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I am looking for any infromation on the use of an aerial as a high point anchor. Infromation on not moving the ladder with a victim attached, example not using the aerial like a crane. Also looking for infromation on the use of a construction crane to move a stokes with a victim and attendant. Thanks.

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Todd,
My department had a rescue call just as you describe a few weeks ago I ran the rescue operation off of the 7th floor of a building under construction. We have a 2002 Pierce tillered aerial with a heavy duty ladder. On the egress section of the ladder there are holes under the last rung that allow you to attach a spreader bar. This allows the load the remain in the center of the beams to evenly distribute the weight. I used the ladder as a high point, attached the stokes to the high point and then swung the aerial out over the street. We then lowered the stokes to the ground. The operation went very smoothly. The operations manual of your aerial should tell you weather the operation is allowed and then suggest proper technique. As far as using a construction crane to lower a victim, here are my thoughts. I will use my equipment and my guys to perform rescue ops. before going to the crane. I know my equipment and my guys and know what they can and can not do. Using a crane with an operator you do not know is taking control of the operation out of your hands. Hope this helps.
I agree with Scott in that I would be very leery about using a crane for any high angle operation. The only facet could be as a high point anchor after ensuring lockout/tagout. On the same note, I would at all cost try to avoid even using your aerial as anything more than a high-point anchor. The main reason being that you lose the sensitivity that is needed in patient movement by going to a hydraulic system. I would rather consider implementing additional change-of-directions to continue to use a manpower operated rope system. This may eat up a lot of resources and time, but potentially avoids a catastrophic failure that would ultimately be pinned on the personnel operating at the turntable. Also, before even using the aerial as an anchor, ensure that it is rated for the load, and that you try to distribute the load between several rungs with an additional belay in place using a separate anchor entirely. Hope this helps.
Using the aerial as a high point anchor system is very efficient in not just high angle rescues but even some below grade rescues and swift water as well.  As far as using the aerial to lower a stokes, it depends on your aerial's rated tip load.  I think that the aerial is a vital piece of equipment on any rescue incident.
I agree that an aerial can be very useful, but how do you feel about attaching the stokes to the aerial as a fixed object and operating the aerial like a crane? I'm just not crazy about the power potential behind a hydraulic system in that situation. Almost like putting too many people on a haul line for a live-load lifting operation.

Todd,

Using the aerial as a highpoint anchor works well in many situations, but like others have said, using the aerial as a crane is not a good idea, kind of like never using a cable winch to raise a victim from a h***!  Unless you can actually see what you are raising, the guy at the controls has no way to tell if the load gets snagged or hung up.  I have heard others say, "we use voice commands to assist the raise" this only works if the guy running the controls has the ability to simultaneously hear the voice command and stop the operations.  I don't know many folks who can do that, so by the time the controller hears the voice command how much farther has the system been moved

 

Probably the most efficient way to use the aerial as a highpoint anchor is to rig the main and belay at the designated point (refer to manufacturer) at ground level, raise the aerial device into position while extending the rope system.  Once you have the highpoint in place, leave it there and rely on the rope system that you have set-up.  Once the rope system has been used to raise the victim out of whatever predicament they may be in it is okay to use the side to side motion of the aerial in order to place the victim in a set down spot. When doing so I would still use the rope system to lower that victim to the ground, including a tag line system to keep the victim from swaying around i the basket.

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