Think back to your days in the fire academy, and learning about portable ladders. We were taught the basic one and two person carries and raises. We always fully extended the ladder on the side of the drill tower, and were told to place it at the exact same angle every time. Class is over, you are now on the job, and you know how to use portable ladders, right?? Not so fast. We weren’t taught to become fire ground effective, we simply just repeated the exact same process over and over. We need repetition to become proficient, but we must be able to adapt that proficiency to a variety of situations. Today’s fire ground requires much more skill and thought to overcome the dynamic challenges we face.
Rather than place the tip of the ladder in a different location for different tasks, we should realize that with less staffing and more work to be done, we must work smarter, not harder. Placing the tip of the ladder at the base of the window provides a means of entry and egress for firefighters working on up