from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A large net, attached by steel springs to a stiff ring, held by firemen at the height of their shoulders, into which persons may jump from a burning building.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It was dangerous even with the life-net below them, for had the men fallen together, in a heap, they would have been hurt in spite of the net.
Janet and Teddy could pull it, as they had once seen the Cresco firemen stretch out a life-net in a practice drill, the banana was placed in the center.
Every fireman nowadays must pass muster at life-saving drill, must climb to the top of any building on his scaling-ladder, slide down with a rescued comrade, or jump without hesitation from the third story into the life-net spread below.
He measured the distance and the risk with a look, saw the crowd tugging frantically at the life-net under the window, and bade them jump, one by one.