Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ladder Lessons

Every firefighter gets ribbed about having to pull a cat out of a tree. It's like cops and donuts. It doesn't matter if it never happens, you will always be teased about it by friends.

We learn in the academy about how to carry ladders, raise ladders, set a proper climbing angle, have 3 rungs over the edge, etc.

We pulled 14' roof ladders off wall hooks and set them up many times. We carried various sizes of ladders all over the property, some that require 6 guys to carry. In the field, you learn to navigate houses with attic ladders. without making too big of a mess hopefully.

I never really imagined I'd have to pull a guy off of a house. Well, not when he had a ladder in place and buddies on the ground to heel the ladder.

A group of guys come to clean/pressure wash the gutters. Their ladder reached a whopping 4 inches above the eave. The guy stuck on the roof felt like he was sliding and was too scared to try for the ladder.

We asked radio for an aerial to be en route, then grabbed the roof ladder and tried to see what we could do. We managed to get the roof ladder set, and I'm still surprised the guy didn't kiss the ground when he made it down.

The aerial was cancelled and we left.

Lessons they should have learned:
Tall houses need tall ladders
If you can't see the top of the ladder from the roof, you shouldn't have gotten off the ladder in the first place.
Nice, new, wooden patios are pretty...and get very slippery when water and gutter junk are added.
Slippery patios means someone needs to make sure the ladder doesn't slide.
If you think you're sliding off the roof, straddle the ridge. Especially if it's level.
Yes, they make female firefighters (they even let me drive the big red trucks). I saw that funny glance.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Thanks for an interesting post! Keep 'em coming :-)