Drills, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Drill of the Week: Ladder Rescue

Last week’s drill covered carrying, raising, climbing, and lowering ground ladders. The objective of this week’s drill is to gain proficiency in rapidly placing a ground ladder for rescue and successfully removing victims. At a working fire, victims must be reached and rescued quickly; ground ladders must be placed correctly for efficient rescue. All firefighters should have the opportunity to practice the skills required. Last week’s drill should be conducted before initiating this drill.

Setup time is about an hour. You’ll need ground ladders that are carried on your apparatus, a stopwatch, a rescue manikin, and SCBA.

Select a site that allows apparatus placement as close as possible to the structure. The building should allow the simulation of a rescue from a second- or third-story window. Obtain the building owner’s permission to use the structure for the drill. Review your department training manual’s ladder section. If no rescue manikin is available, construct one using hose, duct tape, and a pair of coveralls. An illustration of a completed rescue manikin is available in Howard A. Chatterton’s Volunteer Training Drills – A Year of Weekly Drills. Place the manikin just inside the room, right under the window, leaning against the wall. Use a doll about the size of a CPR baby manikin, and place it somewhere else in the room. Assign two members as safety officers and evaluators.

Running the Drill
Have an engine or truck crew respond to the drill side of the building. Tell the officer a victim had been seen at the window, but disappeared and is believed to be inside and unconscious. Fire is below the victim and extending rapidly, involving the interior stairs. Start the stopwatch.

The officer immediately orders a ladder to the window for the rescue. The ladder should be properly raised and securely footed. The first member up the ladder moves the victim away from the window and back into the room and enters. If staffing permits, two members should enter the room. All firefighters should be in full protective clothing and wearing masks when they enter. Interior firefighters assist with placing the victim on the ladder. Before exiting, these members should conduct a search. They should not have to be coached to make the search; this should be standard operating procedure. Note the time members bring the first victim down to the ground. Stop the watch when they bring the baby down. Record the air remaining in the firefighter’s SCBA. Critique the exercise using the ladder skills checklist you compiled in the Ground Ladders Drill.

Have evaluators review the drill and performance of the members.

If you have a similar drill idea and wish to share it, please e-mail: [email protected].

To review training officer and safety officer considerations, visit http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=HOME&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID=202453 to review training officer and safety officer considerations.

For more information on this drill, including a list of references and figures (if available), visit http://store.yahoo.com/pennwell/voltraindril.html to purchase Volunteer Training Drills–A Year of Weekly Drills.

Next week’s drill: Soft Tissue and Penetrating Wounds

FireEngineering.com Drill of the Week Archive