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The Sunday Preach

Chapter 22: Ladders, Ladders, Everywhere

"Portable ladders want to be used at fires. They want to get out of their ladder racks and be used, see the light of day, be near the heat and smoke, and help you do your job more quickly and easily. They live to be thrown against residential building fires. It makes them happy. They love to be carried or dragged into place by one firefighter. They want to be placed at the level of the residential windowsill for best overall operations. They provide access and egress into the home from points elsewhere. The correct placement of portable ladders can add an additional layer of safety for us and decrease the time it takes to search for and save civilians. They are simple yet effective tools in our fire attack arsenal. Firefighters can quickly and easily grow comfortable around portable ladders, they just have to love them a little. Don’t make laddering the building harder than it has to be. Get the ladders off the rig and become a laddering pro in your 
department." (Page 269)

At the residential dwelling we LIVE on portable ladders. Remember, we throw them for US... they are there as a means of access or egress into the structure. That said, they must come off the rig ready to work. Now more than ever, with nearly an 82% reduction in escape time at the residential building fire for our citizens, seconds count! 

There has been some recent discussion as to a one man 35' ladder throw. It it dangerous we read. It isn't safe? Please, tell me what is exactly free from DANGER and ultimately SAFE on a fireground...

It IS however, a technique for ladder deployment. If you have resources that permit additional personnel to assist, great! If not, you are like most... do more with less. And, if that right circumstance is presented, in that you might be forced to make a 28' or 35' throw by yourself, perhaps not at the routine alarm activation, but a fire where life is on the line... is the technique not something you might want to at least have practiced before game day?!?! 

Our laddering skills must be practiced and honed for flawless execution. In the residential setting, we should throw ladders against the side of the building until we are out of windows, or out of ladders

ALL members, from "Jr" or "Exterior Only" to our "Sr Chauffeurs" must be able to place portable ladders for our use. Work smarter not harder: pre-tie halyards, marked balanced points, tip in and tip out ladders, and consistent drilling with them will aid you in your quest for mastery. For Us, By Us...

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