1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Default Ladders Vs. Platforms

    Phoenix FD is going in the direction of an all platform fleet(mid-mount LT 93 ALF). Are any other departments going all platform?
    Is it really a safety issue? Are we really safer in a platform?
    Are they worth the cost?

    Stay Safe.

  2. #2
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    ff7134's Avatar
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    Nov 2002

    Default Ladders

    Nope we have a rear mount 100' straight stick.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

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  3. #3
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    Weruj1's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    NW Ohio


    we have a platform and it is the only ladder in this part of the county and gets some calls for assistance from our neighbors. I think the platform has many advantages over a straight stick but thats just my opinion.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    bfd5229's Avatar
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    Feb 2003


    i like boston's setup with all straight sticks and only 1 tower
    -JEFF G

    Raritan Twp,NJ

    "Have Jaws, Will Travel"

  5. #5
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    1835Wayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Door Village, IN


    I am partial to having a straight stick. The only plus I can see to a platform is you have the basket to put multiple civilians in for rescue instead of having to bring them down the ladder. If you have few multiple story occupied structures, I couldn't justify the expense.

    We have very few buildings with occupancy that would require a platform. A ladder does us just fine. Most of our multiple story stuctures are industrial with no occupancy above the first story. We get by fine with a ladder.
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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    I think going all of one type, either way, is short sided. There are pros and cons to each aerial type. It is incumbent of the department to decide what mix is right for them.

    Are we safer in platforms than on a straight aerial? By far the answer is yes. As long as you are in the basket.

    You can move more people over a straight stick than you can by going up and down in a platform with 2 or 3 at a time.

    Any department considering getting an aerial needs to look at factors particular to them and their neighboring departments that they run with before deciding on a type.

    Some of the factors to look at:

    1) Look at height issues. Are trees, bridges, underpasses, etc going to be an issue?

    2) What about roads. Are you in a Boston situation with old, narrow and crowded roads or do you have newer and wider roadways (Remember your residential streets also, not just your main drags)?

    3) What is the average set up room you have for an aerial. Do you have enough room on your average street to set up a ladder tower, or is the rear mount straight stick better for you?

    4) What is the primary function of this rig gonna be? Is it gonna be a Truck Co. or a glorified taxi that can deliver elevated water when needed?

    5) Is it going to run "Engine Co." still alarms (Single company runs) or just on boxes and the like?

    6) What are the needs in terms of your required fire flows for your commercial buildings and target hazards? Is 1000GPM to 1500GPM from a straight stick gonna get it or do you need 2000GPM from a platform?

    7) Are you going to use it for technical rescue runs (Swift water, etc.)?

    8) If you already have a Truck Co., do you need another of the same type or something different?

    My personal opinion is that if you have a Truck Co. already, consider another type so as to compliment and increase your capabilities. All in all, think long and hard about it because you gonna live with it for many, many years.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


  7. #7
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    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    Our department runs all 100' to 105' rear-mount platforms. We have a mix of everything from horse farms to multi-story assisted living complexs. VERY rarely do we ever have to perform an elevated rescue (fire-related) from a high-rise, most of the use of the tower ladders is for big water from elevated master streams. One of the towers always responds with our regional tech rescue team, so it gives us some advantage there.

    So far, we've not regretted NOT having a stick, but there could always be that one time....

  8. #8
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Wauconda, Illinios


    When we bought our first Truck we debated this topic for a long time. We decided to purchase a platform because of it's versatility. I do agree with above posts.... If you have more than one Truck I don't think they all need to be platforms. Ther are advantages to a stick. It's a lighter apparatus and usually shorter which could be nice in tight areas. If you are only getting one, get the platform, it's worked great for us for 10 years now.

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