Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31

Thread: Heights...

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    189

    Default Heights...

    I need a little help here. I've never really had a problem with heights before, but to be honest, I am a little intimidated by the thought of climbing a 100-foot aerial propped up in the sky. Come test day, I don't want to get half-way up the ladder and freeze. Has anyone in here had a problem with this, or am I getting nervous for no reason? Climbing ladders that are up against a house or a building is fine, but for some reason, the aerials make me a little nervous. Any thoughts on getting past this?

    Thanks for the help guys.


  2. #2
    Temporarily/No Longer Active dfdex1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Dont look down!!!!! Seriously dont. I hate hieghts too and thats the way I got over it. But id rather stick to the Eng.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    189

    Default

    I'd rather stick to an engine too, but I don't think they'll let me skip that part of the test. The only reason I brought this up is because I climbed an extension ladder (an old one... very shakey) in the middle of our shop and got pretty nervous once close to the top. It was propped up against one of the rafters, probably about 20-ft. up, with nothing around me. I don't know if it was the fact that it was shaking or because I know how slippery the floor is, but I want to nip this in the but before it becomes a problem. I'll be damned if I'm going to let one hang up like this ruin my shot in a FD.

    Thanks for the tip though. Simple as it may seem, you always want to look down. It's nice to see I'm not the only one...

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Really, just dont look down.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Ratchet,

    As I get older I have a little more vertigo than I use to, a real problem for a trucky. I combat this by spending a little more time on ladders when I can. Any ladder will work and I try to vary the height too. My comfort level increases dramatically when I spend more time on the ladder so I think that , for me, vertigo can be trained away.

    I would suggest that you get as much ladder time as possible before your test and you will probably be OK.

    BTW, its OK to be nervous, a few nerves keeps you sharp.

    Oh yeah and donít look down. Try to find a point close to you to focus on, this will help your balance.

    Bill.

  6. #6
    Temporarily/No Longer Active dfdex1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    What I do is look at my hands and where there going next. I know what you mean by shakey ladders. My first time climbing a ladder for the fd I got to the top of the 24 ft extenion.I had my adviseor chaseing me up and I was at the top and got that oh crap feeling when I saw the top of the ladder keep bouncing away from the wall as he ran up it!! To be honest id rather be on the aerial than a ground ladder.But your defently not the only one who is afraid of hieghts.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    I agree with Whfl,

    Get some more ladder time in before hand. If you can't get on the aerial itself, can you get on a large extension or Bangor ladder? The Bangor (the big one with side poles) ladder is very solid and similar to climbing an aerial.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    I'm scared to death of heights also. I'm a truckie at heart, but since I work in a department with no aerial ladders yet, I'm stuck a hose jockey.
    What I do... climb the ladder, focusing on your hand & foot placement looking straight away from me and NOT down!
    The reason that this is part of the test is to see if you can overcome your fears. 100 feet is a long way and most people are scared of heights. All you have to do is make it up and down.
    I'd much rather climb an aerial ladder any day then an extension ladder.

    Praying to the Fire Gods before hand couldn't hurt could it?

    *Mark
    Last edited by mark440; 05-04-2003 at 06:34 PM.
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Very well said mark.

  10. #10
    Forum Member explr985's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    the other end of all that LDH...........
    Posts
    791

    Default

    We ( explorers ) put a ladder up once a 65' one, and I climbed it ( am scared to death of heights ) but just knowing I was hooked to the ladder with the belt was enough for me to over come my fear.
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

    IACOJ 2003

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Mcaldwell,

    Ah the Bangor ladder. Or as we like to say ďthat wretched, no good rotten, lousy pain in the a##Ē 50 footer.

    On my first department we had a wooden one (1979, god Iím getting old). It was not steady, poles and all. My currant department had one (aluminum and much more rigid) that sat in the truck so long it went bad and we chucked it (failed inspection). I donít think it will be replaced. OK, actually I hope that we wonít replace it but Iím sure some sadistic station officer is specing out a new one even as I type.

    Ratchet,

    On the plus side Iíve never had to climb all 100 ft of our ladder in a fire. I think Mark440 is right in that the real test is to see if you can function even if scared. No doubt, 100ft is up there but if you focus on the ladder as everyone has been saying youíll find that the ladder is massive enough to take most of your attention.

    Remember that bravery has nothing to do with not being scared. It has everything to do with doing what needs doing without loosing your head.

    Bill.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber SIGNAL99COM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    East Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    286

    Default Heights

    Ratchet,

    I am sitting here reading your post laughing. Laughing, not because of your fear, but laughing because your fear is exactly the same as MINE!

    I have climbed 100' Aerials with no problem at all when next to a building or roof. My own aerial is a 75' straight stick that I climb all the time. I don't care what type of building or roof it is, set up the ladder and I will go up it.

