Posted tagged ‘ladder rescue’

Seaside Fire Video (Ladder Rescue)


Here is the first 3 parts of a 5 part video showing a fire out of Seaside California. This first due company had their hands full with a well involved fire and active rescues required. It looked like they had at least one adult and one child pulled out of this fire. This is a great set of videos to challenge yourself with priorities and how you would try to handle the same situation.

Ladder Rescue Mishap


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.   

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  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.

Not All Egress is Created Equal


This is a great example of knowing our still districts and the areas that we know will present unique problems when on fire.  As you can see this building presents a nightmare of a stairwell, especially if the stairs are a target of arson or lower apartments begin venting fire and smoke into this common area. We can almost count on occupants hanging from windows if the fire is anywhere near this area of the building.  Thanks goes out to 4’s for the write-up and pictures.

This is in 4’s still district just above Motor City.  There are several apartment buildings in this complex (at least 10) and they are paired in sets of two.  This is the center “web” of stairs that connects one building to the other and is the only way out for most of the residents.  So which way is up?  Good question.  The fact is every stair maze is different.  In most cases in order to get to the top floor apartments you first must go down at least one flight of stairs, over and back up at least one flight of stairs to get to a pathway that subsequently leads you to the right set of stairs to make it to the top(Sound like a maze?…It is).  How do you get down?  Well the answer is about the same as above.  There is no direct pathway to the bottom level and what you thought would have been the bottom may surprise most people to find at least one unit tucked to rear of the structure. 

 How is this complicated stair structure supported?  The only main walkway is a single twin tee concrete beam supported by concrete posts and some posts are supported by steel box supports.  From this center piece, all of the paths are constructed almost as if they are built to access only one or two units before a different path is constructed. 


As you can see, ladder access is difficult at best.  To get from the parking lot you almost always have to go down hill to get to the building.  You would think there is road access from the “C” side of the structure because of the two plugs back there, however access is minimal because of the off road conditions you would encounter to reach the hydrants, and thats if they are even working. Because of the grade/terrain ladder access from the rear is down to 35′ or 45′ ground ladders and even those can only be used in a few places due to the terrain.  The building does have some pull stations but it is not monitored and still requires someone to dial 911 before the FD will receive any info that there is a fire at this building.  Throughout the maze of stairs you will find BBQ propane grills, spare LPG bottles, trash and gas meters all tucked away into any area that is protected from the weather. 

What is your thoughts?…..1st floor fire vs 3rd floor fire, ladder rescues, first line, stretching the line, search.

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