Thread: Ground Ladder Placement
04-04-2001, 10:41 PM #1sbb7551Firehouse.com Guest
Ground Ladder Placement
Would like opinions on placement of ground ladders. Do you place ladder in window one rung up or at window sill. What is the reason behind the placement of your ladder in this manner. Thanks for your input.
04-05-2001, 12:09 AM #2ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
For entry at or just below the sill. If conditions deteriorate you exit at the lowest possible point of the window.
04-05-2001, 11:37 AM #3Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
Agree with ADSN!
I'm not sure if the IFSTA books still teach it, but the older ones that showed placing a ladder to the leeward side of a window then venting was total baloney. You have bunker gear and an SCBA or goggles for good reasons -- including protecting you from stray glass shards. What you going to do if you have to enter the window then? Climb down, reposition ladder, climb up again? Set the ladder just under the sill, climb up, vent the window (although I'd try to stay below the level of the window in case the fire vents with a lot of pressure behind it!)
For placing a few rungs above the sill into the window so you can "see" the ladder also has drawbacks. Mainly unless it's a real wide window, you now have to get your leg/body high enough not only to clear the sill, but the ladder too.
04-05-2001, 12:02 PM #4res7cueFirehouse.com Guest
I agree w/ ADSn,
We also place them at or just below the sill, makes for the best entry/ exit.
04-05-2001, 12:02 PM #5FFTrainerFirehouse.com Guest
At the sill. It makes for a more multi-purpose use.
1. It's easier to enter off of since, unless you're going through a picture window or a double wide set of windows, you really can't step off the side of the ladder and through the window. I think it's easier to simply climb up the ladder and have the sill be similar to one more rung you can just go right over and into your building.
2. For exit purposes, the same argument as above definitely applies. Also, with the some of the emergency bail out procedures being taught today, the ladder will need to be in this position to make the bail out's at all possible. As for the argument of finding the ladder easier if it is place above the sill, my personal opinion is if you can't find your way to an open window on it's own, having a ladder in it isn't going to make it any easier to locate.
Just a couple thoughts. Curious to get some other opinions.
04-05-2001, 04:53 PM #6ALSfirefighterFirehouse.com Guest
Same here, just below for the same reasons as everyone else put. It also lessens the chance of getting something hung up on the end of the rails. Your interior crews should be updated as to where you have placed ladders to what windows.
As far as putting the ladder on the leeward side of the window for venting. We still use this practice. And as a Truckie I agree with it for several reasons. (note I didn't say anyone else's opinion is wrong, I'm only stating mine) The first is if your just going to vent it for the attack team, you want to be able to see what you are doing, and not get a face full of heat/flame. If its going to be a rescue situation, either the victim has the window open and/or is hanging out of it. Or, if I'm positive that there is a victim in that room I'm going to enter, I'll take the window out with the ladder, and then drop the rungs to put it at the sill level. As far as being protected from glass shards, I've had some come right through my gloves. Plus this practice helps protect the person footing (if you actually have enought manpower for this) from not getting showered with glass also. Another thing we do if its feesible is once we gain access to the roof for ventilation via aerial ladder. We ladder all four sides with ground ladders. Most times if needed you can still reach other upper floor windows with a pike pole to vent windows also. Another thing I think of is, 9 times out of 10 someone would come out the window to the ladder not me going in. You can still get to the ladder if need be. And if its a civilian, it will aid in giving you control over a panicked person.
The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.
04-05-2001, 07:46 PM #7bfd1071Firehouse.com Guest
To vent the window, put the ladder thru the window. When you do this make sure you let go of the beams. As for placement of the ladder, IFSTA says onething, reality says something else.
** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**
04-06-2001, 12:40 AM #8Ten8_Ten19Firehouse.com Guest
I was taught the IFSTA method of setting the ladder to the side when venting. I don't like the idea of setting the ladder below the sill to vent because you are standing too close to the top of the ladder to have much to hang onto and still reach the top part of the window.
There's no right answer here, though. Depends on what your objectives are. Vent and leave the ladder for egress? I'll take the side, then reposition. Vent and enter? Probably below the sill all the way.
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