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Open invitation to the group "Tools and Equipment". Please come join us and discuss your approval or disapproval of a fire service tool or equipment.

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I don't know if this is the right place, But, I need to reach out to the group. I am looking for input on using an aerial device as a high point anchor during rescue operations. I work for a department, and frequently we need to operate on board ships to remove personnel who are injured. Current trend is to use a tripod and 4:1 system, with appropriate safeties to remove injured persons. There are a group of critics who say "we drove a crane to the call, but we don't use it" and more banter to the same effect. I need a little insight, pros and cons to the idea, and maybe a little ammunition against the nay sayers. I look forward to your thoughts.
This is a great discussion for the "Tools and Equipment" group! To get to the group just sign in, go to groups, search: Tools and Equipment, then join the group. As for your department's aerial device, it depends on how the ladder or "stick" was designed. This should be easy to find out by looking at the specifications of the apparatus. You may have to contact the factory representative that worked with your department to "spec" out the truck if your department doesn't have a formal apparatus commitee. Also there should be a placard on the truck somewhere that shows the tip loads at certain angles. I'm not sure what kind of tip or "stick" you have, but I've seen factory attachments for ladder tips that are set up for rope rescue gear.

If you guys do use your aerial device for rope rescue the driver/operator will have to set up his "stick" and then check the maximum tip load for that angle. This will let the rope rescue team know how much weight they can lift. This will be determined by what type of "stick" you have, but I would guess it to be around 500lbs. If you have a platform it may be more. Please let us know what you find out.
You guys may get tired of me talking about saws, but I just talked to Bob at Fire Hooks Unlimited and he is thinking about making his 14" 30 tooth carbide blade with a 20mm arbor h*** so you don't have to use an arbor adaptor on Stihl cut off saws. If anyone else uses Stihl saws please call him and ask for it!
Without getting myslef in trouble somehow, the aerial is a US Navy bulk bid 105' rear mount aerial. The tip load is in the 500 range. The type of ships we operate on go below the water,so they are not very high pier side, but, do sit off a little way into the water. Maybe 20 feet or so off the pier. With all the "stuff" used to support the ship when it is in port, the size of the pier and the distance out we need to get to out lift point is considerable. We may lose tip load, that is why I, as the company officer like using the tripod, that and the speed factor of getting set up and in use, the truck dosn't block out the ambulance to transport the reason we showed up in the first place. We are supposed to be getting a tower ladder at some point, even with the greater tip load, I think the space requirements are still going to limit us. Does anyone agree with the statement that we are driving around in "cranes"? I don't.
Jeffrey,
Your right, this doesn't sound like a very good application for an aerial device. I was in the Navy and I'm supprised that they would even let you place your aerial ladder above "that type of boat". As for the nay sayers, if they are in the fire service they need to educate themselves about aerial apparatus use and capabilities. If they are not in the fire service get use to it! I have people ask me all the time if our 105' ladder can reach 20+ story buildings. Very few people outside of the fire service and some inside the fire service don't understand that our "stick" was designed and purchased to be an aerial masterstream device.

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