PRESS RELEASE

Sterling Rope Debuts Fire Tech 32™ PER New Personal Escape Rope for New York Fire Department


Scarborough, Maine — Sterling Rope, a leading manufacturer of innovative high-performance life safety rope and cord products for the fire, industrial safety, outdoor and OEM markets, announced that it has been awarded a contract with the New York Fire Department (FDNY) to provide all firefighters city wide with FireTech 32, a unique personal escape rope for use in "bailout" situations. This rope was designed specifically to FDNY specifications and in response to the circumstances that occurred earlier in the year at a tragic fire in the Bronx where several firefighters died.

Fire Tech 32™ is a new innovative rope for personal escape. Made with Technora® yarn by Teijin Twaron, this 100% para-aramid is the best fiber for repeated heat exposures. Sterling’s kernmantle construction using this fiber offers consistent performance and long-term durability. The rope is 7.7mm in diameter and has a minimum breaking strength of 5647 lbs, elongation of 1.25% and weighs 46 grams per meter or about 1.5 pounds per each rope. The unique Sterling construction gives this rope great tensile strength with minimal bulk, making it very easy to pack. It is also cut and heat resistant – critical features for a personal escape rope. The purpose of this design is so the FireTech-32 can be slipped into the pouch of turnout gear, clipped to a harness and set-up quickly to allow a firefighter to escape out a window of a burning building within ten seconds. The FireTech-32 provided the longest burn time available should a firefighter need to hang outside a window awaiting rescue.

Also unique to this escape system, is a large metal hook made specifically for FDNY by the Crosby Group that is attached to 50-feet of the FireTech-32 via a sewn termination called a "sewn eye." The rope is threaded through the end of the hook and sewn back onto itself with Technora thread made specifically for Sterling. Utilizing Sterling’s computerized sewing program makes the sewn ends stronger than knots and eliminates the need for tying knots. The sewn eyes offer a high strength connection between the rope and the hook completing the rope escape system. This rope is certified to NFPA 1983, 2001 edition by Underwriters Laboratories July 2005.

After the tragic fire, the entire New York City Fire Department along with other city officials went through the daunting task of reviewing the feasibility of providing strong, lightweight ropes to every firefighter. Personal ropes had been issued in the past, but were taken out of use in 2000 due to several issues including the weight, bulkiness, low heat resistance, and maintenance of the ropes.

In response, Sterling's rope engineers worked closely with FDNY trainers and R&D, and the fiber manufacturer to develop a new and unique rope product to meet the specific and extreme demands that over 13,000 New York firefighters often face. Despite the tight schedule, Sterling was able to develop several prototypes quickly as the project evolved and as New York recognized their needs and the limitations of existing escape equipment systems. FireTech-32 was subjected to very grueling, exhaustive design and testing process that involved over 5000 tests, including rope "drop tests" and actual "bail-outs" out of windows at the department’s training center at Randalls Island.

For the past several years Sterling Rope has worked directly with many top fire departments and fire safety personnel around the world to develop innovative rope safety systems that are highly tactile yet provides strong protection in extreme heat environments. The development of the FireTech-32 was the next logical step in the innovative process that began a few years earlier with the development of RIT 900™, the first in its series of high heat resistant ropes. Since then, Sterling has developed RIT 500™, RIT Response™ and most recently the FireTech-32. Each product has is specific strengths and varied applications. Now with the latest product, Sterling offers the most extensive line of fire safety tag and rescue rope lines in the industry.

"The FireTech-32 will provide firefighters with a usable system to enable them to safely and quickly "bail out" in a life and death situation. I am proud of the employees at Sterling Rope for creating this much needed product," said Carolyn Brodsky, Owner and President of Sterling Rope Company. "I would also like to thank the FDNY for the opportunity to work with them on developing the next generation of personal escape ropes." The product performs to the highest standards and has been well received by the New York City fire fighters. "Nothing is more important than making sure our firefighters have the necessary equipment to do their jobs effectively and safely."

Sterling Rope was founded in 1992 and has since become a leader in the life-safety rope and cord industry. Noted for its innovation in rope design, Sterling continues its goal of shaping the future of rope through better research, design, and engineering. This reflects the trademarks of Sterling Rope – vision, innovation, commitment, passion, attention to detail, and service. By incorporating superior materials, state-of-the-art engineering, the efforts of passionate employees, our heralded product testers and extensive field-testing, our ropes feature unequalled performance and durability. We continue our mission of "building a better rope" by developing innovative ropes such as the new FireTech-32.

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