1. #1
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    Default Let's Talk Ladders

    Around here, most department's are the same. We run 2-section 24' extension ladders and 14' rood ladders on the engines, and 3-section 35' extension ladders, 24' extension ladders and various roof ladders on the truck companies.

    We have decided to start replacing some of our older ladders next year. I am considering the 2-section 28' extension ladders in place of the 24's. Has anyone made this change, and if so what was your experience with it? We run "traditional" officer side ladder mounts and I am concerned on whether the longer ladders will hang over too much.

    Also, anyone running 2-section 35's?

    Thanks!
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    Our newest engine has a 2 section 28', 14' roof, and 16' roof. The extra 4' on the ladder has been good for us. With buildings having to meet new flood warnings, roofs are getting a bit higher.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I am a big fan of the 28 for engine companies. That extra reach can be critical if you are first on scene and need to perform a rescue.
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    We run 2 section 24's plus 14' roofs on our engines; 2 section 24's, a 3 section 35' and 16' roofs on our truck.
    Hindsight being what it is, I wish I'd asked for the 2 section 28's instead. The extra weight would have been minimal compared to that extra 4 feet of reach.
    What's that old saying...you can stretch a hose but not a ladder?

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    We run 28' 2-section Alco-lite ladders and they are great for the extra reach, two thing to consider is that your talking 40lbs. of additional ladder and 20" of bedded ladder length. On a smaller pumper body the ladder may cause some issues transverse hoseloads.

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    We run a 3 section 35' on our first due and a 2 section 24' on our second due, both have 12' roof ladders. We don't have a truck, or any in our immediate area for that matter, so we feel it's necessary to have the longer ladder on our engine.

    Does anyone know how much longer a 2 section 35' is than a 3 section? We're thinking about getting one of them for our new engine that get delivered this Fall, but only if it fits without hanging out the back to far.

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    Closed lengths of some AlcoLite ladders.

    35' 2-Section - 20' 1" - 139 Pounds
    35' 3-Section - 15' 8" - 170 Pounds

    28' 2-Section - 16' 7" - 114 Pounds
    28' 3-Section - 13' 4" - 145 Pounds

    24' 2-Section - 14' 3" - 75 Pounds

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    Depends on your manpower, use, and buildings. With 3 man companies, we throw ladders by ourselves often. Do you ever expect a single FF to throw a 24? Because if you go to 28s, that ain't gonna work.

    We put 28s on two of our engines, with the idea that we were sending the third engine to the C side and it would have been useful to get to the roofs of 2 story commercials and 3 story garden apts. We found they they didn't get used very often for those situations-we ended up using the aerial or a 24/35 off the truck. Our most common use for engine co. ladders has been for the driver to throw a ladder to an apt balcony while the Co and FF go interior fire attack. Same with the truck-the OV throws 24 ladders by himself once in a while. As I said, that's not happening with a 28.

    We went back to ordering 24s on the engines, and would have replaced the 28 on the ladder co. with a second 24 if we would have bought new vs used.

    Our situation, not yours. Your mileage may vary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    Depends on your manpower, use, and buildings. With 3 man companies, we throw ladders by ourselves often. Do you ever expect a single FF to throw a 24? Because if you go to 28s, that ain't gonna work.

    We put 28s on two of our engines, with the idea that we were sending the third engine to the C side and it would have been useful to get to the roofs of 2 story commercials and 3 story garden apts. We found they they didn't get used very often for those situations-we ended up using the aerial or a 24/35 off the truck. Our most common use for engine co. ladders has been for the driver to throw a ladder to an apt balcony while the Co and FF go interior fire attack. Same with the truck-the OV throws 24 ladders by himself once in a while. As I said, that's not happening with a 28.

    We went back to ordering 24s on the engines, and would have replaced the 28 on the ladder co. with a second 24 if we would have bought new vs used.

    Our situation, not yours. Your mileage may vary.
    A 28' extension ladder can absoutely be a 1 firefighter throw. All of our firefighters are expected to be able to do this on their own.

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    gunnyv,

    Why isn't a 28 a single firefighter throw? I have one at home, an old decommisioned one, that I use around the house that I throw by myself all the time for projects.
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    At our state fire academy, 1 of the ladder drills was throwing a 24 by yourself. As is with most career depts and volunteer depts during the day manpower is limited and we just can't commit to using 2 guys to throw 1 ladder..A 120 pound female who wasn't too athletic was able to man handle the 24 by herself so any decent firefighter with training can do it no problem...never tried to throw a 28, just because we don't have them, but I don't think it would be much different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidazoWHAM! View Post
    A 28' extension ladder can absoutely be a 1 firefighter throw. All of our firefighters are expected to be able to do this on their own.
    First, please do not read this as a sarcastic response. It is not meant that way at all.

