Firefighting, Truck Company

Escape Overload

Issue 3 and Volume 164.

By Michael N. Ciampo Pulling up to the large multiple dwelling, we were met with an overcrowding condition on the front fire escape. Heavy smoke was issuing out many windows on numerous floors, and the drop ladder was still in the up position. Panic had already set in from the tenants being engulfed in smoke and an elderly woman blocking the path to safety. Nearby, a mother was dangling an infant off the first-floor landing. People on the sidewalk were yelling, “Drop the baby,” as a firefighter carrying a ladder made his way through the crowd, instinctively yelling, “Hold on, don’t drop the baby!” Most of us think that fire escapes are evacuation devices that are fail-safe and made for the removal of numerous tenants from a burning building. Unfortunately, because of poor maintenance and daily exposure to the weather, fire escapes are a very dangerous option to use and…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now