Ladder Work- Reverse Tip Raise 35′

Here is a quick ladder technique that can help you overcome steep and unstable grades that you must place a ground ladder on. This is a pretty common scenario in our city and I am sure you can come up with a  few ways to handle this same problem. We like this one because it has the most control and takes the least amount of energy during the raise.

Typically we approach a fire building with the butt end of the ladder heading towards the building, or running parallel with it. For this scenario we will approach the building with the tip of the ladder. Take the extra couple seconds to walk up this type of terrain with some care so you don’t take yourself out before the raise even happens. When doing this reverse tip raise I like to approach the building and setup for a flat raise directly in front of my intended target.

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Once you’re at the top of the hill, have the tip person get the tip of the ladder as close to the building as possible, this will prevent adjustments with the 35′ after you have raised it. Get your ladder squared up to the target and identify a good area for the butt of the ladder to be footed. This is another example where it is worth the time to take an extra 10 seconds to move the rocks or level the ground out as best you can before the ladder is fully extended. It is critical that the butt of this ladder does not slip when you start to raise.

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Below is one of the main advantages of this type of raise. The firefighter on the uphill side has good leverage and control as he raises the ladder.  If you tried to approach this building and raise the ladder in a traditional flat or beam raise from the bottom of the hill up, you would either run out of reach above your head, possibly run out of strength, and risk a much higher chance of dropping the ladder back down. This also keeps your ladder in the right position so you do not have to rotate it while freestanding in this rock bed or on a hillside.

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The rest of the raise is similar to any other traditional flat raise. It does take some practice to judge your extension height when standing on the downhill side. It can be deceiving but this is overcome with some repetition.

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Once the ladder is extended and you are ready to lower it into the building, you will see that you actually gain a lot of control here. Because the uphill firefighter is higher up on the ladder, it gives him good leverage to control the ladder into the building.

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Personally, I prefer the beam raise on most normal ladder throws and use them almost all of the time. There is definitely a time and a place for flat raises, and as you can see, even a time for a reverse flat raise. Another time we will carry our ladders tip first, is if we are performing an ally raise with overhead wires. This is something we can demonstrate in a different article.

We have had good luck with this, but it is not a throw I would want to try for the first time when it is actually needed on a fire scene. I highly recommend spending some time on this beforehand so you can have some extra control on your hands until it feels fine tuned. This building we are practicing at had a multi alarm fire years ago that required numerous ladder rescues of occupants by the first in Truck Co’s. It was not over this rock bed, but was right next door and very close to being a very realistic scenario.

Do you have areas like this in your city or still districts? If so give it a try and see if you like this reverse raise.

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