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Chapter 14. Ladders. Introduction. Ladders provide access to elevated or below-grade locations Truss-type beams have replaced solid wood beams High-strength aluminum replaced wood New design technology continued to meet ladder needs Ladders can be used for many purposes. Ladder Terminology.

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Chapter 14

Chapter 14

Ladders


Introduction
Introduction

  • Ladders provide access to elevated or below-grade locations

  • Truss-type beams have replaced solid wood beams

  • High-strength aluminum replaced wood

  • New design technology continued to meet ladder needs

  • Ladders can be used for many purposes


Ladder terminology
Ladder Terminology

  • Defined as:

    • “A structure consisting of two long sides crossed by parallel rungs, used to climb up and down”

    • “A means of ascent and descent”

  • Many different types of ladders


Parts of a ladder
Parts of a Ladder

  • Many parts to a ladder

  • Different parts of the ladder might have multiple names

  • Common terminology usage will reduce miscommunication

  • Glossary of ladder parts on page 417


(B)

(A)

(C)

Figure 14-1 (A) Straight ladder terminology. (B) Steel spurs on a ladder of truss construction. (C) Swivel shoes with pads and spikes.


Ladder companies
Ladder Companies

  • Apparatus that carry ladders, devices, tools, and personnel to upper levels

  • Tower ladders and boom ladders are included in this category

  • Ladder companies are also responsible for tasks associated with entry


Grounded or portable ladders
Grounded (or Portable) Ladders

  • Complement of ground ladders, sometimes called portable ladders

  • Common types:

    • Straight

    • Extension

    • Various specialized ladders


Straight ladder
Straight Ladder

  • Also referred to as wall ladder

  • Fixed length ladder

  • Found in lengths between 12 and 20 feet

  • Generally light

  • Departments without ladder companies carry ladders on pumping engines



Extension ladder
Extension Ladder

  • Consists of two or more ladders

  • Bed ladder acts as a nest

  • Fly ladder is movable and slides in channels

  • Halyard – rope used to extend ladder

  • Each section locked into place



Roof or hook ladder
Roof or Hook Ladder

  • A straight wall ladder with set of retractable hooks at the tip end

  • Used on a sloped roof

  • Can be used as a standard straight wall ladder

  • Not designed to be used as a hanging ladder



Folding ladder
Folding Ladder as a straight ladder.

  • Known by many names

  • Available in lengths from 8 to 16 feet

  • Provide access to attic spaces

  • Very portable

  • Used to remove occupants from elevator car


(A) as a straight ladder.

(B)

Figure 14-7 Folding ladder (also called a suitcase or attic ladder). (A) Folded. (B) Opened.


A frame combination ladder
A-Frame Combination Ladder as a straight ladder.

  • Combination ladder used in various configurations

  • Acts as a mini-extension ladder

  • When fully articulated and extended, can be a full fixed straight ladder

  • Can become a step ladder

  • Used in tight places


(A) as a straight ladder.

(B)

Figure 14-8 Combination A-frame ladder. (A) Used as a short extension ladder. (B) Being converted from an extension ladder to an A-frame stepladder.


(C) as a straight ladder.

Figure 14-8 (cont’d.) Combination A-frame ladder. (C) In the A-frame stepladder mode.


Use and care
Use and Care as a straight ladder.

  • Care must be employed to prevent ladder damage

  • NFPA Standard 1932 covers use, maintenance, and service testing of ground ladders


Table 14-1 Ground Ladder Tips as a straight ladder.


Maintenance cleaning and inspection
Maintenance, Cleaning, as a straight ladder.and Inspection

  • Ladders should be inspected at regular intervals

  • Certification label must be affixed

  • Ladders needing repair are removed from service

  • Work beyond general maintenance performed by trained technicians




Cleaning ladders
Cleaning Ladders as a straight ladder.

  • Dirt and caustic substances act as an abrasive

  • Warm soapy detergent and scrub brush will remove most dirt

  • Manufacturer’s recommendations should be consulted


Ladder uses
Ladder Uses as a straight ladder.

  • Primarily used for climbing

  • Used for many purposes:

    • Shoring tool

    • Fence

    • Hold back loose debris

    • Chute to channel water


Access
Access as a straight ladder.

  • Most obvious use

  • Provides a path otherwise inaccessible

  • Can be used to descend into an opening


Rescue
Rescue as a straight ladder.

  • Extracting a victim

  • Use of ladders that is employed least often


Salvage operations
Salvage Operations as a straight ladder.

  • Used as a tool to support salvage covers

  • Protect hoselines from falling glass


Stability
Stability as a straight ladder.

  • Hook or roof ladder

  • Provides footing for firefighters on sloped roofs


Ventilation
Ventilation as a straight ladder.

  • Can take place in two ways

    • Firefighter can use ladder to remove glass with a tool from elevated position

    • Ladder itself can be used as the tool

  • Safety must be paramount


Bridging
Bridging as a straight ladder.

