Rescue One was established in 1996 with a view to developing products to eliminate unnecessary deaths due to the smoke inhalation in the Mining Industry in South Africa. We were requested by various top mining officials to develop systems whereby Miners could reach a place of safety, quickly, timelessly and alive. The Two main products developed are Lifeline and Frontline.


Lifeline was developed due to a number of mining accidents where miners lost their lives. They became disorientated, lost their way to the refuge bay and simply ran out of oxygen a few meters from safety. It is a scientific fact that people become disorientated in a smoke filled environment and can lose up to 40% of their senses; i.e. balance, hearing, sight, smell and taste. Therefore touch becomes important when attempting to escape in the conditions, especially if the senses are impaired.

In the aftermath of fires and explosions, smoke becomes a severe hindrance to the safe evacuation of mine personnel and greatly reduces the possibility of escape.   It has been noted from incidents, both locally and internationally, that smoke which fills mine openings induces a “White out” and reduces visibility to almost zero.

In our development stages we carried out a number of escapes simulation test underground and found that without a rope guidance system, escape is virtually impossible in a underground emergency, due to either smoke, dust, and lack of normal guidance indicators. It is also a fact in thick smoke or dust, a person will lose many of his sensors, such as balance, sight and up to 50% of his hearing. Also in our tests where we blindfolded a number of experienced Miners and had them walk 250 meters in a straight passage without a Lifeline. This was an experience as 8 out of the 10 Miners veered off to their right and double backed on themselves and got totally lost. The others took over 20 minutes to cover the 250 meters. As Minors only have 30 minutes (under normal breathing conditions) of breathing time, this practise was unacceptable. The refuge bays are a 1000 meters away from the sections.

The results show that with the LIFELINE® Escape System, escape walking speed can be maintained. The average escape speed with LIFELINE® is 1.09m per second, representing a speed excess of 75% of that observed during normal conditions of visibility.


Fires constitute an ever present hazard in the Mines. A fire can occur whenever combustible materials are present on Mine Workings. Underground fires not only endanger the valuable lives of Men, but also causes considerable economic losses to  organisations affected by fires.

With the outburst of a fire underground, two important environmental issues occur, which present a grave danger to personnel underground and can effect lives of people in a matter of minutes.

The two conditions are SMOKE and CO.    FRONTLINE® is an early warning detection system that will detect smoke/co from up to 1000m away from the section of the Mine where people are working.

The FRONTLINE® detection system is a revolutionary new concept in effective evacuation of Mines. The system releases a very powerful fragrance in the Intake Air Flow System of the Mine. The fragrance is atomised in the air flow and will travel along the intake airways at the same speed as the air flow. The fragrance will then enter the working section, warning people of smoke/co that is being detected up to 1000m away.

The principle behind FRONTLINE® is to eliminate the human factor of having to physically go into the section and warn people of approaching danger or when the section is already filled with smoke/co, safe evacuation then becomes very difficult. There is always a tremendous amount of noise in any Mine and hearing protection is worn by all Personnel, the chance of actually hearing a fire alarm is minimal.

By introducing a powerful fragrance, all Personnel will smell rather than hear of approaching danger and evacuate before the development of thick smoke which will reduce visibility to zero, where people become disorientated and lose their way to safety, FRONTLINE® (Smoke/Co Detection System) in conjunction with LIFELINE® Directional Rope Guidance System will provide each person that goes underground a safe and reliable evacuation system, which will enable persons in the case of an emergency to reach the Refuge Bay QUICKLY, SAFELY and ALIVE.