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    Default What do you do when your ground ladder is short?

    After reading the thread about the single man ladder raise it reminded me of a situation me and my partner came up with........

    My shift partner and I were out checking buildings where we are due with the truck. Since are wonderful dispatch is full of surprises, sometimes we might be dispatched as the second due truck instead of first due. For our dept, first due goes to side A and second due goes to side C. Side A positioning is mostly straightforward. The question came up for us with a 4 story mid rise that is T shaped. There is one parking lot on the C/D corner, but there is no truck access at the B/C corner. A 35' is our tallest ground ladder, and there is no way that it would come close if we had to pick someone out of 4th floor window. We came up with a plan, but since we spend most of our time as a 2 man truck crew it wouldnt exactly be the safest idea. I am sure most of you would do the same thing that we came up with, but I wanted to see what other ideas might come up.
    Just to reiterate, the problem is reaching a 4th floor window when the longest ladder is a 35'. I would guess we are about 10-12 feet short.
    What would you do.................?

    Stay Safe

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    After reading the thread about the single man ladder raise it reminded me of a situation me and my partner came up with........

    My shift partner and I were out checking buildings where we are due with the truck. Since are wonderful dispatch is full of surprises, sometimes we might be dispatched as the second due truck instead of first due. For our dept, first due goes to side A and second due goes to side C. Side A positioning is mostly straightforward. The question came up for us with a 4 story mid rise that is T shaped. There is one parking lot on the C/D corner, but there is no truck access at the B/C corner. A 35' is our tallest ground ladder, and there is no way that it would come close if we had to pick someone out of 4th floor window. We came up with a plan, but since we spend most of our time as a 2 man truck crew it wouldnt exactly be the safest idea. I am sure most of you would do the same thing that we came up with, but I wanted to see what other ideas might come up.
    Just to reiterate, the problem is reaching a 4th floor window when the longest ladder is a 35'. I would guess we are about 10-12 feet short.
    What would you do.................?

    Stay Safe
    Gain access to the roof from the front and do a roof rope rescue where needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    I am sure most of you would do the same thing that we came up with, but I wanted to see what other ideas might come up.
    Just to reiterate, the problem is reaching a 4th floor window when the longest ladder is a 35'. I would guess we are about 10-12 feet short.
    What would you do.................?

    Stay Safe
    To reach it in a case of life and death... A roof ladder hooked on the 4th story window to finish off the last 10 or 12 feet. Am I close to what you came up with?

    Of course, if you were to have a pompier ladder laying around...
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
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    Is there no truck access because it's as lawn?

    If you can fit the truck down there, DRIVE!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue View Post
    Is there no truck access because it's as lawn?

    If you can fit the truck down there, DRIVE!
    I was taking him to say no access whatsoever. But in regards to your statement: Amen! Even if you were to get stuck, a saved life is worth the tow truck bill.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Escape rope off the roof sounds like a reasonable solution to me.


    Also, depending on the fire conditions, you could always do an old fashion search and bring them out the front doors. But if that option is not available, rope off the roof would be what I would look to. Unless you could get an aerial to position it's ladder to the 4th floor. Then go with that.

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    You see places like Mont. Co and PG MD driving up on the lawns of apt complexes quite often to gain access to the rear.

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    IronsMan53 - thats what we came up with, unfortunately our shortest roof ladder is a 16'.......our guess was that the angles of the two ladders laying on top of each other might make it a wee bit unstable. Again, 90 plus percent of the time there is only two of us, I might be a little more comfortable if I had someone heeling the 35 and someone at the 16/35 to steady the two where they overlap.

    Frosty.....we talked about the rope rescue from the roof......decided against it again due to lack of manpower.

    The only way that there would be truck access is if we were lucky enough for two of the cars in parking spaces on the side were empty. But it would have to be those two exact end spaces. That is the only area we can squeeze the truck back there. Believe me, I have no problem taking the truck off road. Does anyone know the rating on a Seagrave to push a car out of the way?

    Thanks for the responses so far,,,,,,,I would love to know if anyone else has some other ideas.

    Stay Safe

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    Does anyone know the rating on a Seagrave to push a car out of the way?
    Not surprising, but I've heard stories of one of the driver's at the other company in town has done such a thing. I believe it was with a Seagrave too. Car was parked in front of a hydrant, and there was a working fire, just nudged it out of the way.

