Protecting the Tillerman on a 3-Section Ladder

Protecting the Tillerman on a 3-Section Ladder

Hinged roof lets tillerman get out of his seat to swing protective cover to the right of the aerial ladder.

Washington, D. C., F. D. photos

Washington, D. C., frame is sturdy, easy to make

In these days of social upheaval and the attendant demonstrations, which have been collectively called “civil disorders,” the fire service faces the problem of providing safety devices.

Our program for reasonable protection has been directed toward providing shielding from missiles thrown at apparatus and personnel. Although we now have what we consider adequate protection for engine companies, this part of our protective program is still in the developmental stage.

It is in protecting the tillerman, seated within the confines of our 100-foot, three section, tractor-trailer aerial ladders, that we feel we have devised a desirable protective cover.

There are several vexing problems in adapting a protective cover for the tiller assembly where it rests within the ladder. It must be sufficiently sturdy to deflect stones and other missiles and rugged enough to withstand dayto-day handling. It must be light enough to be portable and to be easily moved aside for instant use of the aerial ladder. It must have minimum interference with the tillerman’s vision. It must be moderate in cost. And it must be easy for the average mechanically-inclined person to make it from readily obtained materials. All these problems are overcome by our device.

The basic materials and dimensions are as follows:

Frame—1 x 1 x 1/8-inch angle iron, suitably welded.

Bracing and brackets—3/8 x 1 1/2-inch strap iron.

Plywood—3/4-inch, exterior grade.

Hinge—piano type, black iron.

Plastic—3/16-inch clear polycarbonate sheet (Lexan).

Various metal clamps, handholds, holddowns, etc., which easily suggest themselves, are formed of strap iron heated and bent to shape.

At two points on each side, the polycarbonate sheet is crease-bent on a sheet-metal brake. The curve is formed as it is applied around a 3/4-inch plywood spacer, approximately 5 inches in depth and 26 inches in length.

The overall dimensions of the protective cover are width, 31 1/2 inches; height, 29 1/2 inches; length at bottom, 45 inches; length at top, 35 1/2 inches. These dimensions require modification to meet the configuration of specific aerial ladders.

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