  • Ladder can be an effective bridge between two points

  • Supports weight over a weakened floor

  • Bedded extension ladder is safest


Elevated streams
Elevated Streams as a straight ladder.

  • Ground ladders are still an option to provide water from an exterior location

  • Used when no other approach to fire is available


Elevated work position
Elevated Work Position as a straight ladder.

  • Serve as exterior work platform

  • Need to remove something or check for heat during overhauling


Ladder selection
Ladder Selection as a straight ladder.

  • Once target is identified, ask these questions:

    • What length of ladder is necessary?

    • What will be done with the ladder?

    • Will ladder be used at several locations?

    • Is a straight or extension ladder needed?

  • Some additional considerations:

    • Ground condition

    • Accessibility of location

    • Available personnel


Butt section
Butt Section as a straight ladder.

  • If ground slopes, raising a ladder might be impossible

  • 75 degrees is the proper climbing angle

  • Placed directly under the target

  • Butt should be carried in the direction of the target


Fly section
Fly Section as a straight ladder.

  • Tip of fly dictates how ladder will be used

  • Several specific locations where placement of tip will be important:

    • Windows

    • Roof level

    • Fire escapes


(A) as a straight ladder.

(B)

Figure 14-9 (A) Ladder placed with the tip below the windowsill. (B) Ladder placed with the tip at the top of the windowsill to either side.


Special uses
Special Uses as a straight ladder.

  • Can be used as tools or as portable stairs

  • Ladder integrity must not be compromised


Removal of numerous victims
Removal of Numerous Victims as a straight ladder.

  • Method:

    • Raise ladder

    • Ascend and secure victim onto ladder

    • Descend escorting victim

  • For several victims, use two or more ladders

  • One “supply” ladder can service many escape ladders



Chute with a tarp
Chute with a Tarp as a straight ladder.

  • Prevent water damage

  • Ladder with tarp used as a makeshift chute to direct water out a window

Figure 14-12 Ladder with salvage cover, plastic sheet, or tarpaulin used as a chute to divert and discharge water.


Over a fence
Over a Fence as a straight ladder.

  • Two short ladders tied together in an A-frame can be used to climb over fences

  • There are times a fence cannot be cut

Figure 14-13 Ladders can be used to climb over a high fence.


Elevated hose streams
Elevated Hose Streams as a straight ladder.

  • Used in locations that could not be approached conventionally

  • Basic safety practices must be employed:

    • Firefighter and hose must be secured to ladder

    • Ladder must be stabilized at base or tip


Figure 14-14 A handline can be used off a ground ladder for difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.


Portable pool
Portable Pool difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Three or four ladders can be tied together to form a crib and lined with a tarp

    • Filled with water

    • Used to capture runoff

Figure 14-15 Ladders can be turned into an emergency water pool or collection area.


Barrier
Barrier difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Tied off to secure dangerous areas

  • Provides a positive visual deterrent as well as a physical mechanism to prevent passing

Figure 14-16 A ladder can be used as a barrier.


Support
Support difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • With ropes a ladder can secure objects as an emergency structural stabilizer

  • Should be replaced as soon as possible with tools designed for the situation

Figure 14-17 Ladder used as a shoring tool. A ladder secured to substantial objects by ropes can assist in stabilizing a structural defect as an emergency measure.


Hoist point
Hoist Point difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Set of ladders tied off at tip and at base into an A-frame

  • Pulley and rope are attached to apex

  • Ladder weight limits should not be exceeded

Figure 14-18 A-frame hoist.


Ventilation fan supports
Ventilation Fan Supports difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Short ladder spanning an opening can support a ventilation fan or blower

  • Innovation must be tempered with safety

Figure 14-19 A ladder can be used to support a fan in a doorway.


Safety
Safety difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Equated with common sense

  • Use gloves

  • Use correct ladder

  • Overhead wires must be considered “live”

  • When moving on a ladder, firefighter should keep three limbs in contact


Overhead obstructions
Overhead Obstructions difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Carry injury potential:

    • Tree limbs, structural overhangs

    • Television and telephone wires

    • Overhead electrical lines

Figure 14-20 A ladder can make an electrical connection to ground.


Climbing path
Climbing Path difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Imaginary passageway a firefighter climbs through while ascending ladder

  • Obstructed climbing paths:

    • Firefighter is required to alter normal climbing angle

    • Squeeze through a tight space

  • Breathing apparatus must be considered when estimating space


Figure 14-21 “Climbing path” pass-through area. difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.


Ground considerations
Ground Considerations difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Ladder must be stable, ground must be level

  • Cannot create a dangerous lateral lean

Figure 14-22 Uneven ground effect is magnified as the ladder increases in height.


Ladder load
Ladder Load difficult-to-reach areas. Note the use of a ladder belt.

  • Number of people permitted on ladder at one time will vary

  • Load capacity based on weight

  • Recommended maximum load found on label affixed to ladder



Working off a ladder
Working Off a Ladder overloaded.

