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Thread: Sutphen Tower Failure

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    Default Sutphen Tower Failure

    Interesting article on a recent Sutphen failure, in Arizona

    GREEN VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

    The Green Valley Fire District says the weight limit was not exceeded when five people were injured in yesterday's ladder accident in Green Valley.

    The maximum weight allowed when water is not running is 1,000 pounds.

    Five people were sent to the hospital after the accident in which they were hurt while riding in the bucket at the end of the ladder. Two of those people have been released from the hospital.

    The remaining three, all civilians, are still at University Medical Center for ongoing treatment of their injuries. No one involved in the incident sustained life-threatening injuries.

    Authorities say the ladder experienced a mechanical failure in the last section of the ladder, also called the fly section. A steel cable gave way in the fly section causing the ladder to retract to its original position; this return caused the people inside the bucket to be thrown rather violently against the ladder.

    The manufacturer of the truck, Sutphen is scheduled to arrive in Green Valley sometime this afternoon, to help in the investigation. The truck was purchased in 2009 and first entered service in 2010.

    The investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety is continuing today, at the request of the GVFD, who is cooperating fully with the investigators.

    There was no interruption of service to Green Valley or Sahuarita during the incident.

    "This is a difficult time for Green Valley Fire family," said Fire Chief Simon Davis, "An event like this is unprecedented for our department."

    "There will be much for us to do in the days and weeks ahead," continued Davis, "but most important is the recovery of the three individuals still receiving care for their injuries."

    "The Fire District Board is fully involved with the review of this incident," added Board Chairman Dave Appleton, "We are also fully supportive of Chief Davis and his staff in the outstanding work they are doing to resolve all of the issues and the following investigations into the failure of the apparatus."
    http://www.wbtv.com/story/19297373/n...type=printable

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    Why would you have five in the bucket?? It might not have been overweight, but I bet it was close. I've not heard of that kind of failure on a Sutphen.

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    A cable failure can happen on any make or model aerial, when was the last time the apparatus was serviced or had a annual aerial inspection performed ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    A cable failure can happen on any make or model aerial, when was the last time the apparatus was serviced or had a annual aerial inspection performed ?
    I got the impression (elsewhere)it was brand new and being shown off?Reading the link above it appears to have entered service in 2010, so these things may be contributing factors?
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 08-21-2012 at 08:32 AM.

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    Default Dual Cables

    Our aerials have dual extension cables on each section. It sounds like the Sutpen only has one extension cable on the fly section.

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    Not that is has anything to do with the failure, but they never should have had civilians in the platform. Period.
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Update.... Probe focuses on snapped cable in firetruck ladder accident

    http://www.gvnews.com/news/local/pro...9bb2963f4.html

    Investigators are focusing on a steel cable that snapped Wednesday in Green Valley, sending the top section of a 100-foot firetruck ladder sliding 40 feet in an accident that sent five people to the hospital.
    Victims recall terror
    The accident knocked one man partly out the bucket, and for a moment the safety harness he was wearing was all that kept him from falling about 40 feet to the ground.

    The cable controls the top section of a 100-foot ladder used during a public relations event Wednesday at Green Valley Fire District Station 151, 250 N. La Caņada Drive.

    “The cable broke, but what caused the cable to break? Cables don’t just break. That’s what the investigation is about,” said Ken Creese of Sutphen Corp., the company that manufactured the ladder truck.

    Four civilians and a firefighter were in the bucket at the end of the 100-foot ladder; two remained hospitalized as of Saturday.

    Creese said that in 35 years in the industry he has only heard of a handful of cases of aerial ladders retracting unexpectedly and causing injury or damage.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said Friday.

    Creese, director of sales and marketing for Sutphen Corp., of Amlin, Ohio, arrived in Green Valley with two other Sutphen employees Thursday morning. The team took hundreds of photographs of the ladder truck before returning Friday to Ohio, where engineers are examining them.

    The ladder has three sections, with the bottom fixed to the truck and the next two sliding out using hydraulic and mechanical systems that include the cable.

