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Thread: Ladder confidence

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    Default Ladder confidence

    Alright I have been posting a lot recently, but I have yet another question:
    What is the key to becoming more confident with Aerial ladders? I have climbed the stick twice now, a straight stick and a tower; both times I hated it! I am not afraid of heights (well standing on the 5th floor roof was a little disconcerning!) but rather I am afraid of falling from height!

    So my question: how do you become more confident with aerial ladders? Both times have been a relatively low angle (45* or so).

    Anyway Ill keep this short, bed is calling!
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    Keep climbing till it second nature

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    So just exposure will help?

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    Yes, it may never be your favorite thing but repetition can make you functional.

    You seem to be a bit of a worrier. That's Okay. Just trust yourself, your equipment and your instructors. You'll be fine.
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    Ideally I would like it to become my favourite things! Obviously I am being sarcastic here, but instead of just being functional I would ideally like to become comfortable! I say that because once we are off probation we get assigned(we pick) to a company-- rescue, truck, or engine; I hate hose so definitely not engine, and while rescue seems intriguing so does truck.

    And yes I am a worrier to an extent-- mainly because I don't really want to end up on my arse! (well quite a bit more serious than that on a rather tall ladder!)

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    I absolutely hate heights..the very first time I ever climbed a ladder was for a fire dept testing..85' at 75 degrees..raining and windy..it succcckked!! But I have found that if something is on fire or there is an urgency to the situation, I seem to be able to work from the ladder with few problems..and by the time my adrenaline does back down, I'm used to what I'm working from and its not too big of a deal Now most of the time i'm trying to be one of the first to go up

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    Ideally I would like it to become my favourite things! Obviously I am being sarcastic here, but instead of just being functional I would ideally like to become comfortable! I say that because once we are off probation we get assigned(we pick) to a company-- rescue, truck, or engine; I hate hose so definitely not engine, and while rescue seems intriguing so does truck.

    And yes I am a worrier to an extent-- mainly because I don't really want to end up on my arse! (well quite a bit more serious than that on a rather tall ladder!)
    Pardon my bluntness, but if you hate hosework why the heck do you want to be a firefighter?

    Adding to that, it has long been the standard that probies do NOT get assigned to a Rescue because of their lack of experience and knowledge. Usually rescues have experienced, well trained, knowledgeable firefighters assigned to them. In my opinion a probie should be on the engine for at least their first year. Get down the basics of fighting fire before getting to work on a truck or even start thinking about a rescue
    Last edited by FyredUp; 11-05-2013 at 04:06 PM.
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    H.S.V. - As mentioned by others, doing it repeatedly helps to gain confidence in the equipment and abilities. As I'm now a certified "Has Been" I tend to revert to stories about "The Good Old Days" and while perhaps just so much B.S., you might find a few kernels of wisdom in the telling.
    I became a Volly in 1968, and was fortunate to join a department with a great Local Level State Instructor. While I was still a "Probie" an opportunity presented itself to attend a 40 hour ladder class. I like you was NOT comfortable climbing ladders, but by the time we reached the part in the class doing "Auditorium Raises" and repelling, I was hooked. In my 45+ years of service, the great confidence builders have been that class and the extensive time spent learning to SCUBA dive in pitch black / brown muddy water and train for recovery. Any trepidation with wearing Breathing Apparatus was completely gone by the time I completed my SCUBA training doing doff & don exercises and search grids at 40+ feet. Working in a burning structure or heavy smoke was a walk in the park compared with all the things going on in doing deep dives. Bottomtimes, decompression stops, ice diving, etc. My point is: Working with equipment and regular intensive training will allow you the time to become familiar with your equipment, and to gain needed confidence in both your abilities and the reliability of the equipment you are using.

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    Thanks for the opinions, it is good to know that I am not alone on the heights issue.

    Fyred: I may have misspoke-- its not so much that I hate hose, but rather that it is not my favourite thing to deal with; if given the choice between engine and another company-- I will obviously work with either.

    We assign to whatever is available and simply train to it-- it's hardly ideal, but when dealing with uni students where turnover is high, there really is no time for years of experience.

    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Pardon my bluntness, but if you hate hosework why the heck do you want to be a firefighter?

