Archive for the ‘5. Ladder Work’ category

First Due Fire, Stockton CA

12/09/2011

Now here is a bang up job and some great first due footage. You can nay-say all you want on this fire but to me this looks like an extremely professional and aggressive job done by these companies. Lines are flaked and put into service very quickly, door is forced and lines are advanced into the two most threatened areas of the home. Ground ladders are put into place on multiple sides of the home. Crew performs VES on the top floor. Truck goes to the roof and opens up the attic of a balloon frame that likely has fire in it. It is clear that everyone here knows their job and has a task, there is no one trying to figure out what comes next, or hanging back a little bit hesitating. Tactics are being done Proactively ahead of the need, not reactively because things are going downhill.  Well done guys, great example to all.

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“The Ladder Shop”

10/13/2010

This is a real interesting video that the boys over at VentEnterSearch came up with. Credit to them for posting it, we just think its a video worth viewing so we are re-posting it. They run a great site and come up with some very unique content, if you don’t already, make sure to check out their website at www.vententersearch.com

Ladder Rescue Mishap

06/17/2010

Here is an ugly one out of Europe I believe, judging by the PPE. I liked it because it is a scenario that any of us could face, and hopefully we can learn from this one to improve the way things go for us. I for one like practicing ladder work a lot, I feel it is the only way to keep sharp on placement and height. This is a great example of when you are only going to get one chance to pick your spot, and one chance to get the height right, because as seen here, when the ladder goes into the building the people are coming down (no matter how you placed it). I think some solid advice that I have been taught is go for a shallow angle over a steep one anytime you can. Obviously this increases the chance that the butt will slip, but if we have a guy to foot the ladder or are in soft ground then why not, it may just prevent us from coming down on our backs with a victim on our chest. Anyways, here is a quick take on what we noticed in this video.     

Once one thing goes wrong it all starts going down hill. You can see they come up short with the ladder and place it at a real steep angle. They go up to make the attempt anyways, right about the time the victim decides enough is enough and lets go. They still have one victim hanging (who has been hanging for a long time) who we can almost count on following suite with the first. To add insult to injury you notice one of the Engine guys stretching hose falls onto his back  over one of the Ladder guys that is lying on the ground. 

 Here is a little bit of the time breakdown: 
1:08 – Camera zooms back far enough you can see the fire on the far right..Do you think that is a stairwell due to the uneven window height?
1:20 – First victim falls (that is a long time to hold your body wieght….at least for me it is)
1:55 – 2nd firefighter starts to go up for the rescue, you can see him hesitate a few times, which makes me think he can tell they are about to fall.
2:00 – Engine guy falls over the injured firefighter, also the 2nd victim falls taking out another firefighter.   

Vodpod videos no longer available.

  What do you think? There is some good discussion points. Ladder placement, ladder height, smoke conditions, and fire location. Good video, I came across it through an email that one of the Brotherhood Instructors sent out (A. Brassard), thanks to him and whoever else had a part in getting this video out there.

LESSONS and LADDERWORK

04/01/2010

The Two Knuckleheads wanted to remind you about  the next class they have been working on presented by Captain Pat Nichols. The guys behind this have put in a lot of their time and own money to offer a low priced class that is accessible to firefighters in the area. They have worked hard to do their part in making us all better at our jobs. I want to thank them for sending over the information and please contact them soon to get your seat.

Click the picture for an update written by the Two Knuckleheads regarding the class and payment instructions

If you have not seen the original printable flyer for this class you can look at an updated version below. This gives you the details of the classes, time and location.

May 3rd Class Flyer (Printable Version)

Portable Ladder or Portable Stairs?

03/06/2010

 

Here is an idea to keep in the back of your mind if you encounter the same problem. These companies had a fire on the top floor of a 1  1/2 story house a few months ago.  The house is located in a neighborhood on the eastern edge of downtown that has its fair share of urban decay. When advancing the line they found the stairway leading up had some damage. Enough damage to require some assistance making the top floor. The Engine had pulled back and advanced up an exterior ladder that was in place to the top floor and made a knock down. While the Engine made their way up, the Truck company was able to place a 16′ ladder in place over the area of the stairs that was damaged. This provided a sturdy and safe way to secure another route of egress for the Engine upstairs, and access for the Truck that ended up helping them confine the fire to its room of origin. Once the fire was knocked down it turned into the main pathway for the remainder of the incident.  This is where remembering little tricks that have been passed down to us pays off. Well done on thinking creatively and looking out for each other with a little ingenuity. Thanks for sending in the photos for everyone to share.

No Room For Complacency

02/28/2010

 

This was on the 5th floor. How fast can you setup your aerial?

Head First Ladder Bailout

02/21/2010

This is a very recent video that was taken at a fire only a few days ago, you may have seen it around the web as it is on many different sites. Sorry it took us a while to get this one up.  To give you a little background of the fire it comes out of Randolph NJ. Firefighters were searching the 2nd floor for reports (by her sons who escaped) of an elderly lady trapped inside. Conditions changed rapidly and this firefighter made it to the second floor window. You can see him hanging by his feet in an attempt to get out of the conditions and preparing to jump. The video you see is a first hand view from the RIT team that was located near the backside. From what we have found the firefighter was injured but not seriously. Despite their efforts the occupant in the house died in this fire.

This turned into a great video for us to learn from. As always we are not interested in bashing this department, we respect them for putting this video out for all of us to learn from and we should do exactly that. The video gives us a grasp of how fast these situations can unfold, and also how our responses in the heat of the moment will not always go as planned. It appears the firefighter is very exhausted by the time the ladder gets to him and it seems difficult  for him to even grab the rungs.

I received some great insight and advice pertaining to this video in emails. They are some thoughts from many different senior and experienced firefighters from across the country and here locally. Here is a brief take on many of these guys thoughts put into one paragraph.

Ladder deployment and placement. With firefighters operating in less than desirable conditions on the second floor we must have as many ladders as possible thrown to the windows. When you are on fire you are coming out of the window, ladder or not. The RIT team was able to acquire a ladder and quickly deploy it to the firefighter hanging out the window. However in the heat of the moment you can see the ladder is at a steep angle making it more difficult. Ladders placed before conditions change gives us the extra second to set up a much easier angle to slide down for egress. When time is crucial and you have an extension ladder that only needs raised a few rungs don’t forget how you raise your extension ladder at home. Once you set it, push up on the rungs by hand until they extend right under the firefighter. Placing egress ladders in grass/dirt compared to concrete will change the angle we are able to operate on. We are afforded a much more shallow angle when we have soft footing to sink the butt into. We must be absolutely proficient in these techniques before the real time comes. Regardless if you train on head first bails all the way down the ladder, or the hook 2 grab 4 spin technique you must pick the one you are comfortable with and be solid in its use. We do not want to be trying to remember these escapes when it goes south and we are already exhausted.  We can use our feet on the window sill to gain control of our body weight until are hands are gripped tightly on the ladder. Regardless one of the number one pieces of advice is to get someone up the ladder to assist the firefighter. We can see how exhausted and possibly disoriented the firefighter in this particular video is. Getting help up to him and guiding him on the ladder, even if he still comes head first down will ensure he stays securely on the ladder. 

Thanks to A. Brassard for the link and email discussion and Thanks to Bryan and the guys at 10s for the heads up on the video.


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