Mayday Monday: The Hotel Raise

By Tony Carroll

Courtesy of the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department

Mayday Monday…looks like summer is officially here. I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather.

Today’s Mayday Monday scenario is this: Fire on multiple floors of an apartment/hotel style building. Companies are engaged in the firefight on each floor. Conditions inside change, and members are forced to the windows or balconies and need assistance to get down. How can we ladder the rear and access each floor with one ladder? The hotel raise.

The hotel raise is a tactic using the pole, or Bangor, ladder. This tall ladder comes in 40-, 45-, or 50-foot lengths. The poles provide support when the ladder is placed against the building at full length. For the hotel raise, the heel of the ladder is placed two to three feet from the base of the building in line with the location of the windows with the firefighters. The rapide intervention team company extends—but does not place—the ladder to the building. The ladder is kept upright, two to three feet from the building. Members hold the poles to help keep the ladder upright. The firefighters at the windows are able to step to the ladder and descend. This one ladder was used to provide egress from several floors.

Now is the time to try this. Please find a building in your area with multiple floors and windows inline. We must be prepared to perform this tactic. The night of the incident is not the time to learn this tactic.

Until next Monday…have a good week!


Tony Carroll is a captain with the safety office of the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

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