1. #1
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    Question A few more elevator questions...

    How many of you get out and train on the elevators in your district, if so do you have certain places and times that you find disrupt the public least?

    How in depth do you go with your hands on training, do you practice polling, do you lower hydraulic elevators?

    If you shut down the mainline power in your course of training can you turn it back on and expect the elevator to go back to normal operations, or are there things that need to be done by building maintenance or elevator mechanics prior to returning the elevator back to normal operation?

    If you lower a hydraulic elevator in training, can we return the elevator to service or will it have to be service prior to returning to normal operations.

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    From my experience with elevators, it is SAFEST to have an elevator representative (if available within a reasonable amount of time) take care of any entrapment. The majority of the calls at work for entrapments are 'unfounded' - the people have managed to get out themselves before anyone gets there. For the few times that people have been really stuck, the elevator rep has been able to safely move the car and open the door to let the people out.

    Not only do you need to consider the car moving at any time if not secured properly, you also have to consider the power source, resetting/returning to service etc.....

    I think the best thing would be to have a basic knowledge of how the elevator works, how to operate it in Phase II/Firemans' Service, and also who to call in the event there is a real entrapment.

    The one and only time I recall having to call the FD in for an entrapment was with a car stuck in a lind shaft about 15 stories up - the elevator mechanic was not able to safely move the car to an accessible floor, so a side-by-side rescue was performed with the FD and elevator rep working together.

    As for lowering a hydraulic elevator - not sure why you would want to, or even how you could safely do it - again, the car should be secured from moving by authorized/trained personnel and any rescue made with the car in place.

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    Cool Elevator Rescues

    We just did this training last month... We controlled, operated and used the Rescue Tools to open the door.

    I covered Elevator Rescues very in depth from information I got from a Truck Academy I attended this year. Yes we actually lowered the hydraulic elevator. We did not need to contact the Elevator Mechanics since no damage was done to the car. We did contact and explain our actions to the Manager of the Hotel that we used and he was cool with us doing our thing without being supervised by his personnel.

    Yes we shut down the power and once each Group restored the power the elevator returned to normal operations each time. Even in the few cases when the car was slightly lower than the landing, it just raised to the proper level. Even if you lower a car, if it will not reset and operate normally just lower it another level and make it land in the proper position on the next floor. Undo the Phase I and Phase II and the elevator should return to normal operations.

    As for lowering a hydraulic elevator - not sure why you would want to, or even how you could safely do it - again, the car should be secured from moving by authorized/trained personnel and any rescue made with the car in place.
    As far as lowering a hydraulic elevator, to safely perform the operation look in the Hydraulic Reservoir and there will either be a nut or a plunger that you open or pull that will SLOWLY lower the car. Secure the power to the car/elevator so the pump will not operate. With the nut only open it enough to hear the oil moving. On the plunger, keep the lid on the reservoir closed and pull it up slowly and hold it. Many hydraulic systems have a valve that can be closed to stop the fluid from entering into the Hydraulic Piston that lifts the car. Lower the car to the landing and within the zone and the doors should open when manually activated from inside the car; hold the open door button until the door(s) are open all the way. This is a brief operation on how to lower a Hydraulic Elevator. If you want/need more information send me a P.M. with what you want and I will send it to ya.
    Last edited by mikeyboy; 12-13-2010 at 09:07 PM.
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    Get in touch with the elevator companies. Actually, The International Union of Elevator Construtors may even have someone for you to talk to. I can almost guarantee you will find a journeyman mechanic in each company that is fire service friendly and willing to provide you with information or even teach a class. Before I got on the job, I was a Union Electrician and work on several projects with these guys, always more than helpful and willing to teach.

    Here is a good place to start looking...

    https://www.iuec.org/locals.asp
    John D. Calamia, BS, NREMTP, FP-C
    Firefighter/Flight Paramedic
    Broomall, PA

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    How many of you get out and train on the elevators in your district, if so do you have certain places and times that you find disrupt the public least?
    We get out to train fairly regularly, quarterly for sure. We also do new construction site visits to familiarize ourselves with the types of elevators and mechanical room location. Traction elevators are fairly straight forward, but hydros not so much. Though it common to have the mechanical room on the lowest level and adjacent to the houstway, an architect can do just about anything with it.
    How in depth do you go with your hands on training, do you practice polling, do you lower hydraulic elevators?
    We do all the steps in training we would in actual rescues. Including poling vertical and horizontal. As far as lowering a hydro, that's extremely basic and with training, can be regularly trained on.

    If you shut down the mainline power in your course of training can you turn it back on and expect the elevator to go back to normal operations, or are there things that need to be done by building maintenance or elevator mechanics prior to returning the elevator back to normal operation?In 99% of the cases its no problem. The only screwy ones are Schindler's with their maintenance switch. Doesn't pose an issue unless you mess with it....
    One of the first and easiest steps you can do is cycle the main disconnect. Turn the main off, count to 20, turn it back on. That will reset the low oil timer and it may run fine after that. Works for both hydraulic and traction.


    If you lower a hydraulic elevator in training, can we return the elevator to service or will it have to be service prior to returning to normal operations.
    Those you can bring right down to the springs and once you join the doors and turn the power on, give it a few seconds, it will level right up.
    Now I know there are exceptions and variations to what I posted. After almost 11 years as an elevator mechanic, trust me, I know. These are general answers to general questions. NOT an elevator rescue class for cripes sake.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy View Post
    Many hydraulic systems have a valve that can be closed to stop the fluid from entering into the Hydraulic Piston that lifts the car.
    When would we use this valve as part of a lowering operation. Thanks for the replies.

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    Here's an excellent podcast on elevator rescue with an interview with retired FDNY Captain Tony Tricarico.

    http://www.firehouse.com/podcast/buz...or-emergencies

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    Oh boy am I ~spoiled~ At work here there are mechanics on site pretty much every work day, and right now we have multiple elevators being rehabbed too so there are even more mechanics around.

    I do pick their brains whenever I get a chance (when I'm not harassing them about leaving doors open etc )..hehe...and ALL of them have been happy to let me take a look around (even got to ride car top once) and answer any questions I have.

    I'm ~very~ happy to leave any rescuing to them as they have waaaay much more knowledge than I do about how the elevators work - although I do know where the power disconnects are if needed, also I have access to the emergency generator switches.

    Oh - and Schindler, screwy? rofl..... you should see some of the set ups here - and we have Schindler working on Otis elevators - thankfully the tech used to work for Otis and really knows the system!

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    When would we use this valve as part of a lowering operation.
    In most cases you wouldn't as it's more of an isolation valve. There is usually one located in the equipment room and 1 in the elevator pit. If a vic coupling lets go or the jack packing fails, you could use the one in the equipment room to prevent the oil from filling the pit.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdcalamia View Post
    Get in touch with the elevator companies. Actually, The International Union of Elevator Construtors may even have someone for you to talk to.
    The headquarters of the IUEC isn't far from where I live. They have their own building.

    It's a one-storey building. ROFL
    -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

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    Shutting the valve stops any addition fluid from entering the Piston. Just as SPFDRum said you can use it to stop fluid from entering the Pit if it is leaking. It is also a good idea to secure this if there is fire in the Pit (from trash, excessive grease and what not).
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

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