    At least, that's the story I've heard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFDLT1 View Post
    You see places like Mont. Co and PG MD driving up on the lawns of apt complexes quite often to gain access to the rear.
    Yes we do. Daily. Get stuck??. Occasionally. But it's part of the job. Our Drivers know their rig's limits and they make it work. "Beached it" is the common term used to describe getting a position on the lawn, and you will hear it often. Back to the question, I'd throw the Thirty-Five, OFFSET from the window above, then hook the windowsill with the Roof Ladder. By having the Thirty Five offset, you fix the problem of the Roof Ladder resting on the Thirty Five.

    Over the past Forty-Nine Years, I've done a few things with ladders that is not taught at anyone's Academy. On several Jobs, I've opened the hooks on a Roof Ladder and scaled up apartment balconies, and one trick that got National attention in the late '70s, we raised a Twenty Four ft Extension Ladder from our Tower Bucket to make a grab. Good News is that Everyone went home. We also opened a Thirty Five ft up all the way, Laying flat on the ground, then lashed the rungs so the sections wouldn't move. This Ladder was lowered into an excavation from above, to access a person who had fallen off a wall. (Vertical Rope Rescue wouldn't work, due to obstructions). So, I guess you can try some of these, and your own, in training. You'll be suprised at all the things that you can do, with a little imagination...... Stay Safe.
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    I have no "pearls of wisdom" to add to the initial question/answer, however:

    You'll be suprised at all the things that you can do, with a little imagination...... Stay Safe.
    about sums it up. Ya go one right? Use it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    The only way that there would be truck access is if we were lucky enough for two of the cars in parking spaces on the side were empty. But it would have to be those two exact end spaces. That is the only area we can squeeze the truck back there. Believe me, I have no problem taking the truck off road. Does anyone know the rating on a Seagrave to push a car out of the way?
    Stay Safe
    Sounds like you need to get those two spaces removed and marked as fire lane access.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    After reading the thread about the single man ladder raise it reminded me of a situation me and my partner came up with........

    My shift partner and I were out checking buildings where we are due with the truck. Since are wonderful dispatch is full of surprises, sometimes we might be dispatched as the second due truck instead of first due. For our dept, first due goes to side A and second due goes to side C. Side A positioning is mostly straightforward. The question came up for us with a 4 story mid rise that is T shaped. There is one parking lot on the C/D corner, but there is no truck access at the B/C corner. A 35' is our tallest ground ladder, and there is no way that it would come close if we had to pick someone out of 4th floor window. We came up with a plan, but since we spend most of our time as a 2 man truck crew it wouldnt exactly be the safest idea. I am sure most of you would do the same thing that we came up with, but I wanted to see what other ideas might come up.
    Just to reiterate, the problem is reaching a 4th floor window when the longest ladder is a 35'. I would guess we are about 10-12 feet short.
    What would you do.................?

    Stay Safe
    You wouldn't by any chance work in a county they call "gorgeous," would you? We have several buildings like this also, similar staffing problems.
    If you absolutely can't get the rig back there, using the roof ladder as a scaling ladder is your best option. I wouldn't hesitate to push cars out of the way if need be, especially after you have done the following:

    If it's your first due, contact the property manager, tell them that you need to have those two spaces made into a fire lane and why-explain that they are putting occupants lives at risk. If that doesn't work, write them a correction order or call Prevention and put the ball in their court. You will be doing annual inspections there and you should write them up for it every time. Document everything and keep copies with the pre-plan for that building. If it's not your first due, document everything and forward it to the first due company and Battalion Chief.

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    Instead of overlapping the ladders at an angle, have the 35' go at normal climbing angle, and then the roof ladder hanging straight. Climb to the top of the 35', move over to the roof and up you go.

    At least, that's the story I've heard.
    Story is the key word.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Hey Backstep.....the building in question is the Anton House 2600 Keating St

    Stay Safe
    Courtesy of the Skeleton Crew

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    Any good Truck Company member will know its limitations as where they can take the Truck or not. Pre Fire Planning is as important as the actual firefighting or rescue of any fire company. If you haven’t pre planned these buildings, then when you get an alarm to go there, you are as blind about the access, structure and contents.

    Most ladder trucks are in fact too heavy to be set up on anything but a hard surface. Lawns at commercial building usually have underground yard sprinkler systems and may collapse when anything as heavy as an automobile is driven over it. I am not from trying most anything to gain access to a building. However, I would hesitate to take a million dollar ladder truck off the hard surface and onto the soft lawn and have the rig tip over after the aerial is raised.

