91 Rodeo Total Brake failure

Recently had the front left brake line rust out & fail on this 91 Rodeo. Nothing happened & not a real big deal to replace. BUT, when this line
failed there were NO brakes at all, just the parking brake & thank goodness it's a stick shift -driving in a very mountainous region of British Columbia. So my question is this: Isn't there supposed to be some fail-safe braking even when a line fails. That is if a front line goes aren't the backs still supposed to work? What else is could be wrong? Thanks, BCin BC
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