Thread: Aerial Ladder Operations
05-07-2001, 12:32 PM #1FREDFirehouse.com Guest
Aerial Ladder Operations
Here is a question for you guys.
Does your Dept require the Ladder Co. Operator to stay at the pedestal when some one is on the roof? Or in the bucket? Why?
There are two arguments I have found for both ways.
1st-Some say he must stay there for "safety" in case the ladder becomes involved in fire.(which I would think depends on the situation on how much of a chance of that occurring).
However some subscribe to the idea that one shouldn't move the ladder at all unless it is obviously being impinged by fire because the roof guys know where it was when they went up, thus moving it causes a safety hazard if they need to return to the ladder in an emergency and don't find it where they left it. I would think that could be alleviated by proper communications. But still it does present a hazard because they are keeping themselves between the fire/vent hole and their point of egress, and moving the aerial causes them to be potentially cut off.
2nd- Others say that the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of the operation improves when the driver in most cases is able to complete other tasks such as venting, utilities,ect. If some had better staffing they would be more likely to leave a guy there but low staffing leads them to use the driver for other tasks after he places the aerial.
Also how does this change when a bucket is being used? When they have controls up there with them, is it necessary to leave a guy at the pedestal?
What do you think?
05-07-2001, 07:01 PM #2FireLt1951Firehouse.com Guest
Our SOP's state that the operator shall stay with the aerials control panel while in operation. One reason is if smoke conditions get really bad they know exactly where the stick is. Second, if things were to hit the fan and fire broke through behind them, the operator could move the aerial quickly to allow the crew to escape the roof. This is not something that commonly occurs but saftey concerns would dictate this SOP.
The same SOP holds true for the Platform. The reasons are that a possible breakdown of the bucket controls could occur, therefore it allows the operator to immediately take control. Another reason for this SOP is to be able to react if problems arise with the water supply and delivery to the bucket. I won't go into depth but these are the main reasons.
[This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 05-07-2001).]
05-07-2001, 08:37 PM #3Captain GonzoFirehouse.com Guest
The aerial operator should stay at the controls whenever the stick is thrown. For example, you have a crew on the roof doing ventilation ops when suddenly a firefighter from an Engine company appears at a window with a victim. The roof crew would have to be made aware that the aerial will be moved for a few minutes. The aerial operator could then reposition the stick to rescue the victim, then after the victim has been moved to the ground the stick can be placed back for the roof crew.
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05-07-2001, 10:38 PM #4Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
I'd agree with the above two for the reasons they stated -- if something hits the fan, you can move the aerial quickly to help them.
I think the aerial operator is a bit different than the pump operator. Once water supply is established, the pump operator probably doesn't need to be glued to the panel -- he can help with bottles, get equipment of the truck, and still take a few steps and be back at the panel (if you have a side/rear/front mount -- anything but those infernal top mounts).
Let the aerial op be the one to watch the fire and be ready to move the ladder if it's needed in an emergency.
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