One-Firefighter Ladder Carry

Issue 5 and Volume 165.

BY JAKE JARVIS AND RYAN GILBERT Today is just another shift, and the fire you’ll get today may be just another residential fire. But what if there were one important difference? What if you were presented with multiple rescues above the first floor? Would you be ready? Fire departments are cutting staffing and training. All the while, the senior firefighters with so much experience from the “war years” are quietly retiring. Ultimately, however, none of this adds up to an excuse when our purest mission materializes in front of our eyes. You are on the first-due engine at an apartment fire. When you step off the rig, you immediately see an occupant hanging out of a third-story window and turbulent black smoke pushing out over her head. As you move to grab the extension ladder, you realize that the rest of your crew is busy and you are the only…

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