depends upon the conditions under which it is
used. The person wearing the suit should return
immediately to a safe, cool area if he or she ex-
periences severe discomfort such as difficulty in
breathing or extreme heat. Heavy clothing should
be worn under the suit to give additional protec-
tion from heat.
If the asbestos suit becomes wet, as is more
than likely in firefighting, the wearer might be
scalded unless withdrawal from the heated area
is accomplished before the water turns to steam.
Continued wetting will keep the wearer cool, but
the suit will become water soaked and reduce
freedom of movement, already restricted by the
The life-line is a steel-wire cable, 50 feet long.
Each end is equipped with a strong hook that
closes with a snap catch. The line is very pliable
and will slide freely around obstructions. See
Life-lines are used as a precautionary measure
to aid in the rescue of persons wearing rescue
breathing apparatus, hose masks, or similar
equipment. Rescue, if necessary, should be ac-
complished by having another person equipped
with a breathing apparatus follow the life-line to
the person being rescued, rather than by attempt-
ing to drag the person out. Attempts to drag a
person from a space may result in fouling the
Figure 4-76.Steel wire life-line.
life-line on some obstruction or in parting the
harness, in which case it would still be necessary
to send a rescue person into the space.
An important point to remember is that a
stricken person must never be hauled by a life-line
attached to the waist. The victim may be dragged
along the deck a short distance, but his or her
weight must never be suspended on a line attached
to the waist. If not wearing a harness of some
kind, pass the line around the chest under the arm-
pits and fasten it in front or in back.
When tending a life-line, you must wear gloves
to be able to handle the line properly. Play out
the line carefully, so that it will not foul. Try to
keep the life-line in contact with grounded metal;
do not allow it to come in contact with any
energized electrical equipment.
The detection devices used to test the atmos-
phere in closed or poorly ventilated spaces include
the OXYGEN INDICATOR, for detecting ox-
ygen deficiency; COMBUSTIBLE-GAS INDICA-
TORS, for determining the concentration of
explosive vapors; and TOXIC-GAS INDICA-
TORS, such as the CARBON MONOXIDE
INDICATOR for finding the concentration of
certain poisonous gases. The devices are extremely
valuable and should be used whenever necessary;
however, they MUST BE USED ONLY AS DI-
RECTED. Improper operation of these devices
may lead to false assurances of safety or, worse
yet, to an increase in the actual danger of the
situation. For example, the use of a flame safety
lamp in a compartment filled with acetylene or
hydrogen could cause a violent explosion.
If you are faced with the problem of rescuing
a person threatened by fire, explosive or
poisonous gases, or some other emergency, do not
take any action until you have had time to deter-
mine the extent of the danger and your ability to
cope with it. In a large number of accidents the
rescuer rushes in and becomes the second victim.
Do not take unnecessary chances! Do not attempt
any rescue that needlessly endangers your own
Phases of Rescue Operations
In disasters where there are multiple patients
(as in explosions or ship collisions), rescue