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Parachute push for city high flyers [In case of terror attack, jump!]
Herald Sun (Australia) ^ | 07oct05 | Jen Kelly

Posted on 10/06/2005 1:05:36 PM PDT by cloud8

EVERYONE who lives or works above the 13th floor in Melbourne should consider buying an escape parachute in case of a terror attack, Victoria's former top cop says.

Former chief commissioner Kel Glare said yesterday a parachute could make the difference between life and death in a terrorist attack or fire.

"I think it's a serious consideration for people above the 13th floor to equip themselves with a personal parachute," he said.

"The fire ladders will only reach to the 13th floor.

"If you're above that and you have something like we had in New York, there were people there leaping from windows dozens of stories up to certain death.

"With a personal parachute they at least would have a reasonable chance of survival."

Specialist emergency parachutes for high-rise dwellers with no parachuting experience can be ordered on the internet or through Australian parachute suppliers for about $2500.

Police Minister Tim Holding slammed Mr Glare's suggestion.

"This is irresponsible. It's wrong to be spreading such information," he said.

And the Metropolitan Fire Brigade said leaping from a burning building with a parachute was too risky.

"You couldn't do it in the middle of Melbourne," assistant chief fire officer Greg Bawden said. "Where would you land?"

He said a parachutist could fly "right into the tram wires and the overhead power lines and any firefighting activities that might be going on down in the street".

Mr Glare, who said he was not involved in any parachute company, said office workers could keep a parachute under the desk.

"You don't have to have any expertise. All you do is just throw yourself out," he said.

"It's a great piece of personal insurance."

For office workers and residents with sealed windows, Mr Glare said they could break a window or climb to the roof.

Emergency parachutes are designed to carry the person away from the building and out of danger, not directly downwards.

Melbourne parachute supplier the Freefall Factory believes an escape parachute is not such a crazy idea.

"If you're stuck in a building and the only way out is either over a balcony or through a window then sure, this is a good idea," operations manager John Berman said.

High-rise residents and office workers in Melbourne yesterday gave a mixed response. Some were bewildered, while others said it raised their fear of a terrorist attack.

Counter-terrorism design expert Peter Hoad, from Arup Security Consulting, said parachuting from a building could be more dangerous than staying put.

Most terror attacks involved explosives, unlike the World Trade Centre attack when planes flew into the towers.

"Large-scale explosions are generally at ground floor level or below. Very often by departing a building you're in fact placing yourself at greater risk," he said.

"Explosions are more often multiple than single blasts. So the threat is likely to repeat itself."


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: australia; parachute; wot
Going down? Sheesh. I get dizzy if I'm much over the 5th floor.
1 posted on 10/06/2005 1:05:41 PM PDT by cloud8
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To: cloud8

I think a rope/cable and a harness with a traction pulley on it would be sufficient. Perhaps they can build them into the stairwells?


2 posted on 10/06/2005 1:08:31 PM PDT by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: cloud8

I think a rope/cable and a harness with a traction pulley on it would be sufficient. Perhaps they can build them into the stairwells?


3 posted on 10/06/2005 1:08:33 PM PDT by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: cloud8

I had an idea that parachute opening [and usage] was best done in the open, as far away from the building walls as possible. I must have been wrong.


4 posted on 10/06/2005 1:09:30 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: cloud8

At least somebody's thinking creatively about how to get people out of high rise fires. It stands to reason that if you have no choice but to jump, having a parachute on will increase your chance of survival above zero percent.


5 posted on 10/06/2005 1:10:05 PM PDT by Argus
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To: Paloma_55

Dang! I hate it when it double posts me...

Also, what about putting a big reservoir of water up on the top of the building so that they can get water DOWN in the event of a fire. It would have to be designed to tolerate earthquakes and winds, but should be doable.


6 posted on 10/06/2005 1:10:07 PM PDT by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: cloud8

Anyone who gets a chute for this purpose better get one set up for base jumping and be trained in how to use it.


7 posted on 10/06/2005 1:10:55 PM PDT by fizziwig
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To: cloud8

Calling all base jumpers.

13th floor doesn't strike me as quite high enough,
even for a manual chute deployment by a trained
and non-panicked jumper.

Then there's the problems of rising winds in the
case of fire, landing in moving traffic, etc.

But if I worked in a tall tombstone, I'd want one ...
... assuming I had a way to open the window or
reliably smash a big enough hole in the glass.


8 posted on 10/06/2005 1:11:25 PM PDT by Boundless
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To: cloud8

My building doesn't have a 13th floor. According to the elevator here, I am on the 14th floor. Should I invest in a chute?

Decisions decisions.

And what if you work in a short building neighboring a tower? Find a job elsewhere or play close attention when they have problems?


