1. #1
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    Question Aerial Ops. with ropes etc. on tip for placement

    Here is another thread that I hope will generate some input. Awhile back, my Lt. and I agreed that placing the short length of rope on the aerial tip could/would assist with aerial tip placement when line-of-sight can be impeded, too dark, or when an officer or other can't assist with placement. I don't see why an officer or other firefighter has to be near the location that the stick is being placed. I don't know HOW that got started but it exists in my dept. I guess those operating the stick aren't trusted enough?!...Anyway, I've included a pic of what my Lt. placed on the truck. I don't necessarily think the "dog toy" ball has to be on it but it helps I guess.

    The real question here is what YOU do out there with your aerial tips etc. just to generate some opinions/suggestions. I've seen FDNY doing this in the past with all sorts of items. The other day, the vulture I placed on top of that ball (co. patch has the vulture on it) was recommended by a chief officer to be removed. No reason given. I don't think that officer even knows why that rope is on there. Notice the carabiner. We remove it because another officer on that rig doesn't like it...his reasoning is even worse. It's impeding your vision while driving. Doesn't even know how it's used either..Oh well.
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    It's impeding your vision while driving. Doesn't even know how it's used either..Oh well
    Ummm... we have a rope on our ladder and it has nothing to do with placement of it. It gives the driver a visual on the overhang of the thing past the front of the cab so I guess impeding your vision is a good thing

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    I have never seen this on a rig! I guess it could be usefull. How about training with the aerial so you don't need that ball? How is that ball going to help if you need to put that aerial to a window or fire escape 7 stories up?

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    Had any dogs chase you down the street?

    We have lights on our tip to assist with placement in the dark. Seems to work well enough. We do try and have someone on the ground to help. As a truck engineer myself I can say it is hard to judge your distance from whatever your trying to hit sometimes.
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    We too use lights on the tip for placement help. One light points straight in-line with the ladder, the other is at a 90 deg. to the tip, shining down.

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    Default comments...

    firefiftyfive...How are you brother? I used to spend some time with the brothers from your house when on Fire Patrol...FDNY used to have many aerials with ropes for distance of overhang and/or placement (our bumper is actually out a slight farther)This was probably more in the 70' -80's with the older aerials...MY officer actually started using it for driver training for the new operator's..

    We DO have the spot/flood lights on the tip (nice for nighttime and placement etc.) but more crap to avoid when using the aerial though...

    Practice, practice, practice. Stick anything/everything to get comfortable with your ability to place that aerial whereever you need to throw it...I personally believe that confidence in your operator and the equipment means an officer does not have to get out at every fire call to suggest/place the turntable for the chauffer...firefiftyfive?

    cowtown. We do the same...The spot/flood's are actually better for temp. blinding your victim's so they don't jump for the aerial tip regardless of whether you're bringing it down and in to the window vs. straight to them via extension. Sometimes you have to do it in ways that get it there quickest, right?...

    Speaking of crap on the tip of the aerials...firefiftyfive, you guys do it right. Those sticks are made for going up/down and that's it. You guys spec. those things well so there is nothing impeding your path through/over sides/off tip etc. Ours...we have tip controls, electical boxes, axex, pikes, foot platforms etc. and that damned master stream. (I wanted a bucket) WHAT A PAIN!...And yes, we spec'd it that way regardless of whether or not I was on the truck committee and didn't want the various things on the end

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    Ours is 110' of late 80's vintage so the tip is definitely further then the bumper so..... like I said our rope is for overhang awareness of the operator.

    As for it assisting in placement.... I don't get it. Maybe your's is different but when our's goes up the rope goes the opposite way.. hence if you were straight up (not that you would be... but for illustration purposes) the rope would be flat against the rungs so how is that helping.

    Seriously I understand the lights for night ops and also for aiding guys returning to the ladder from roof ops, but if you can't see the tip of the ladder so good from the turntable how is a piece of rope with a tennis ball going to help... if you had some sort of beacon hanging on it vs. a tennis ball I might feel different.

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    Default the ball...

    I think the officer is trying to indicate that when the "stick" is coming down on the objective, if it hits the parapet or whatever then the rope or ball will show deviation and you might be too close or hitting something. If you're going over the roof line on a flat roof, you won't see that anyway, or at least not easily. I think the rope idea has it's merits with placement from our experiences but I don't necessarily think it is needed vs. practice and proficiency. I know the Lt. puts that on there because we regularly train new drivers on the Quint because we have the "All-Steer" feature on it so the learning curve is much harder than a standard locked axle aerial device. This was one of those additional ideas that he thinks/thought would assist the operator's with placement etc...

    Incidentally, the ball WAS a dog toy and he put that on there to see the knot easier on the rope vs. the rope itself....

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    Incidentally, the ball WAS a dog toy and he put that on there to see the knot easier on the rope vs. the rope itself....
    I can just see it now.... Fido hanging on for dear life suspended in the air as the Q siren wails in his ear enroute to the next call Man is PETA going to be demonstrating outside your station!
    Last edited by FFTrainer; 11-15-2005 at 03:40 PM.

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    Some of our ladder trucks have a weighted strap hanging from the rung closest to the tip, depending on the operator/station. Our trucks are tillered so we don't have a problem with the strap hanging in front of the front windshield. When I drove the truck, I found the strap helpful if shooting the tip just to the window sill or just above it if the window was large enough to be shot through, i.e. rescues. If laddering a parapet or flat roof, I would extend the ladder and let the strap contact the parapet or roof, giving me about 6 inches above the building as I extended it. Our aerial ladders are made by Seagrave and are not meant to be in contact with or resting on the building due to their truss construction. Even with experience and lights on the tip, it is helpful having the strap, especially at night when your setback is such that it is difficult to visualize the tip of the ladder. Many trucks in Los Angeles City Fire Dept. also use some type of straps. Is it an absolute must? No, but why not use something to make our jobs easier, regardless of one's "experience." Also, using another FF or officer to spot the ladder is a waste of manpower, as well as showing lack of respect/trust in the operator.

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    If I remember right they had talked about this at the AC FDIC last year. The reason it was suggested there was to use a short piece and if it touchs the roof stop. This was suggested for trucks that are not able to place the ladder to the building due to design of the ladder. This would prevent the ladder from touching the building while someone is climbing and leading to a possible "shock load".

    As far as training, we will tie off a hydrant wrench to the bottom of our ladder and do a bucket drill. Basicly you try to keep the wrench from swaying alot and then lower it into a bucket. We use different sizes of buckets and openings. Sometimes when we are feeling real cocky we try it with a traffic cone. We also do truck placement drills, seeing how close we can park to the curb and still get the jacks out.

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