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Does you company/department routinely drill in ground ladder evolutions? Do ground ladders get thrown routinely at every incident or are they an afterthought?

Can your company quickly and safely complete a ground ladder evolution in order to rescue a trapped member or a civillian?

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As far as heeling/butting the ladder, it should be butted from the front if the Firefighter climbing is carrying a tool, (hoseline counts as a tool) and from the back if the Firefighter climbing is not carrying a tool. When a Firefighter climbing is carrying a tool the Firefighter butting the ladder should be positioned on the opposite side of the ladder as the Firefighter's hand carrying the tool. That way if the tool is dropped, the Firefighter butting can move out of the way and still maintain contact with the ladder.
That is the way I've been doing for the last 4 years, but now my Ops Chief is not allowing us to apply the technique. We are only to heel from the back . We're using the appropriate methods of "operational change" just to go back to it.
I don't believe in heeling this way for this or that way for that situation. I'd rather have as many tools in the mental box and apply them as I see fit (through training) to, dependent on the situation in front of me at the time.

I'd rather give my people several options, plus the ability to think outside the box, when it comes to accomplishing a tactic and let them choose the right one, not a step by step procedure.
I am a firm believer in butting the ladder from the front. I like the safety factor of being out of the way of a falling tool but, even more important, I like to watch what is going on and keep an eye on my partner on the ladder....
Regardless of tools/no tools I agree with Mark, I think the best method of bucking/butting/healing the ladder is from the front. It keeps the firefighter out of the way of falling debris and material as well as allowing the firefighter to keep an eye on his partner and keep the big picture in focus.
Does anyone's department here train people on how to raise a 35' by yourself? I know I was taught in both the academy and while on probation. This isn't for normal tactics, of course, but more for in an emergency situation.

I got in a heated debat in one of the groups on Myspace last month about this, people were calling me out. I'm not debating the fact that it is not considered a safe practice, but I also learned ladder bails too..... those aren't even taught anymore, are they? Thanks.
I think ladders are slowly becoming reality to alot of depts due to man cuts. Lt Mike Ciampo FDNY has a great ladders class that shows techniques on throwing and being efficient with multiple ladders and setting techniques. His class is fun and you will get something from it. We get 2 ladders on a still in Indy and the 2nd truck throws ladders. We are getting support form the training staff and drill the whole dept. quarterly on things such as throwing ladders and VES, even the Engine guys are going through it. (mostly for any overtime, trade times and subbing to keep up on ladder work/cross train)

Indy has busy ladder companies that can do it in there sleep, and some that need the practice, like everywhere else. If it was up to me the stick would be up and every ladder in the rack thrown on every fire, you got 23 hours to put em away..
I come from a department in which the PPV/PPA movement pretty much took off. Two of our B/C's really took the lead in this field. Which has led to Truck Op's kinda taking a back seat as far as going vertical for ventilation. I am not saying we don't do it we just don't do it enough. We have some really dedicated "Truckies" and they are up to the task on any assignment they are given. When you only have 3 trucks they have to work hard and often. And they do. I have spent a majority of my career on an engine and move to trucks occasionally when asked to do so. As a new officer < 1 year I spend a lot of time studying up on truck ops. That is why I joined this group. Thanks for all you advise. It is priceless to learn from dedicated professionals who are willing to share their ideas.
Be safe.


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