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  1. #1
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    Default ladder test fail - what would you do?

    we just had our ladders tested and our 24' extension ladder failed with a deflection test of 5/8" rather than the 1/2" max allowable. we're a small fire department with a small budget. i know that there will be lots of people that will fire back with a response of "NFPA says......", but what would you do?

    thanks.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber pvfire424's Avatar
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    Default

    You have to ask yourself some questions.

    If you are a firefighter, you must ask yourself, Am I comfortable climibing this ladder at a fire scene. Also ask yourself, Is my life worth a few dollars versus this ladder ?

    If you are a chief or other officer you must ask... Are the lives of my men worth risking over this failed ladder, even if they answered the above question, "Yeah I would be comfortable".
    I you send a firefighter up on that ladder and GOD FORBID that ladder fails to support that(those) firefighter(s), what do you think will happen?


    That being said, All I have to say is good luck with those decisions !

  3. #3
    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
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    Throw the thing in the dumpster and get a new one.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

  4. #4
    Forum Member PFDTruck2's Avatar
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    There's a reason why you test your ladders.
    When opening up the roof remember plywood comes in 4' X 8' sheets.

    www.94firedept.com

    IACOJ proud member

  5. #5
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFDTruck2
    There's a reason why you test your ladders.
    Exactly........ I know you don't want to spend the money/might not have the money, but you must get rid of the ladder and get a new one.

    Remember........... Risk vs. Benefit!!!!!
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  6. #6
    Forum Member Spectre08's Avatar
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    Default

    Pardon my ignorance. But what is a "deflection test" and why is a difference of 1/8" enough to endanger a firefighter's life?

  7. #7
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    Default

    If its the test I'm think of...

    The ladder to be tested is extended to its maximum length, placed across 2 saw horses, or similar objects, and then a steel box filled is placed in the center of the ladder. The box is then filled with water to equal the desire weight (350lbs) and then allowed to sit for 1 minute. The weight is then removed and measurements taken from each rail to the ground. The test weight of 500lbs is then placed in the center and after 5 minutes the weight is removed and measurments taken from each rail to the ground. At the end the difference in measurements between the 2 weights can't be more than .5" for a 25' or shorter ladder, 1" for a 26' to 34' ladder and 1.5" for a 35' or longer ladder.

    I saw them do our ground ladders and I would have bet money that they all were gonna fail. LOL. None did and life goes on.

    Now ask yourself the following:

    Do you use ground ladders with similar weight loads while totally horizontal like the test?

    If the answer is yes then replace the ladder. If the answer is no then.......................... ...Do the math.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  8. #8
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    Default

    NFPA tests have been developed over many years and test cycles. It seems your department was smart enough to have the test done, but now they don't know what to do with a failure. Let's relate this to hose testing: How often do you use your fire hose (if it's newer) at the test pressure of 400 psi? That's what I thought. But if one section fails the hose test, do you keep it? I agree that ladders aren't cheap, but neither is the safety of your firefighters. Place the ladder out of service and get a new one when you can afford it.

  9. #9
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    Question Budget vs Safety

    Is a possible injury or death of a firefighter compare to haveing to squeeze seven to nine hundred dollars out of the budget a fair trade ...Only your powers that be can decide that. To me it is a "no brainer"...but that's just me .





    OK guys...where are we going???...and why are we in this funny looking handbasket???

  10. #10
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    Default

    If you don't intend to take ladders (or hose) out of service when they fail the tests, then why bother testing?? You're defeating the whole purpose of the test if you don't take the indicated action.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Just to play devils advocate for a second. You asked why test if you don't intend to take items out of service that fail? Because alot of departments do the testing so they have the paperwork to show it was done. No other reason than that. While agree that if you test the ladder, for example, and it fails then you need to replace the ladder. But why do most departments replace the failed item? Is it for fire fighter safety or to minimize potential civil liability should something occur? The answer to that is the latter and not the former. Sad but true.

    Just a thought.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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