2018, 06:11:02 AM »
Just stumbled across this NFPA 1001 knot test for firefighters in the USA.

Link: https://www.gov.nl.ca/fes/certification/Firefighter_I_Skills.pdf  (refer page 2)
An extract from page 2 is below...

There are seven (7) knots in the test.

It is surprising to me that some crucial detail is overlooked and/or simply assumed. Given that this is a competency test, one would have thought that the performance criteria for determining a firefighters competence would have been more carefully documented.

For example:
#1 'Forms the Bowline knot'... seems odd - this is written as if there is only one (1) type of Bowline - presumably #1010 from 'ABoK'? One wonders why NFPA test authors did not wish to assess a secure Bowline (eg Scotts locked Bowline)? In my view, #1010 is simply a default mindset - a way of thinking that is like a horse with 'blinders' / 'blinkers' on (ie tunnel vision). It is also left unstated that #1010 is vulnerable to ring-loading, while #1034 1/2 is resistant to ring-loading. Presumably, the risk of ring-loading is not something the NFPA 1001 drafters considered?

#2 'Forms the clove hitch'... it is not clear if the firefighter has to tie a clove hitch via a 'TIB' method (#1178) or, if the firefighter is permitted to have access to an end (#1245)? Or both methods?

#3 'Forms the F8 on-a-bight' - and here a distinction is made. It is via a 'TIB' method. Note that a 'TIB' method wont work if tying an end into a harness (like a rock climber). There is no criteria for achieving a symmetrical form. The way this test is written - a firefighter could tie #1047 F8 with any random geometry?

#4 'Form the half-hitch'...seems simple enough but typically 2 half-hitches are formed in most instances. This draft is not clear and presumably just one half-hitch is sufficient which seems odd. I am going to assume that these knots could be applied at height - and half-hitches might be a knot securing mechanism?

#5 'Forms the becket or sheet bend'... this appears to be wrongly worded. By definition, a 'becket' is generally an eye or hook which is distinct from #1431. A 'becket hitch' is illustrated at #73, and #1900. The manner in which this test is worded allows the firefighter to either #1431 or #1900. One wonders if the NFPA drafters were thinking in terms of #1431?

#6 'Forms the overhand safety knot'...this could be interpreted in different ways - eg in rock climbing, a safety or backup knot usually means a strangle around an SPart to add security.

#7 'Forms the water knot'... it is not stated if this knot is to be tied in rope or flat webbing (or both)? Furthermore, it is known that cyclic loading can lead to catastrophic failure due to progressive creep/slip in flat webbing. I always insist that all 'bends' (end-to-end joining knots ) be tied with identical tail lengths. This provides a visual reference...if one tail is observed to be shorter than the other, it is an early warning indicator. None of this is captured in the current draft wording of the test.

DerekSmith

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Re: NFPA knot test for firefighters
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 08:13:03 PM »
Reading that is much like taking a long look at many of the images in Dan's thread -'Knots in the Wild'.  It is a stark reminder that the real world of knot usage is a million miles away from the ivory tower we play in.

Derek

Dan_Lehman

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Re: NFPA knot test for firefighters
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 02:08:47 AM »
Just stumbled across this NFPA 1001 knot test for firefighters in the USA.
Among a great many other tests!  --including one for
inspecting & cleaning rope (#FFI-38)!

Quote
For example:
#1 'Forms the Bowline knot'... seems odd - this is written as if there is only one (1) type of Bowline - presumably #1010 from 'ABoK'?
Because likely for the test subjects there IS only THE
one such named knot, as had been provided to them
in other materials upon which they're being tested.

Quote
One wonders why NFPA test authors did not wish to assess a secure Bowline (eg Scotts locked Bowline)?
/.../
Presumably, the risk of ring-loading is not something the NFPA 1001 drafters considered?
Because they follow (*blindered* by legal concerns, perhaps)
the state of the practice in their industry (which doesn't include
esoteric knot variations coming out of self-built Ivory Towers).

And because they get their secure version by using the
"overhand safety knot" (one can wonder if this is exactly
as stated of possibly a strangle --though we can note
that the grapevine / dble.(or sngl) fisherman's knot isN'T
among The Chosen Seven!?

