I don't know maybe too long as a truckie makes me see things in a different light but it seems use of ladders have faded more and more. I have seen to many calls where a ladder truck is a block away and no second means of regress is made. I see 3 hose lines going into a front door and fire on the second and not a ground ladder in place. I have made that leap of faith knowing and hearing a crew put a ladder on the B-side when all hell broke lose and I needed it there. I just feel more and more people are forgetting for every means of egress there needs to be 2 means of regress. It sucks to find your self 30 feet up and no stairs are able to be reached and 5 ground ladders are sitting pretty on a truck.
I believe some of it has to due with a lack of training and some might be dew to tunnel vision they pull up and see smoke and fire and grab a line and rush in not thinking the might need the secondary way out they just want to get to the fire as fast as they can. and another reason could be laziness they think the won't need it so they do not want to take it off because they would have to but it back. it alway made me wonder why the were not used.
no wayyyy...my company makes great use of ladders/truck....sop says that the first due engine pulls past the house to leave room for the ladder truck directly infront of the house. we also make good use of ground ladder. one is at every corner window if not every window. it all depends on man power! and obviously we use the tower to gain roof access to cut holes and trenches for vertical ventilation. also sometimes we use our ladder truck(not tower) to knock out windows on second or higher floors. sometimes its much safer and quicker.
Sandy thats great, had a job the other night and I was working on second and third floor and when I came out to change bottles first thing I noticed was only one ground ladder so me being me said to the right person we might want to add a few and because it was said in the right way to the right person we had 2 more in a minute. People need to keep up with the outside work. Sometimes I think people forget fire fighting is a team effort and not just running in the door like a heat seeking missile that exterior work is as important as interior work.
In my department, one Truck takes the front and a second Truck takes the rear. We are taught to leave room for the Truck companies. We are also taught not to crowd the rear of a Truck with other apparatus, so ground ladders may be utilized. I think the problem is many volunteer companies do NOT train together, which can make things such as crowding out each other on the fireground a major problem...Mike
Moth to a flame syndrome, by the sounds of things. We run to all assignments (with the exception of confirmed false alarms, or small dumpster fires without exposure, etc) with two pumps and a ladder (or for you Americans, two Engines and a Truck... lol). A line comes off the first pump and is never, ever parked in front of the structure, the ladder ALWAYS takes the front of the building, parked so it can get to two sides (if possible, depending on building), second pump helps with water supply and takes a second line. Ladder crew ladders the building and gets the aerial in place if needed. Of course every call is different, but the basics are always the same. Next 6 arriving rigs also have assigned jobs as well. It's all in our SOP's, makes it really easy to get the job done.
Once the crews were unable to get ladders up because the fire was rolling, then spread like ... ummm.. wild fire... the crews were trapped before enough personel could show up on scene to ladder the building. They ended up jumped 35 feet to serious injuries. (this was a serious staffing issue, we're a large department and it basically got tossed under the rug by management). Not laddering the building or having the aerial in place ready to be used could prove to be deadly.
I think most departments don't use ladders enough. I know mine doesn't. In fact, that sounds like a good training scenario for an upcoming meeting. That ladder would probably be the difference between life and death in an upper floor entrapment. I agree that laziness probably has a lot to do with it too.
Been saved twice by proper ladder placement, if you ever have a chance take crew up to fight a second floor fire (in a drill setting) and tell them oh shit just lost stairs how are you going out?? Ask them where should a ladder be ?? This should be report to all interior crews via radio where all ladders are placed. 1 ladder b-side second floor window..ect.
As an engine driver, I always leave room for the incoming truck. It is also standard SOP's for us. We also teach our new recruits how to throw ladders, and proper placements. They may not be able to go in to a structer fire yet, but they can throw ladders, instead of just standing around outside.
Another Great post Dan. Your right, we all can be guilty at times with the adreneline running fierce. A lot of times we don't have enough ladders placed around the building. Not enough training is definately the key. We run a 4 engine fleet, (mutual aid Ladder Truck) Throughout the area, I don't really recall many companies throwing ladders for emergency egress. Especially in a volunteer setting it is imperative to have the ladders in place. (manpower issues) Makes perfect sense!!
Our Department depends on the shift your on . My shift is very proacvtive and safety concious and ladders get thrown to the upper floors, another shift has a old school Captain that looks at it as something else that will have to be packed up and cleaned.(LIKE HE IS GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT)
Its a real shame that some look at things that way,I've always been taught its better to have it in place and not need it than to not have it and need it.The latter usually ending in trauma in someones life.