Sometimes companies ignore ground ladders, but we can do a lot with them. I know with a three person crew on ladders, engines, and squads I expect the driver to be able to work independently on the exterior. For engine drivers they need to be able to get water, push hose, possibly vent windows, and THROW LADDERS. Ladder and Squad drivers have the same expectation. Now there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat here are a few…
First is from my good friends over at Hanover (VA) Fire and EMS Station 7 (where I started my Fire Service career) Specifically sent to me by Ryan Jordan, hopefully more of these videos will come from Hanover’s busiest fire company.
The next is the one person ladder drag and throw, the video is from Trey Nelms from Nashville Fire, but I was actually exposed to this by Mike Ciampo from FDNY at FDIC 2001. No matter what this is a great technique for the driver to get multiple tools and ladders to one spot. I also featured this in another blog post before http://www.averagejakefirefighter.com/2010/05/11/one-man-ladder-drag/
Last is the Ladder Flip. I’ll be honest I used to HATE on this technique big time, but the other Lt. on my current shift is a big believer in it so I gave it another shot, and I am glad I did! This has become one of my favorite ways to throw a ladder with one person. I feel more maneuverable, more in control of the ladder, and faster. I would however not recommend this technique for anything bigger than a 28 foot extension ladder. The video demonstrating the technique is from Fire Service Warrior.
There are a ton of other ways out there as well. The message is to not ignore your ground ladders, but to train with them! Figure out how you can make them work for you and what the capabilities of them are. They are a vital tool on the fire ground, USE THEM!
As usual thank for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!