    Adding to that, it has long been the standard that probies do NOT get assigned to a Rescue because of their lack of experience and knowledge. Usually rescues have experienced, well trained, knowledgeable firefighters assigned to them. In my opinion a probie should be on the engine for at least their first year. Get down the basics of fighting fire before getting to work on a truck or even start thinking about a rescue
    Not to hijack this thread, but being assigned to a specific type of apparatus as a volunteer is a foreign concept to me. We make sure people are qualified on apparatus, but when a call goes out, you go where needed and qualified.

    As Fyred said, we start out with basics and work up. First people get cut loose on the ambulance (company requirement), and then usually the tanker as a crew member (manpower for the driver/operator) and brush units. After FF1, they start working on the engine and finally the heavy rescue squad. We generally want experience before we put people on the squad.

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    The way we do it is:

    You cross train on all of the apparatus: you can stretch a line or throw a ladder competently.
    You are assigned to a rig-- truck, engine, or rescue; we don't run ambulances out of our house-- whose functions you learn better than those of your own body; you learn everything from operation down to basic maintenance-- you get trained in the operation of everything from the pickup to the truck in order from smallest to largest with the possible exception of learning your rig first out of the 'big boys'.

    Being still new to this I am still not 100% positive on how everything works exactly when it comes to assignments (still have a ways to go before I get assigned) but I know the Chief told us that most of us would be going to rescue.

    Before you get off probation they make sure that you have mastered the basics inside and out, backwards and forwards, and then some. The assignments are for getting into the more advanced stuff, as well as the running of the rig (each crew runs their rig in terms of budget and what not)

    Did I clarify? Sorry I am absolutely rubbish at trying to word this!

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    The problem is with Rescue Company work, there is really no time for a learning curve on calls. On all the volly departments I have been on, that run Rescue companies, newbies were told don't even think about getting on the rescue unless it isn't full and you are told to get on. They didn't want a newbie, inexperienced, more or less just getting in the way, which, whether you like it or not, in a true Rescue company, with the most skilled, experienced and best trained firefighters on board, you will.

    I simply can't agree with assigning newbies to the rescue, whether it is common practice where you are or not.
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    Thats the difference: we aren't like most volly companies. Most guys live at the station, and those of us that don't tend to stay most nights. Apparently many civvies think we're career simply because we actually aren't half arsed like many companies, the only difference, we do it for a meager $12 a shift (the cost of our meal). On average most of us put in 48+hrs a week on top of school... and we do run a true Rescue company, so don't try and say otherwise, sorry but it sounds quite a bit like you are trying to stomp on us...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    Thats the difference: we aren't like most volly companies. Most guys live at the station, and those of us that don't tend to stay most nights. Apparently many civvies think we're career simply because we actually aren't half arsed like many companies, the only difference, we do it for a meager $12 a shift (the cost of our meal). On average most of us put in 48+hrs a week on top of school... and we do run a true Rescue company, so don't try and say otherwise, sorry but it sounds quite a bit like you are trying to stomp on us...
    Just because you "staff" your station, doesn't necessarily mean you are competent . And don't use the term half arsed. That just sounds sissy.
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    I don't think he was stomping on your rescue company. Pretty sure he was stomping on the idea of YOU riding with that rescue company.

    Half-assed companies don't necessarily KNOW that they're half-assed. You should probably leave that judgment to an objective party.
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    I am going off the objective parties around us and their commentary of us.

    I am not keen to get into one of these ****ing matches, things seem like they are veering well off course.

    I appreciate the constructive responses-- those who actually took their time and posted relevant information to the topic with the intent of being helpful-- however those who weren't I would appreciate it if you wouldn't post inflammatory comments in the future. I have come to the conclusion that for a few people on here, everything I say will always be wrong, if thats how it will be then so be it, but I don't really need comments critiquing whether I say arse or ***, and the like. I have tried to be cordial but the effort seems to be in vain.

    Once again for those who do care, sorry that this ended up turning into a ****ing match, I just couldn't sit idle whilst being put down (both me and my department) by someone who is a thousand miles away...

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Highschoolvolunteer; 11-07-2013 at 11:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    I am going off the objective parties around us and their commentary of us.

    I am not keen to get into one of these ****ing matches, things seem like they are veering well off course.

    I appreciate the constructive responses-- those who actually took their time and posted relevant information to the topic with the intent of being helpful-- however those who weren't I would appreciate it if you wouldn't post inflammatory comments in the future. I have come to the conclusion that for a few people on here, everything I say will always be wrong, if thats how it will be then so be it, but I don't really need comments critiquing whether I say arse or ***, and the like. I have tried to be cordial but the effort seems to be in vain.