    The 100-foot ladder was nearly fully extended at a 45-degree angle and was in the process of being extended when the cable snapped, a GVFD spokesman said. A spokesman for the fire district likened the accident to an elevator failing and sliding rapidly down a shaft.

    The cable broke, sending the top section sliding rapidly along the incline, slamming into the second section and stopping abruptly with such force that the bucket’s gate popped open.

    The momentum threw civilian Tom Brown’s upper body outside the bucket and though Brown’s feet remained in the bucket, only a safety harness kept him from falling out, GVFD spokesman Capt. Tom Louis said.

    “His legs were still in the bucket, but his upper body was outside the bucket and he was held in place by the ladder belt, the safety harness. The other four remained inside the bucket,” Louis said.

    Fire Capt. Jeff Mooney quickly pulled Brown back inside and despite his own injuries, began assessing the others.

    “Capt. Mooney began assessing the patients. Though he was injured, he had the presence of mind to do his job,” Louis said. “Then, when two firefighters got up, he was able to stabilize the patients, keep them from moving, take their vital signs.”

    All five in the bucket were wearing safety equipment that prevented the possibility of anyone being thrown to the ground, according to GVFD. The bucket has a leveling device that keeps it from swaying excessively and the bucket is not considered a likely cause of the ladder failure.

    Once the ladder slid back, firefighters decided to leave the ladder and bucket in place rather than try to move the ladder. That left the top of the bucket about 42 feet above the ground. Two firefighters scrambled up the ladder to help stabilize the civilians and a call went out for help at 5:56 p.m. Although three ambulances and a helicopter arrived, the five injured people could not immediately be taken out of the bucket.

    Another ladder truck equipped with a bucket was dispatched from the Pascua Pueblo Fire Department at 6 p.m. and arrived at 6:30 p.m. The patients slowly were transferred to that bucket before they were lowered to the ground. The first ambulance left with a passenger at 6:54 p.m. The third and last ambulance left at 7:23 p.m. The Lifeline helicopter was dispatched at 6:12 p.m. and dropped its patient off at University of Arizona Medical Center.

    Service records

    The bucket has a 1,000-pound weight limit, and is to be serviced annually, according to the manufacturer. It last was maintained in August 2011.

    Louis said the entire apparatus undergoes routine and preventive maintenance throughout the year based on hourly usage. The ladder and its components are required to undergo an extensive annual testing process by a third party, which last occurred Aug. 24, 2011. The next test was scheduled for the last week in August, Louis said.

    Louis said this kind of ladder failure, involving a section sliding backward, is “almost unprecedented.”

    DPS investigating

    Meanwhile, Fire Chief Simon Davis asked the Arizona Department of Public Safety to conduct an administrative investigation and the first DPS officer arrived about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The DPS investigator marked the scene off and removed materials from the truck and items that fell to the ground, officials said.

    Sutphen’s Creese said he is providing information to DPS and he could not talk in detail about his work until DPS releases its investigation, which Creese expects within two weeks.

    A DPS spokesman said the case is under investigation but said he could not release a timeline or other details.

    Davis said the district will review its policy for public access to the ladder truck after DPS completes its accident review and the truck is returned to service, though he does not contemplate any changes for regular trucks.

    “In regards to allowing the public on the trucks and riding in them, our current policy allows it as long as standard safety issues are followed, as was (done) in this case,” Davis said.

    The ladder truck was built in 2009, and went into service in 2010.

    The ladder truck will be out of service “indefinitely,” according to the GVFD, and will go back to Sutphen for repairs.

    Other departments have offered to step in to help. GVFD has a 65-foot ladder without a bucket that is being refurbished and should be ready “very soon,” according to the department.

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    All I can say is to make sure that you wait for the outcome of the entire investigation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Not that is has anything to do with the failure, but they never should have had civilians in the platform. Period.
    Not to completely derail the conversation....but why? We do it every year at our open house, once the kids and parents complete their "Fire Safety Scavenger Hunt" they get harnessed in and go for a ride. Our insurance has no problem with it....No different than putting firefighters in it.

