Budget Ladder Truck Question
Don't laugh quite yet..... I am trying to determine if this idea is preposterous or realistic, and I could argue it either way. I want to bounce it off of a few other people and see if anyone has considered or tried to do this, or if not, why not, etc etc etc...
We are not a large department, and we do not have the budget for a ladder truck, but we are quickly getting to the point that we will need one based on construction trends in our district. The closest mutual aid ladder is about fifteen miles away at an unmanned station (about 25 minutes response time from being paged to on-scene).
So... some of us were talking, and the idea of a utility/cable company aerial bucket truck came up (keep holding your laughter - at least for now. ;) ). The thought was that obviously you're not going to do any suppression from it, you can't plumb it and it is probably not rated for the sideways-pressure stresses of spraying a high pressure hose line from it. You can't use it for assisted rescue, as it is probably not rated to hold more than one person.
But... maybe we CAN use it to ventilate. Our climate is very cold and snowy, and running a chainsaw or K12 off the side of the bucket is maybe safer than off an icy roof ladder. Certainly you are safer from roof collapse risks. We could even potentially use it to insert personnel above ground level. Maybe even - reaching here - manipulate it empty to allow able-bodied trapped occupants to climb aboard and escape.
As I write all this out, I am more and more thinking this is not an good solution, and probably not recommended. The truck would have to be awfully close to the structure to reach over, as they are designed to go UP and not so much OVER. Still, the curiousity is getting the better of me. If anyone else has considered this, are there any other benefits or uses I am missing, or other glaring reasons not to do this? Or better yet, does anyone know of a department that actually tried this, and how did it work out?
OK, commence laughing now, I understand completely. :D :D Maybe we can buy a 1985 aerial on eBay for $5,000.