13-Ft. Ladder Gets to Topmost High-Rise Floors
High-rise building floors that are beyond the reach of aerial ladders can be reached with a 13-foot (maximum extension) extension ladder.
Access to any window in a skyscraper can be gained through use of the system developed by Lt. Peter Lorenzo of the New York Fire Department. After demonstrating the practicality of his ladder system to fire department officials, the lieutenant of Engine 23 in midtown Manhattan was detailed to train the personnel of four other Manhattan engine companies and two in Brooklyn. They will be designated as special units with the capability of using this high-rise access system in addition to their regular engine company duties.
A section of %-inch pipe is placed at the inside top and outside bottom of a window and lines from the tip and bottom of the ladder are secured to the pipes to keep the ladder in position. A 16-foot aluminum ladder was cut to have a maximum extension of 13 feet with the usual three-rung overlap. Retracted, the ladder is only 8V2 feet long so that it can be taken to upper floors in any passenger elevator.
Once in place, the ladder can be used to rescue people trapped by fire, or a ladder pipe can be set on the top rungs to put a stream into a floor area that otherwise could not be reached by lines from a stairwell.
These photos were taken when Lorenzo demonstrated his ladder system on the 44th floor of a building under construction, the addition to the Museum of Modern Art.