High Shoulder Throw (Beam Raises).

Posted 07/27/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: 5. Ladder Work

Tags: , , ,

 

This is a critical skill for practical ladder work against real world problems. Many places still teach the chicken wing with a flat raise against the building as a standard test passing skill. The chicken wing and flat raise can be a setup for failure with many different fire ground scenarios. For example, this picture illustrates very common problems found all over the country. Balconies, large soffits, overhangs, parking garage recesses, alleys that require you to approach parallel with the building, vehicles, and many others not mentioned. These all require a beam raise out in the open, which is easily accomplished with the high shoulder carry. This throw is easily accomplished by all heights, weights and strengths of firefighters. It is almost all technique and leverage that just simply requires quality training.
LaddersHighShoulder
Don’t just teach someone how to do a skill like the high shoulder throw, make sure you reinforce it with the why we need the skill. Find the examples in your own area and put it to the test. It guarantees you won’t ever forget why we use it and why you are teaching it. It also lets you defend your choice with real application, not just because someone said it was better.

One last advantage. The beauty of the high shoulder throw is its ability to overcome the problems shown in the picture and at the same time works in every other place that someone could have pulled off the chicken wing with a flat raise.

Ladder Angles

Posted 06/24/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: 5. Ladder Work

Tags: , ,

Ladder Angles

75 degree ladder angles happen in books, some training towers and if you happen to be throwing a ladder to a brick wall. It is a great goal to shoot for but it is very rarely a reality when you are laddering real buildings. Extension ladders give you a little more room for error because you can adjust to your obstacle, straight ladders leave you very little choice. When we ladder a building we ladder below the sill of the window, it is the most versatile place to set a ladder. With that said depending on window height, landscaping, grade, overhangs, vehicles, fences, AC units, and a long list of other problems, you can count on having angles that are less than desirable. It is important to understand the limitations of each size ladder you carry on the rig. How far can you have an unfooted ladder kicked out on concrete v.s. asphalt v.s. grass and still be able to work on the end of it? The nature of most building heights along with the 14’s and 16’s being the most common straight ladders carried, will almost certainly put you in a position that you will be working on ladders that are very shallow compared to your text book climbing angles. It is the nature of our job and really is not a big deal if you practice. Try your ladders at different buildings and on different surfaces. Know the limitations of your climbing angles, it saves you from having to guess when it is time to go to work. This is a simple way to up your ladder work skill. Brick walls and training towers are where the very basics are taught, it takes real window heights and realistic obstructions to really learn practical fire ground ladder work.

Ladder Packages (3 story garden levels)

Posted 06/23/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: 5. Ladder Work

Tags: , , ,

Ladder Package

Ladder packages can have great value, especially when it comes to ladder work on apartments. Our outside truck team (Ladders team) consists of the driver and the firefighter who rides behind him. One of our primary jobs on an apartment fire is to get to the backside opposite of all the other fire units and perform ladder work or VES. Many times this is away from your truck and time is not on your side. The photo is one example where ladder packages can apply. This is what we call a 3 story garden level apartment, I know this term varies across the country but we are referring to the bottom floor being slightly below grade. This is the most common apartment style that we burn in around our district. When these have good fires in them you can count on people being at these windows because of the common egress being cut off.

We have a pretty standard rule of thumb for ladder choices on 3 story garden levels. 14 footers for the 2nd floor, and 20s and 24s for the 3rd floor. The two person outside truck team can accomplish the four most threatened units with only one trip from the truck, this includes your tools. In the picture you can see the firefighter carrying the 24′,14′, hook and halligan, while the driver follows up with the 20′, 14′ and another hook. With proper training and practice this can be a very straight forward evolution you can implement as an option. It takes some understanding in the brand and type of ladders you carry along with choosing from the multiple ways to do the carries with low suitcase carries or low shoulder carries. Give it a try for your compliment of ladders and staffing. It will become second nature with some practice and you will find different ladder packages can apply to a variety of different buildings and fires.

More to come on this later…

July 21st Now Open in Lawrence Kansas

Posted 05/27/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: Uncategorized

We have added a third day because of the overwhelming response. July 19th and July 20th have both filled. Email us today to secure a spot in the last day of class. The flyer has been updated. Thanks!

KansasFacebook

Ladders Up!

Posted 05/21/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: 5. Ladder Work

Tags: , ,

Fire by Trade LLC got me thinking the other day with his post about ground ladder rescues across the nation so far this year. 119. Think about how many are not documented, probably many many times that number.

Ladder work is a culture and a mindset, that’s it. If you don’t have that culture in your department, you can do one of two things. You can keep telling people that you have just never really done it that way, or you can develop a culture of aggressive ground ladder work one fire at a time.

My department has removed 17 people from windows at working apartment fires in the last 2 months. I am proud of the ground ladder work that goes on and the culture that has slowly built around it. It is better for the citizens and it is better for us.

I came across these photos below that someone took after a recent top floor apartment fire. This is the handy work of multiple truck companies doing there job on the backside of a hard to access fire building. No excuses, just lots of ladders placed quickly for rescue and the interior crews working their way down this center hallway.

It is a thing of beauty…Bang Up Job!!!

CSFDladderwork

Lawrence Kansas Forcible Entry Class 2014

Posted 05/16/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: Uncategorized

The full day forcible entry class in Lawerence Kansas is now officially open for registration. We are offering the class on two different days, you can choose July 19th or July 20th. If these days both fill up we will open a third day to accommodate whoever else would like in. We have dropped the price from originally planned in an effort to allow as many people as possible to sign up. This is only 25.00 more then we offer this class in Colorado!

Email us as soon as possible to reserve your spot today. Payment and forms will come later, all we need to hold a spot is your a name and email for each person attending. Register at ironsandladders@hotmail.com

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Kicking Doors 101

Posted 04/13/2014 by IRONSandLADDERS
Categories: 1. Forcible Entry

Tags: , ,

A quick thought on kicking doors. We teach not to do it. Not because it won’t open doors, because  honestly it will open a lot of them. I am not trying to kid anyone and say that we have not kicked open residential doors before. But I will say when I was still kicking doors open it is because I didn’t properly understand how to use a Halligan bar. So kicking was the easiest way for me to open an apartment door that was on fire. After I gained some experience, learned my way around a set of Irons and really thought about when and when not to kick a door, it became real clear to me that because I was now properly trained on a Halligan bar (and I carry it), there was no reason for me to kick doors open. They can be opened just as fast with a competent person on the tool. The other thing I noticed was kicking doors was wasted experience, it was a perfect opportunity to hone your skills with the Irons on a real door in a real frame. Thus building your confidence and not letting all of your experience be based on a forcible entry prop. Lastly, when luck runs out, because at some point it will, a person who is competent on their Irons now has multiple options and is very proficient in them because they have been forcing doors with the Irons for most of their career instead of kicking them for 15 years. Attacking doors based on knowledge rather then luck will give you a much stronger foundation when it’s time to force the doors that are out of the ordinary. You will find doors you cannot kick, and when you do, and the luck of kicking runs out, you will set the tone for the fire ground with a real bad forcible entry situation. To many people are relying on us to base our operations on luck.  Long live skillful Irons work!

These doors are all out of occupied residential homes.

KickingDoors


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