    Edited to add: of course there's always a FF with them...and no unaccompanied kids.
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    it's a fire truck, not a carnival ride.

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    At a time when support of the public is so vital to us, that's some of the best P.R. there is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    At a time when support of the public is so vital to us, that's some of the best P.R. there is.
    Especially for a volunteer department that survives on donations.
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    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    I don't know a builder that makes their own cables. There is one glaring point made from this incident. Ladder belts were in use and that saved at least one life. Unless they are built into you PPE I understand that they are one last thing to put on but this is a clear reason of why they should be used.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    At a time when support of the public is so vital to us, that's some of the best P.R. there is.
    You're right. Until something breaks and the ladder comes crashing down and a few civilians are killed. But that kind of stuff never happens.

    Oh, wait...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Not to completely derail the conversation....but why? We do it every year at our open house, once the kids and parents complete their "Fire Safety Scavenger Hunt" they get harnessed in and go for a ride. Our insurance has no problem with it....No different than putting firefighters in it.

    Edited to add: of course there's always a FF with them...and no unaccompanied kids.
    What your insurance carrier has to say is up to them, but it is without a doubt different. Go ask the power company to take you and your kids up in a bucket truck. See what they say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Not that is has anything to do with the failure, but they never should have had civilians in the platform. Period.
    While I understand this sentiment and lean this way myself, one must wonder how a department asks it's members to train or do other non-emergency tasks using this equipment if it's deemed too dangerous for civilians? If the reason not to take civilians is potential danger of injury or death from a catastrophic accident, what do the guys tell their wives and kids? I'll bet the probability of this happening is lower than bleachers collapsing or even a firetruck hitting the same civilians at an intersection. Let's hope that our equipment isn't anticipated to fail and that the majority of FD's are properly caring for it, thus limiting the potential dangers to extremely low probabilities.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 08-25-2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelling errors.

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    This isn't the first time this has happened.



    http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com.../newsid/162939

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    Quote Originally Posted by donethat View Post
    This isn't the first time this has happened.



    http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com.../newsid/162939
    That was a completely different cause.

    Please take the time to call the Palm Beach County FL fire chief. He has stated the exact cause, who the blame is on, and he is more than welcome to share that information.

    Funny thing about episodes like this, the incident is well publicized...but the outcome of the investigation is never released. Only thing people remember is that Brand X had a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOOBY14B View Post
    That was a completely different cause.

    Please take the time to call the Palm Beach County FL fire chief. He has stated the exact cause, who the blame is on, and he is more than welcome to share that information.

    Funny thing about episodes like this, the incident is well publicized...but the outcome of the investigation is never released. Only thing people remember is that Brand X had a problem.
    do you mind giving the cliff note version???

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    Cables had not been adjusted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOOBY14B View Post
    Cables had not been adjusted.
    thanks......

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    I don't see how slack cables would cause this, outside of being pinched or very severe abrasion. Even then, it's hard to believe.

    If there really is only one cable on the fly section, they need to re-engineer for a second for a redundant safety IMHO.
    Last edited by Cutlass84; 08-30-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOOBY14B View Post
    That was a completely different cause.
    We still don't know the actual cause of the recent incident so I am not sure how you can say that.

    In both incidents the fly section was released by the cable so there are similarities.

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    On our aerials, there is very little clearence between the pullies (redundent) and the pulley mount plates. So if the cables are very slack, they cannot come off the the pulley and get pinched between the pulley and the mounting plates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass84 View Post
    I don't see how slack cables would cause this, outside of being pinched or very severe abrasion. Even then, it's hard to believe.

    If there really is only one cable on the fly section, they need to re-engineer for a second for a redundant safety IMHO.
    Sutphen built the very first telescoping aerial platform, and the fundamentals haven't changed. EVERY manufacturer has required maintenance, and that maintenance MUST be followed.

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