Quote
#2 'Forms the clove hitch'... it is not clear if the firefighter has to tie a clove hitch via a 'TIB' method (#1178) or, if the firefighter is permitted to have access to an end (#1245)? Or both methods?
I'll wager on the latter --not all so many
needs of TIB tying, I'd think (though rockclimbers
do this more nearly exclusively, it seems).

Quote
#3 'Forms the F8 on-a-bight' - and here a distinction is made. It is via a 'TIB' method. Note that a 'TIB' method wont work if tying an end into a harness (like a rock climber). There is no criteria for achieving a symmetrical form. The way this test is written - a firefighter could tie #1047 F8 with any random geometry?
Looking at examples in magazines of various application
areas & of catalogues of gear targeting such fields,
I'd wager YES --anythinGoes!

ALSO, I'm not so sure that the seeming exact wording
"on a bight"
really implies what you think --vs. just
distinguishing eye knot from end-2-end knot (which
we can note isn't included) !?  Though, yes, in the
somewhat related/borrowed-from fields of caving,
rockclimbing, and SAR for both, the knot naming
DOES so signify *TIB* tying (and, most interestingly
to my thinking, there are at least a couple tests of
the fig.8 eyeknot in which both methods are
used per nominal inclusion, as though the knots
care how they came to be (assuming the some
rigor of "dressing & setting" is followed to achieve
what is NOT a dual but single goal (though, yes,
that lack really of any specific result does put a
wrench into this argument, alas --but we figure
that it's a background thought, anyway).

((TO this (knot geometry/forms/variation), it would be
helpful / edifying to have simple OBSERVATION & a
record of what is actually In The Wild.  (One can only
start by noting the variation in the literature(s),
as I refer to above; but in the field, too, it would be
edifying to see what results from various tyers' tying
one way and the other.
MAYBE one would find that, on average, rockclimbers
tying the F8 EK TIB get <this> in X% of cases,
cavers ... in Y%,
SAR ... in Z%.
... and so on.

Quote
#4 'Form the half-hitch'...
I'm not wagering on this one.  Could be used as a
securing to other knots?  Could be a lapse of jargon
and "2 HHitches" is meant?

Quote
#5 'Forms the becket or sheet bend'... this appears to be wrongly worded. By definition, a 'becket' is ...
But they're not defining "becket" but using common
knot names.  In some readings of history, the sheet bend
bent the sheet to the clew of a sail, and if one has
a clue to what a clew is, "becket" is apt, here!
(To this, I remarked that Tyrrell E. Biddle's ca. 1880
knots book presents the sheet bend as a way "to join
ropes quickly" (something like this); and then, next to
it, he births the infamous "Wot?knot" of my keen
pursuit!  :o  )

Quote
#6 'Forms the overhand safety knot'...this could be interpreted in different ways - eg in rock climbing, a safety or backup knot usually means a strangle around an SPart to add security.
Yeah, an "*op cit*" to this: I, too, wonder.

Quote
#7 'Forms the water knot'... it is not stated if this knot is to be tied in rope or flat webbing (or both)? Furthermore, it is known that cyclic loading can lead to catastrophic failure due to progressive creep/slip in flat webbing.
For "flat webbing", read "solid webbing"/"solid tape"
--all webbing is flat(tened)!  --unless stuffed with
a rope or something.  "solid" vs. "tubular" is the
way to clarity here!
I suspect that this is focused on tying webbing
(I wonder if they ever include making an eye knot
in webbing, TIB?).

If not for rope, then end-2-end comes only via the
sheet bend or interlocked bowlines.


--dl*
====

Harold Kahl

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Re: NFPA knot test for firefighters
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 09:10:35 PM »
Here is a tutorial page for the knots required for the NFPA 1001 test.
https://www.firerescue1.com/nfpa/articles/231647018-7-knots-you-need-to-learn-for-NFPA-1001-skill-sheet/
These are just some basic knots, presumably to be used as the starting point for learning more advanced knots. It's really less than you would learn in the Boy Scouts.