Rescue Reel is designed to let you down in an emergency


June 5, 2009

The Rescue Reel features a sling harness and enough cable to descend from a 100 story building

The Rescue Reel features a sling harness and enough cable to descend from a 100 story building

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June 6, 2009 The Rescue Reel is a compact, self-contained device designed to allow people to escape from high-rise buildings in an emergency. Taking inspiration from a fishing reel, inventor Kevin Stone's design features a simple sling harness and enough cord to descend from a 100 story building, yet the device is small enough to be stored in a standard filing cabinet drawer.

The Rescue Reel requires no special training to operate (but a little courage wouldn't go astray). The user first attaches the Kevlar cord to a secure object (such as a door frame) and then steps into the one-size-fits-all harness before rappelling through an open window to the ground.

The device is equipped with a dynamic braking system which automatically applies a centrifugal brake to slow the person’s descent. The manufacturer says that descent from a 100 story building should take less than 4 minutes.

In addition to use in skyscrapers, the Rescue reel could be used for self rescue on bridges, construction sites, oil platforms, or cruise ships.

The descent of loads from 30 to 400lbs (13.6 to 181.4kg) can be safely slowed with no adjustments. A manual secondary brake is provided in case the dynamic brake fails, or the operator needs to avoid an obstacle.

While lowering yourself over the side of an high-rise building isn't an attractive prospect, it sure beats the option strapping on a parachute, or the terrifying possibility of being unable to escape at all.

Rescue Reel specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 13.5 x 8.8in. (37.6 x 34.3 x 22.4cm)
  • Weight: 22lbs (10kg)
  • User weight: 30 to 400lbs (13.6 to 181.4kg)
  • Maximum use height: 1000ft (304.8m)
  • Construction: Aluminum and plastic housing, Kevlar cord
  • Testing of the Rescue Reel is complete and production units should be available next year for USD$1500. The manufacturer predicts that price will drop once mass production starts.

    Alan Brandon

    Visit Rescue Reel for additional information.



The idea is basically very nice - safely tucked in a special sheet and a controlled descent; I myself have a long time been looking for a suitable escape ladder for my two-storey appartment and have succeeded in buying/building a rope ladder of metallic components. Of course climbing a rope ladder is much more dangerous than rappelling but I had not found a decent alternative solution for my particular situation.

BUT... IMHO it is utterly unsafe to use Kevlar as the rope - it will burn in an instant when exposed to even a simple match. I just did a test burning/melting a Kevlar fishing line with a match - it's gone in a split second. Imagine rappelling down a building and having to pass a lower storey/window with flames coming out - brrrrrr

And does this invention have a hauling-back mechanism to get your wife/kids/husband/friends etc. down safely as well?



I agree with Christoph, "does this invention have a hauling-back mechanism" it would be a lot better if it wasn't single use.


Hey Christoph, I have no idea what is in your \"Kevlar\" Fishing line as a filler, But Kevlar is fire retardant.

Paul Ensign
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