    Once again for those who do care, sorry that this ended up turning into a ****ing match, I just couldn't sit idle whilst being put down (both me and my department) by someone who is a thousand miles away...

    Cheers.
    If these comments are directed at me I suggest you learn how to read and comprehend the English Language. I never made a derogatory comment about your rescue or your FD. What I said was the FDs I am familiar with would NEVER put a probie, rookie, newbie, or whatever you want to call them, on a rescue company. Traditionaly rescue companies are made up of the most experienced, trained and skilled firefighters.

    Frankly, your thin skin and inability to listen will come back to bite you at some point. Your local FD may operate the way you say they do, just don't expect that the rest of the world does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    If these comments are directed at me I suggest you learn how to read and comprehend the English Language. I never made a derogatory comment about your rescue or your FD. What I said was the FDs I am familiar with would NEVER put a probie, rookie, newbie, or whatever you want to call them, on a rescue company. Traditionaly rescue companies are made up of the most experienced, trained and skilled firefighters.

    Frankly, your thin skin and inability to listen will come back to bite you at some point. Your local FD may operate the way you say they do, just don't expect that the rest of the world does.
    Reading and comprehension is my speciality. Your comment had, in my opinion, a bit of condescension accompanying it-- as most of your comments appear to carry-- and it appears I was not the only one who noticed it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    Reading and comprehension is my speciality. Your comment had, in my opinion, a bit of condescension accompanying it-- as most of your comments appear to carry-- and it appears I was not the only one who noticed it...
    Find one person here that agrees with your opinion of what I have said. Because if you think captnjak agrees with you your comprehension skills plainly suck.
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    I'm not continuing this ****ing match. Mods can you clamp a lock on this thread it seems to have went way off course.

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    Gotta hope your ace rescue company doesn't have as much "quit" as you do. Just because everyone doesn't agree with you is no reason to whine. So back on course--if you are "shaky" on a ladder -- return to the real world --- get off your computer --- man up and climb ladders until you aren't, and if you are still scared --- step back before you become a problem to the working fireman.
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    For the record, my first response WAS constructive.

    IMO, FyrdUp was also constructive in his first response. He did admit to "bluntness". If you can't handle that, it's on you. A thick skin goes a long way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Gotta hope your ace rescue company doesn't have as much "quit" as you do. Just because everyone doesn't agree with you is no reason to whine. So back on course--if you are "shaky" on a ladder -- return to the real world --- get off your computer --- man up and climb ladders until you aren't, and if you are still scared --- step back before you become a problem to the working fireman.
    Good point! When does he test on keyboard commando tactics?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highschoolvolunteer View Post
    I'm not continuing this ****ing match. Mods can you clamp a lock on this thread it seems to have went way off course.
    YOU, youngster, are the only one p i ss ing all over your own topic. I never said one thing derogatory about YOU or your fire department. My first comment asked you why you want to be a firefighter if, in your words, you hate hose. My second comments, which you seemed to take as some personal afront, were how traditionally rescue companies are made up of the most experienced, best trained, highest skilled firefighters and that probies should start out on the engine and learn the basics of the job. That is how every FD I have been associated with has done it, that is how the great majority of FDs I have taught in do it, and you don't have to like it, it just is what it is.

    If you want to survive in the fire service, and perhaps make it a career please heed the following advice:
    1) Develope a thicker skin.
    2) Realize that the fire service world doesn't revolve around your current FD.
    3) There are many ways to run a FD and they won't all be just like your current one.
    4) Don't say stupid things, whether on the internet, or in person, and then get ****y when you get called on them.
    5) Lighten up Francis!
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    @HSV - I'm sorry, but I have to say something, because I have been watching the direction this thread is going. Your comments and attitude is just down right rude. I highly suggest you step back and start thinking about your responses before you write. I am guessing you are around 20? If so, we are the same age, and by the looks of your responses, I would say I have a lot more respect for my elders than you do. You started this thread to ask for help, so of course you are going to get some helpful suggestions and some criticism. If you can't handle criticism, then if I were you I would really think about finding a new career, because being in the fire service, you are going to get a lot of criticism. I haven't made it in to the fire service yet, so maybe its not right for me to be responding to this thread. But, I can say that you have a lost a friend on here, because I'm not friends with people who are disrespectful.
    Last edited by FF14; 11-08-2013 at 08:46 PM.

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