    HOWEVER..........set the ladder straight up into the air over flat land with no building in sight and I can't stand it! I don't know why, but having the side of a building or house right in front of me when climbing the aerial to get to a roof or high window the height doesn't bother me. I thought I was the only one that liked having something in front of me.....LOL.

    In my department, you must be able to climb the ladder to ride the truck. But if someone will climb it to get to a roof or to work off the ladder at a window, make a rescue, etc, that's what we are looking for. I do not believe in setting the thing straight up over open land at an 80 degree angle and tell them to climb and check out the clouds.
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    282

    Default

    ok I see there that I am the only person demented enough to love heights. The biggest factor that will help you out is the model of ladder you are climbing. We have 3 ladders here a 2001 pierce platform, a 98 pierce platform, and a 70 something 100' stick. As much as I love heights I even hesitate before climbing the stick. Just doesn't feel as secure and sturdy. When climbing the platforms I feel more or less encased by the sides of the ladder but on the stick I feel oh so naked and it doesnt help the wind pushes it like a childs toy.

  14. #14
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,556

    Default Re: Heights

    Originally posted by SIGNAL99COM
    I do not believe in setting the thing straight up over open land at an 80 degree angle and tell them to climb and check out the clouds.
    While climbing a 100 foot aerial at 80 degrees to check out clouds does not really happen on the fireground...it is a confidence builder!

    Boston Fire no longer has Pompier ladders on their rigs, but they still use them at their Probie school to build confidence.

    At the Massachusetts Firefighting Acdemy, not only do the Recruits have to climb an aerial unsupported, they also have to do the auditorium raise...a 50 foot tormentor pole ladder, fully extended and raised at a 90 degree angle. The supports are six of their Brother/Sister Recruit firefighters using ropes and the ladder beams. They have to climb the ladder in full turnouts and go "up and over and down again"! Both the aerial climb and the auditorium raise a requirements for graduation.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Northern IL
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Wow.

    First off... thank you guys. I've been hesitating posting this little dilemma because I was thinking I was going to hear "Choose another profession" or something along those lines, but it was something I needed to get past.

    SIGNAL99COM... glad to hear I'm not the only one. I don't know what it is, but not leaning up against something solid really gets my heart going. I mean, I've gone up on some pretty high roofs, been in airplanes (big and small), and have never had a problem. But when I went up that ladder to change a light bulb in the middle of our shop, I had to stop for a second and think about how embarassing it would be if one of my co-workers had to come up and get me.

    I've talked a little about this with my instructor at school, and she had said some of the same things you guys have. The sides on the ladder make you feel secure, and even as long as it is, it really is pretty sturdy.

    I'm going to have to see if I can find some ladders to climb now. Like I said, I don't want this to beat me on test day. Can anyone tell me what the exact procedure they went through at the test? Did you have to wear turnouts when you did the climb? Were you hooked up to any harnesses, or was it just get to the top and get back down?

    Thank you all again. I really appreciate your responses...

  16. #16
    Temporarily/No Longer Active dfdex1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    a 50 foot tormentor pole ladder, fully extended and raised at a 90 degree angle. The supports are six of their Brother/Sister Recruit firefighters using ropes and the ladder beams. They have to climb the ladder in full turnouts and go "up and over and down again"! Both the aerial climb and the auditorium raise a requirements for graduation.

    Is that also called the steeple climb? My adviseor called it that just wondering if it was the same thing. Either way im not looking foward to it.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    262

    Default

    I'd say that I'm one of those people who have a healthy respect for heights, as opposed to a fear of them. I have no worries climbing ladders of any height, but I agree there is a difference in the comfort factor that is felt between having the head of the ladder against a building as opposed to hanging in space.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Just think... it could be worse! You could be climbing West Lanham Hills Maryland's VFDs 135' truck! Be happy it's only 100'!

    http://www.wlhvfd.com/home.shtml


    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  19. #19
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    I agree with the rest of the posters .............up is much easier than going down ......... I hated that more than anything .............sometimes your boots didnt for the rungs right and you just really couldnt see where you were or where you were going ........thats my 2 cents ......
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  20. #20
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Talking Climb?? Why Climb when you can Ride??....

    Being next door to West Lanham's 135' and having watched a few climb on it, no thanks, I'll ride up in the BUCKET of my 105' Tower Ladder. Seriously, I teach Rescue and have hung off, or from, a lot of things like Buildings, Helicopters, Cliffs, Water Towers, Drill Towers, Etc. over the years, and I'll be the first to tell you that I am afraid of heights. Pure and Simple, I'm afraid of heights. BUT, I have learned how to keep cool, and work at whatever the task is, in order to get done and get down SAFELY. If anything, being concerned about my well being up there, makes me work much harder at being SAFE, above all else. Stick to it, work hard at overcoming anything that interferes with doing what you want to do in this business, just do it safely. Best Wishes, Now get out there and PRACTICE! Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts