By Brian Zaitz
Ground ladders are an essential piece of firefighting equipment. They are used to gain access to second and third floor windows, conduct ventilation, access roofs, rescue victims, and countless other fireground operations. The ability to successfully operate and work off a ground ladder is as simple as getting them off the trucks and practicing.
While working off a ground ladder, it is important to lock yourself into the ladder. Traditionally, this was done with a leg through and down lock. While this was a very good lock, it was somewhat difficult to accomplish and it did not allow for quick movement up or down the ladder. This bulletin shows three alternatives to the traditional leg lock, all designed to lock you into the ladder while affording the flexibility to quickly move up and down the ladder as needed. The key is to practice. You cannot expect proficiency on the fireground if you have not gained it on the training ground.
Brian Zaitz is a 14-year student of the fire service, currently assigned as the captain/training officer with the Metro West (MO) Fire Protection District. Brian is an instructor with Engine House Training, LLC as well as instructor at the St. Louis County Fire Academy. Brian holds several degrees, including an associates in paramedic technology, a bachelors in fire science management, and a masters in human resource development. Brian is currently and accredited chief training officer and student of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
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