Apparatus & Equipment

Positioning Aerial Apparatus When You’re Not First Due

Issue 10 and Volume 161.

BY NICHOLAS A. MARTIN Perhaps the biggest challenge chauffeurs of aerial apparatus face is the limitation of their aerial. As the saying goes, “You can always stretch hose, but you can’t stretch ladders.” Scrub angles and aerial length necessitate that the apparatus be placed in specific positions or locations to achieve optimum use. This can be difficult when you are one of the first units on the scene and is severely complicated when you arrive later in the incident. Apparatus operators should always strive to place their apparatus in the optimum position available. It is tempting to think that we don’t have to worry about setting our rig up because other ladder companies may already be in position. However, we must always plan for the worst: What if one of those aerials experiences a failure? What if the fire continues to advance? What if one of our fellow firefighters is…

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