9 posted on 10/06/2005 1:12:16 PM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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To: Boundless

Also have to beware of a jumper landing on top of your chute.


10 posted on 10/06/2005 1:13:58 PM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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To: cloud8

Hmm... I can't help but think of 100 or so people from different floors jumping at the same time. Chutes don't do much good when they're tangled with somebody elses.


11 posted on 10/06/2005 1:16:22 PM PDT by faloi
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To: cloud8

I just calculated this about a week ago and I've also checked with several others. The agreement seems to be that 25 stories is about the minimum.


12 posted on 10/06/2005 1:19:06 PM PDT by ZGuy
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To: Paloma_55

> a rope/cable and a harness with a traction pulley on it would be sufficient...

That might do it. My first thought was a fire house pole and a good pair of gloves :) But a thousand people evacuating a building by parachute? Yikes!


13 posted on 10/06/2005 1:20:49 PM PDT by cloud8
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To: cloud8

All high rise buildings will now be required to conduct base jumping clases.

Airborne - the only way to get to work in the morning.


14 posted on 10/06/2005 1:22:05 PM PDT by PeteB570
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To: weegee
It ain't bad being on the bottom. It's the top jumper's chute that collapses. Then you get to play leap frog all the way to the ground.

You do not want to be "high man" when you get close to the ground.

"Slip Away"
15 posted on 10/06/2005 1:25:23 PM PDT by PeteB570
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To: Boundless
all your BASE are belong to... splat.

13 is a bad # to jump from anyway.

16 posted on 10/06/2005 1:25:42 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (Peace de Resistance! Viva la Paper towels!)
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To: Argus
At least somebody's thinking creatively about how to get people out of high rise fires.

There was discussion along this line shortly after 9-11. In fact ABC's GMA show had a representative from a parachute company whose firm was promoting a specialized parachute designed for people who worked, or lived, in high rises. GMA also had a NYC fire official on at the same time to give his thoughts on the idea. He appeared to be against the idea, citing dangerous wind currents between buildings etc., the GMA interviewer (a women) agreed with the fire official. The parachute company exec should have been able to slam dunk the objections by simply stating ... if you're in a high rise faced with the same situation as the WTC victims caught on the highest floors on 9-11 ... and you had a parachute ... what would you do? He wasn't quick enough ... and let a great opportunity slip away. You can rest assured if I worked in a high rise like the Sears Tower in Chicago I'd have a parachute in the closet, or under my desk.

17 posted on 10/06/2005 1:34:17 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: Paloma_55
Also, what about putting a big reservoir of water up on the top of the building so that they can get water DOWN in the event of a fire. It would have to be designed to tolerate earthquakes and winds, but should be doable.

They made a movie illustrating this.

Towering Inferno

I think.

18 posted on 10/06/2005 1:37:41 PM PDT by Cobra64
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To: BluH2o
These people who talk about the dangers of jumping from a building with a chute are idiotic. The situation that is being outlined here is much the same as happened on 9/11. Do these people who are against chutes thing that a person would really be better off without one? Landing in traffice, hitting power lines? How does this compare with falling 40 stories without a chute! Some people simply don't think when they are talking. The normal person isn't going to jump out of a building unless there is an emergency that is life threatening to the point where this is the only option left, some chance is better than no chance.
19 posted on 10/06/2005 1:43:30 PM PDT by calex59
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To: cloud8

20 posted on 10/06/2005 2:20:43 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: cloud8

AT first thought, what a stupid idea. Second thought, it beats the hell out of splatting on pavement if the only resort is jumping from a buring building. Third thought, investigating new ideas for quickly evacuating sky scrapers is a great idea.

Buildings are already equiped with equipment to hang scaffold over the side (high rise only). Escape elevators mounted on the roof inside removable parapets? inflatable tubes that can be sent down the building (what a ride1)? The discussion is worth having.


21 posted on 10/06/2005 2:23:49 PM PDT by Tenacious 1 (Dems: "It can't be done" Reps. "Move, we'll find a way or make a way. It has to be done!")
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To: Paloma_55

Such equipment is for sale now
See http://store.milliondollarideashow.com/esr.html
and http://www.securityprousa.com/rehiribu.html

If you have some mountainering skills, try
http://www.chiefsupply.com/cmc-escape-line-kit.phtml

If you figure 15 ft to a 'story', then a standard rock climbing rope (150 Ft) or an extended version (165 ft) should get you out of a 9 or 10 floor building.

Dont forget your attachment device, harness, 'biners, smoke mask and gloves

Personally, I would not work above the 8th floor.

YMMV


22 posted on 10/06/2005 2:46:09 PM PDT by ASOC (Insert clever tagline here: _______)
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