1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    May 1999
    Here, There, Everywhere

    Post Questionable Ladder design/procedures?

    View the pictures at FD Ladder operations

    Someone please explain something to me... Why is it this ladder has a waterway on it that is in the way of these brothers safely making on to and off of this roof?

    How can they safely get on to the parapet or roof, without causing a impact load or breaking their ankles in a fall? How do they know the roof is safe before jumping down on it? My guess is they don't really know...and hitting it with a hook really isn't going to be the same as putting some of a FFs 250+lb frame on it either. Plus once you go that is it you are committed.

    Also I imagine they had to more or less jump to get on to the roof. How can they in an emergency get off the roof? Will they have to jump to reach the ladder. How is this even a sound practice? What kind of chiefs do they have specing apparatus there?

    Keep in mind I'm not attacking these brothers themselves...I'm only questioning their chief officers who apparently don't know the first thing about using aerial ladders. God only knows these brothers have to make due with the tools given to them.

    And before anyone accuses me of not understanding their procedures...my former dept had some of the same pre-piped waterways and I know what it takes to get on and off a roof in those same circumstances. I did it plently of times and I wasn't a fan of it. I just thought most other depts were smarter than the one I was working for at the time.

    Apparently not.


    PS- Great job on the grabs brothers sounds like a tough push by the Engine and plenty of truck work to go around.
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  2. #2
    Disillusioned Subscriber
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    Aug 1999


    I can't tell from the picture with any certainty, but it may be a pinnable waterway. This is very possibly a case where the waterway was improperly pinned for their assigned function rather than a design problem. The former is a training issue, but the latter is something that should never have been a problem in the first place.

    And your dead on with the kudos. Sounds like they did a hell of a job.
    Steve Gallagher
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  3. #3
    tny is offline
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    Jun 2002



    If this is a late model Aerial the waterway should be of the pinnable type. Most FDs I know of with the pinnable feature on their aerials stow the waterway pinned one fly back from the top. Which, IMOP is the correct way for the obvious reasons that youve already pointed out.

    Maybe one of the Jacksonville brothers could advise us of the particulars on their aerial apparatus specs and operating guidelines.
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  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
    Manchester, Connecticut

    Unhappy Re: Questionable Ladder design/procedures

    My two cents if I may...I'm in a smaller career dept. and we opted for two straight sticks (Quints AGH!) instead of a midship tower ladder (I was only one in committe pro bucket). The waterways were pinnable and we keep them on the 2nd fly vs. pinned at the tip. Keeps the waterway from getting damaged (shouldn't be there anyway) when laddering etc. The extra CRAP they put at the tip ie. controls for nozzle, lights, and other assorted "not needed" DO and WILL get in the way when the proverbial S**T hits the fan. I don't know why committees and dept's don't attempt to make the ends of their ladders easy for dismounting etc. to perform all the functions a truck co. can perform without getting hung up on the junk or trying to step over, around all of it. Each time we ladder, we opt to repin the waterway depending on the need and that takes up precious time. Take note of what the "working" cities use ie. NYC, Boston etc. and note that there is minimal if not anything on the tips of the aerials...
    The photo I included was from a recent job and to use that stick as a master stream to knock down any fire window to window is a pain. Oh, and we had to repin the waterway to the tip for maximum effectiveness (if that's what you call using a stick in this manner)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2000


    I know Fred's opinion on even pinning it back -- it can still get in the way.

    "Short" extension at a fairly high angle near a building is one scenario (which I see more as an urban issue)

    But I've also seen it personnaly on very long, low angle extensions (going to vent the roof in the third apartment away over a 1-1/2 story building -- running fire in a balloon frame). Want to use the aerial for maximum safety and the operator & officer had done a good job getting it up a side street early on where it could be used effectively (aerial was on the "C-D" corner).

    However, even with the pipe pinned back was still in the way when you lowered onto the roof (and took three people to help spot -- operator & officer on the turntable plus someone down below...between the three of us, you could occassionally see through the smoke!) -- net effect, the aerial was kept a good 18-20" higher than it would've been without the pipe. That's a fair amount, especially if you're just trying to work from the aerial to make a wham-bam-thank-you-mam hole without having to put out roof ladders, etc to work from.

    *On the balance* I'd still go with a pinnable pipe for how we operate as our ladder is more often used aggressively for water tower operations than it is for aggressive "truck" work.

    But, it is something to remember, those things will get in the way even if they're pinned back...and if you have enough Towers/Squirts around to do the bulk of your water work, I'm not sure pinnable waterways just to add another thing is necessary. You're compromising the quality/safety of your ladder work in order to add that extra mission.

    (Hmmm, ponders for a minute the flaming possible of thinking if having 70' booms on the Engines for your fast attack/water tower work and straight aerials is a logical combination for smaller or mid-size departments )
    IACOJ Canine Officer

  6. #6
    District Chief
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    Mar 2001


    I have seen most of their aerials in Jacksonville. They have pinnable waterways and it looks as if this one is unpinned so that it extends all the way out.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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