Ropes and knots? WTF am I bringing that up for!?
Well kiddies, I have been noticing an unfortunate tendency to forget everything we know about ropes and knots once we pass that section in recruit training or FF2 class.
Now, be honest with yourself, if I handed you a piece of rope and asked you to tie a bowline could you? How about a clove hitch?
I might be able to do both of those and a water knot, but that's about it. I am not a little fella, so the likelyhood of me rappelling down a cliff face to rescue some idiot hiker who was where he shouldn't have been are pretty slim.
BUT every firefighter needs to know some basic knots and hitches. The next time you have to go up on a roof, you could tie off a rope to your tools (saw,etc...) and climb up and then pull them up with turn handy dandy working rope. Or, if you are cut off and have to bail out a second story window you could tie off to your tool and wedge it across the window opening and lower yourself with your life safety rope.
I always carry a piece of webbing in my pocket just in case. In case of what? Just in case!!! You never know when it will come in handy.
When the time comes on the fireground to utilize a rope, you need to be able to tie that knot or make that hitch almost without thinking. Practice makes perfect! Tie knots once a week just to keep it fresh in your mind. You don't need to know them all, but learn a few really well!
I know its a cliche, but the life you save may be your own!