    I should have made myself clear: A single FF can throw a 28'. It's not impossible by any means, and I've done it myself. But there is a big difference between doing it on scene vs in a parking lot 20 feet from the rig without an SCBA.

    Do you NEED a 28' to get to windows that you can't reach with a 24'? Have you evaluated your expectations of what that FF is going to do after the ladder is up, and if carrying that (heavier) ladder is going to diminish his endurance and ability to do what needs to be done next? How many of your FFs can throw a 28' on the fireground, in the snow or 90 degree heat, with an SCBA on and carrying a tool, over uneven ground to a building 70' from the rig, and then have the endurance to immediately climb it and enter the building to conduct a search by himself? If your answer to that is "we need the 28's length and all of the FFs can do it", then more power to you.

    In our case, we found through experience that we didn't NEED a 28' to reach the areas we go to most of the time, and carrying a 40+ lb heavier ladder for the sake of 4' we don't need isn't worth it. It especially isn't worth it if your guys are older, busier, and fewer than they were 10 years ago, as is our case. Our guys never throw 28's by themselves and avoid using them when possible in favor of the 24's. In fact, they will often walk past a rig with the 28' to get a 24' they can throw by themselves rather than tie up another guy by choosing the 28'.

    Again, if you guys can do it under your set of circumstances, great.

    I don't know whether the original poster's dept is more similar to yours or mine, but hopefully the variety of answers here can help him make an educated decision.

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    Gunnyv, good post.

    OP-Only thing I have to add is get ahold of some of these ladders that your looking at and throw them around and get some different sized members of your department to throw them.

    The 24" is absolutely a one person throw for most any firefighter and the 28" is not that much different IMO(6" 23 year old male), your opinion may differ.

    Take a look at the lengths and weights posted earlier and make sure they will work with your apparatus and people.


    Also, one department I run with uses a 2 fly 35" on the truck and I like it way more then the 3 fly. It is longer but easily a 2 person throw, where I have found the 3 fly to be a difficult with 2 or even 3. Also larger guys should be able to move and throw a 2 fly 35" by themselves, but its a bit sketchy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Around here, most department's are the same. We run 2-section 24' extension ladders and 14' rood ladders on the engines, and 3-section 35' extension ladders, 24' extension ladders and various roof ladders on the truck companies.

    We have decided to start replacing some of our older ladders next year. I am considering the 2-section 28' extension ladders in place of the 24's. Has anyone made this change, and if so what was your experience with it? We run "traditional" officer side ladder mounts and I am concerned on whether the longer ladders will hang over too much.

    Also, anyone running 2-section 35's?

    Thanks!
    On our current truck, we carry two, 2 section 28's with a compliment of other ground ladders. All are made by AlcoLite.

    There are a number of single and multiple family dwellings in the 1st due, and surrounding areas that have a large grade, or slope on Side Charlie. In a number of incidents, the 28's have given us the reach we needed to make windows or balconies on buildings like this.

    Our current 35ft ladder is 3 section. It's getting replaced on the new truck with a 2 section 35ft AlcoLite.

    I've used 2 section 35 footers off of other trucks and found them to be easier to carry, throw, and raise.
    Last edited by OSD122; 09-09-2012 at 09:29 PM.

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    The other day I was teaching a ladder class at the tech college and I demonstrated the 24 foot single firefighter raise. One of the students asked "why would you ever want to do that?" I said "You roll up with a 4 man ladder truck, a driver,an officer and 2 firefighters. Three people are hanging out of windows...who dies?" The student looked at me quizzically and said "What do you mean?" "Three people hanging out of windows, 3 firefighters...If I take 2 firefighters to put up a single 24 which 2 people may die because we only raised one ladder?" He still is like "I don't get it." So I said "It is really simple. We raise one ladder with 3 people and rescue one while the others continue to be exposed to heat, smoke and possibly fire. So who makes the decision on which 2 may die? Or we take the three firefighters and perhaps raise 3 ladders, maybe 2-24's and a 16 foot roof ladder and save them all." BINGO the light went on and why you should be able to do a single firefighter 24 foot raise became clear! Now I go along with making the 28 footer a single FF raise a part of training too as it is not at all impossible for a firefighter to do.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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