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Basic Firefighting: Ground Ladders

The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of ground ladder operations, positioning fire streams with ladders, carrying ground ladders, raising ground ladders, and climbing ground ladders.

Session Reference: 2

Topic: Basic Firefighting: Ground Ladders

Level of Instruction:

Time Required: 3 Hours

Materials:

• Various Ground Ladders

References:

• Truck Company Fireground Operations, Second Edition, Chapters 9

• Essentials of Fire Fighting, Fourth Edition, IFSTA, Chapter

Preparation

Motivation:

Objective (SPO): The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of ground ladder operations, positioning fire streams with ladders, carrying ground ladders, raising ground ladders, and climbing ground ladders.

Overview: Basic Firefighting: Ground Ladders

• Ground ladder operations

• Placement of ladders and climbing techniques

• Positioning fire fighting steams

• Ground ladder practical

Basic Firefighting: Ground Ladders

SPO 2-1 The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of ground ladder operations, positioning fire streams with ladders, carrying ground ladders, raising ground ladders, and climbing ground ladders.

EO 2-1 Identify the purpose of fire service ladders.

EO 2-2 Demonstrate the proper placement of ladders and a safe climbing technique as it pertains to advancing hoselines.

EO 2-3 Describe the techniques of using ground ladders to support fire streams.

EO 2-4 Raise all portable ladders carried on the apparatus using the flat or beam raise, and climb correctly the full length of those ladders (NFPA 1001 (1997) 3-3.5).

Instructional Guide

I. Ground Ladder Operations (2-1)

Introduction

• Within height and personnel limitations, ground ladders can be effective in number of operations

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• Some uses same as aerial units, but others unique

• Gaining access to fire building and exposed buildings

• Advancing hoselines when stairways are used by people escaping

• Replacing damaged stairways

• Removing trapped victims

• Removing people from crowded fire escapes

• Getting from one roof level to another

• Reinforcing weakened building features

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• Ladder Work

• Ladder work should be assigned to those performing truck duties

• If laddering duties not specifically assigned, rescue or fire attack operations can be delayed

• Ladder operations affect the efficiency of most other fireground operations

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• Handling Ground Ladders

• Several ways to carry ground ladders from apparatus

• Method used should require least maneuvering and time

• There should be no need to lay ladder on ground after carrying to building and before raising it

• One way to avoid extra movement is to carry it with rungs and trusses parallel to ground - once butt in position near wall, lower to ground while upper part of ladder raised from shoulder height

• Ladder can then be pivoted and extended if necessary

• Two- and three-person ladders can be quickly placed for beam raise

• Two-person ladder is carried with fire fighters on opposite corners

• Three-person ladder carried with two fire fighters at each end of one truss and one in the middle on other truss

• Four person ladders carried by two fire fighters at each end and additional crew members at or near middle

• If manufacturer makes no recommendation, position fly section away from building

• Climbing angle is determined by height of raise and distance from butt to building - butt to building distance one-quarter of height of raise

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• Safety

• Be careful of overhead obstructions, especially electric wires

• Once ladder raised, should be tied in to building or braced by fire fighter

• Ladder should not be overloaded - fire fighters should be at least ten feet apart at normal climbing angle

• If climbing angle decreased or hose being carried up, distance between those on ladder should be increased to twenty feet

• Once ladder used to enter building, it should be left in place as exit

 

II. Advancing Hoselines (2-2)

Placing Ladders

• Should be placed where they will be of use in overall operation

• Size up will indicate where building may have to be entered

• Occasionally, properly positioned ladders will not be needed, possibly because fire was quickly controlled from other positions

• Avoid placing ladders in front of building entrance

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Climbing Ladders

• Fire fighters carrying lines should be at least fifteen feet apart

• Hose should be grasped at couplings with loops hanging off side of ladder

• Once line advanced into building, it should be moved clear of ladder so it hangs down face of building

 

III. Positioning Fire Fighting Streams (2-3)

Ladders can be used to hold and position streams being directed into building

• Topmost three or four rungs extend over sill and into window, line is tied to ladder so stream is directed through window opening

• Ladder is raised over window with top placed against wall above, line is tied to ladder, and stream directed onto fire

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Ladder should be tied to building if possible

• Ladder in windows tied in with rope hose tool

• Ladder against wall tied to pike pole placed across inside of lower window

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Hoseline should be tied to ladder in manner that will allow rope to absorb some of reaction of line when nozzle opened

• Not tied rigidly to ladder rungs

• Suspended between rungs

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Can be used to knock down fire ahead of crews advancing interior lines

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Ladders streams should be shut down as interior lines approach

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• Once ladder stream has knocked down fire, it can be shut down, untied, advanced, recharged, and used for interior attack

• Allow smoke or steam to clear area

• Check interior conditions

• Enter window only when second fire fighter has climbed to position immediately outside window to assist in advancing line and back up

 

IV. Ground Ladder Practical (2-4)

Demonstrate the following using ground ladders:

• One, two, and three person beam carries

• Two, three, and four flat person carries

• One, two, three, and four person raises

• Placement for fire fighting, rescue, and roof operations

• Climbing

Review:

Basic Firefighting: Ground Ladders

• Ground ladder operations

• Placement of ladders and climbing techniques

• Positioning fire fighting steams

• Ground ladder practical

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