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Laddering a Chain-Link Fence

Tue, 1 Nov 2011|

Sometimes the best option for firefighters looking to gain access is to go around or over the obstacle. John Buckheit shows you how to ladder a chain-link fence and demonstrates pitfalls that can occur with improper laddering.

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Transcript

[MUSIC] Hi I'm John Buckheit I'm back for Fire Engineering for another training minutes. We've been discussing in our series, chain link fences and in the border of time frame, forcible entry in general. When you think of forcible entry you normally think of breaking locking devices, something like that. But, you really have to think there are times when you can just get around or over the obstacle, and that's the case with fences. Sometimes you can ladder the fence, and that's gonna be your best approach. Consider that with laddering you probably, there's no damage, and you have to consider what your goal is. If your goal is access. Then, it's a good option. If it's for line placement, it's a fair option. And, as, for victim, Transport, maybe it's a poor option. So, think about what you're trying to do. And then, do you have the, Necessary equipment? Do you have the ladders? And then, take a look at your fence. If it has a top rail, that's gonna help you. If there is no top rail, that's gonna be a hindrance. Try and work down by the terminal posts if you can, they're gonna be stronger, they're gonna be better secured than these line posts. If you most of our ladders are really too long, even in the nested position, the problem is, when we put the ladder with the proper climbing angle, 65 to 75 degrees, a good portion of the ladder is above the top rail. If you then touch those rails for balance or stability the ladder can kick out on you because too much of that weight is above the top rail. If you try to go at a very low angle and use the ladder that way you're putting a lot of weight on the fence. When you add up your weight with your PP, maybe another fire fighter, maybe some equipment. You can overload that fence, the whole thing can collapse, and you wind up really not having a good operation. We're going to show you now a classic but FDNY evolution or how we would get over a fence, then we are just going to quickly demonstrate how you can get into trouble if you have too much of that ladder above the fence. [SOUND]. [NOISE] What we just did is that classic FDNY evolution where we use 2 ladders to create a bridge to get over a fence. We have a good climbing angle, and the only way you can get really in trouble here, is if when I go to transfer to this other ladder, if I grab up high on the ladder, or on this ladder that I'm on. It could put too much weight above the top rail. The ladder can then see-saw out, and you can lose the footing of that later. I'm gonna demonstrate that right now. >> [SOUND] >> Alright, so you can get in real trouble, wind up surfing this ladder right to the ground. Now I don't have an SCBA on. I don't have a lot of extra weight, I don't have any equipment with me, so it's not a problem. But with all that stuff it could be a real serious injury, could curtail your operation. There's a few things you could do to avoid it. We're gonna reposition the ladder. One would be to have a **** man. Somebody at the bottom making sure this fence stays put. You could always tie the bottom to the fence. Or when I do make this transfer onto this other ladder, just realize that that can happen so keep your weight. Down low. Grab down low. Don't grab up here. That's gonna get you into trouble. Grab down low on this and make your transfer over. Now some people would be tempted to put these ladders at a lower angle and then you won't have so much ladder sticking up top. But you can see that I'm already deflecting this top rail. So with 2 guys or one guy, a bigger guy or a guy with full PPE and possibly equipment, you could wind up crushing or collapsing this top rail, and again you might have out of control movement and get yourself into trouble. So we're telling you a quick and easy way to use two ladders. We use 24 foot in less than 14 feet. I have about a six foot height fence so I wind up with about four feet, five feet hanging over the top of this fence. I can get into trouble with that, alright? You wanna avoid that. Have someone [INAUDIBLE] the ladder. Try not to put any of your weight above the top rail as you make your transference. I'm John Buckeye it's been another training minute. Thanks for watching. [SOUND]

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