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Overcrowding on Fire Escapes

Mon, 6 Jun 2011|

Mike Ciampo demonstrates how to use fire department ladders to help alleviate traffic on fire escapes, which often become jammed with residents trying to flee during a fire.



[MUSIC] [SOUND] [SOUND] I'm Mike Ciampo. Welcome to this segment of Training Minutes. In this segment we're gonna discuss overcrowding on the fire escape. Many times you'll pull up to a fire, and the fire escapes will be loaded with people. The drop ladder, being it's vertical, is a very difficult ladder for the people to climb down, especially if they're lowering children. And more elderly people, you'll get a log jam here. What we like to do is, we like to use our own fire department ladders to assist us. Normally we'll take a portable ladder, and we like to throw it opposite, the first landing opposite the drop ladder. Some fire fighters were taught to place a portable ladder right on the top railing of the first level. There's a couple problems with that. One, we have metal on metal. The ladder could shift, especially on an icy snowy day, wet day. The other thing is once the firefighter climbs, making the transition over, when he transitions from ladder to fire escape. His body's going over the railing, it could slide. When a firefighter gets up to the tip of the ladder, he may want to change to an underhand grip on the top rung. And also hold on to the fire escape. Go to climb. And then, he has to transition over. He had to be very careful on this transition over. Going too fast can cause the ladder to slide. Placing a portable ladder to the front railing of the fire escape can be a dangerous procedure. Firefighters operating up here, civilians passing each other, somebody walking by and not paying attention, can hit the ladder. It could run and slide right on us. And floor. Remember, we like to place our extension ladder opposite the drop ladder at the first floor landing. We'll place it along side one to three rungs above the railing against the building. We want the portable ladder next to the railing. It will permit an easier transition for the firefighters to get on to the fire escape where our victims can be removed. As you can see, in this situation we have an obstruction. We can't have the portable ladder so far out. Our climbing angle will be terrible. So we're gonna revert to using our aerial ladder apparatus. We'll place it along side and at a good climbing angle. This will permit an easy transition for the firefighter to get on the escape and the civilians to be removed. Remember, when you get up here you're gonna have to size up the fire escape. If it's heavily overcrowded, that adds weight to it. We just don't wanna leave the area ladder and jump over. It causes an impact load that could cause a collapse. We wanna maintain a grip onto the aerial ladder and make our transition over. Again we want to sound this, make sure it can hold us, maintain a grip on the aerial ladder as your last piece of safety. When faced with heavy overcrowded conditions on numerous floors. Firefighters can place another aerial device tower ladder to the opposite side platform to relieve the overcrowding on the upper floors. I'm Mike Ciampo. Thanks for watching this segment of Training Minutes. [MUSIC]

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