    Cap6888 said that they operate with a two man truck crew. Other than throwing a 35 foot ground ladder, which is a damn good job for two members to do, what else do you expect to do? Two members on a ladder truck don’t consist of a “truck crew”. If you had five or six members then you can operate as a truck company. I know that some department can’t afford more than two members on a truck and three on an engine. This at best is all that you have and you have to make the most of what you have and hope other companies soon arrive on the scene.

    We as done a lot with ground ladders. As Harve said, we have use ladders to their fullest extent. Placing a ground ladder and or an aerial ladder then using a roof or pompier ladder from the tip has been done before. This may not have been the safest or smartest thing at the time to do, but it’s been done.

    A good truck company is only as good as the training that they do as a team. This means going out on the street, learning the buildings in your response area and knowing what you should do when you are called to respond to that address. Even the second and or third alarm response areas can be reviewed by the company and have a general knowledge of those buildings.

    If your city is like ours, most of the buildings and pretty much alike across the region. Old and will burn like crazy once fire gets a hold on them.
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    HWOODS how did you find climbing a roof ladder that rests directly against the building? I could see it resting on the 35'er but flat to the building would seem nearly impossible to get a hand or even a toe on the rungs? I think I'd rest it on the extension ladder and lash it for good measure on the way up. As for the ladder in the bucket and "beaching it"? Big thumbs up for the can do will do attitude displayed by most Co.'s in PG!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    Hey Backstep.....the building in question is the Anton House 2600 Keating St

    Stay Safe
    Courtesy of the Skeleton Crew
    Copy that. It's a treat stretching a line in that building too, no standpipe and the 400' won't reach all of it; try that with two guys.

    CaptOldTimer - It gets better... not only is their truck quite often staffed with two, they frequently run w/ no officer... and...the potential is there for every unit on the first alarm to be staffed with two. It all depends on how many ambulance calls there are and how long the wait is at the ER. That's what having a "Fire/EMS" department does for you. This is an densely populated area about a mile outside Washington, D.C. Gotta love it.

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    What would I do?

    Buy a bigger ladder

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    Quote Originally Posted by BackstepFF View Post
    Copy that. It's a treat stretching a line in that building too, no standpipe and the 400' won't reach all of it; try that with two guys.

    CaptOldTimer - It gets better... not only is their truck quite often staffed with two, they frequently run w/ no officer... and...the potential is there for every unit on the first alarm to be staffed with two. It all depends on how many ambulance calls there are and how long the wait is at the ER. That's what having a "Fire/EMS" department does for you. This is an densely populated area about a mile outside Washington, D.C. Gotta love it.
    You mean all the county apparatus is not fully manned like at Kent33land?
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    bCarey-Thats great, I wish I would have though of that to show everyone the truck access instead of leaving it up to their imagination. Now everyone can understand better what I was saying by no truck access at B/C corner. The google pic shows one parking space open that would help with access. As you can imagine, in the evening/nightime, all these spaces will probably be used.

    Backstep-when I was at the 29er our plan was to bring the high rise pack and drop the end to the driver and make a hasty flying standpipe....PM me when you get a chance.


    Not only do we run without an officer after 1500 hours, there are times when we get a detail FF in from the otherside of the county, who has no idea about the first due, who has never worked on a truck company, who may not have more than 6 months on the job, etc. etc. you get the point.

    Stay Safe

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    Duct tape a 14 foot roof ladder to the top of the 35 footer.

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    Jump!!! Just Kidding...
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    Like Clint Eastwood said,"Improvise,Adapt and Overcome!".I think there's a t shirt with that printed on it offered somewhere.
    This isn't a "What do you when the ladder's too short?" scenario but one time in the Navy while stationed in Charleston SC,my duty section's on scene leader was being tested by someone that thought it would be a good idea to remove ALL of the nozzles from the ditty bag during a P 250(gas powered pump)drill.
    MR1 Hiller just jury rigged a nozzle from three or four reducers and we were throwing water on the simulated fire,when the ship's 1MC system called away a for real fire in the A/C system.
    My usual inport mobile repair party job was CO2/foam but that night I was assigned to help check the surrounding compartments for extension.
    It was a great surprise when me and the other inspector were reporting to the OSL and seeing the hose teams using the same hoses SANS nozzles,just the aforementioned jury rigs.
    When I heard about a local FD using a hydrant line with three rookies,no safety officer or engine on scene,I thought back to that night and wondered how any of us survive some of the things we see and do.

    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    So, I guess you can try some of these, and your own, in training. You'll be suprised at all the things that you can do, with a little imagination...... Stay Safe.

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