  • Firefighter secured to ladder

    • Ladder belts

    • Safety harness

    • Leg lock

Figure 14-25 Leg lock.


Ladder storage
Ladder Storage overloaded.

  • Supported by more than two support points

  • Should be stored on a flat surface

  • Avoid using the same contact points when storing ladder


Apparatus ladder storage
Apparatus Ladder Storage overloaded.

  • Should be stored under cover in compartments

  • De-icing products on ladders during inclement weather


Ladder apparatus parking
Ladder Apparatus Parking overloaded.

  • Place ladder apparatus at an angle to the fire building

  • Ladders need to be easily accessible and removed

(A)

(B)

Figure 14-27 (A) It is important to leave room to remove portable ground ladders. (B) Parking apparatus can impede ladder access: parking on an angle can be a simple solution.


Ladder painting
Ladder Painting overloaded.

  • Should never be painted as a means of maintenance

  • Only small areas should be painted:

    • Identification

    • Visibility

    • Quick reference

    • Hoist points


Certification and testing procedures
Certification and overloaded.Testing Procedures

  • NFPA Standard 1931 outlines specific procedures for ladder testing and certification

  • When ladder model is designed, rigid testing is needed

  • Ladder label attests that ladder is in compliance with NFPA and OSHA guidelines


Ladder skills
Ladder Skills overloaded.

  • Without common terminology and technique, the moving and positioning of ladders can be chaotic

  • Commands should be established by local department policy

  • Basic commands relying on common sense should be the norm


Carrying ladders
Carrying Ladders overloaded.

  • Several techniques used for carrying ladders:

    • Suitcase carry

    • Shoulder carry

    • Flat carry

  • Single firefighter can carry a small ladder individually

  • Many types of techniques used when dealing with a victim on a ladder


Raising ladders
Raising Ladders overloaded.

  • Several considerations must be weighed:

    • Heel of ladder must be a calculated distance from building

    • Ideally, climbing angle should be about 75 degrees

  • Number of firefighters needed to raise a ladder will vary

  • Most situations call for two firefighters


Figure 14-29 The working length is the distance from the ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.


Rung and beam raises
Rung and Beam Raises ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Two methods of raising a ladder:

    • Two-person rung raise

    • Two-person beam raise

  • Raising an extension ladder:

    • Fly extension raise

    • Three-person raise

  • Four-person ladder raise safer than three-person raise

    • One firefighter should never bring down a ladder


(A) ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

(B)

Figure 14-30 (A) Beam raise. (B) Rung raise.


Leg lock
Leg Lock ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Used to secure firefighter to ladder

  • Both hands are needed to perform a task

  • Ladder belt is not available

  • Second alternate leg lock known as hyper-extended leg lock


Carrying tools
Carrying Tools ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • When carrying tools, security is sacrificed

  • Tools should be passed up to another firefighter first

  • Tools can be hung on an upper rung and climbed to

  • Tools can ride up the rails of an aerial ladder


Mounting and dismounting
Mounting and Dismounting ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Getting on and off a ladder is the most difficult action for the uninitiated

    • As height increases so does fear of falling

    • If ladder is not secured by rope, it should be heeled by another firefighter

    • When climbing into a window from a ladder, two methods are used

    • Special care should be observed when mounting or dismounting ladder from ornamental works


Roof and ladder deployment
Roof and Ladder Deployment ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Raised to the eave of the roof directly under desired access point

  • Hook ladder is raised alongside pre-positioned ladder using beam-raise method


Hoisting ladders by rope
Hoisting Ladders by Rope ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Need to use ladder from elevated location might arise

    • Hoisting ladder by rope

  • When lowering ladder, procedure is reversed


Types of truck mounted ladders
Types of Truck-Mounted Ladders ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Many types of ladder trucks are used today

  • Each designed to serve a particular function


Aerial ladder
Aerial Ladder ground to the point where the ladder contacts the building. The ladder is placed at a point approximately one-quarter of the working length from the building.

  • Apparatus-mounted ladder capable of reaching heights of 100 feet

  • Various sections slide out from one another to produce greater reach

  • Ladder’s reach achieved through use of cables and pulleys




Tower ladder
Tower Ladder under a raised bed ladder.

  • Standard piece of equipment in moderate to large departments

  • Telescopic boom with mounted basket

  • Affords people who suffer from a fear of heights

  • Takes slightly longer to place into operation


Figure 14-41 Tower ladder. under a raised bed ladder.


Articulating boom ladder
Articulating Boom Ladder under a raised bed ladder.

  • Also called snorkel ladder

  • Among the first designs for elevated platform use

  • Uses several articulating booms

  • Can also be used as an elevated water application platform or observation point



Lessons learned
Lessons Learned with other types of apparatus.

  • Ladders have many applications

  • Different types of ladders are designed for a specific use

  • Ladder use is packed with additional dangers that each firefighter must respect


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