Aerial Operations: Cone Drill by Anchor Point

Aerial operations are an often neglected skill in the fire service. Frequently, a newer firefighter will hear, “Put the stick up and cut the roof.” The veteran firefighter will point to the outriggers, point to thecontrols and then point to the roof and say, “Make it happen.” It sounds easy enough, but it is more complicated than that. Is just slamming the aerial into Grandma’s gutters really the minimum requirement operators should have? Or should aerial operators actually try to perform this action with skill?

I was taught to treat that ladder as if it was all that kept me from falling to the ground when you were on it. When I see firefighters slam the aerial around, rattling it, banging it, I cringe. When they try to place the aerial to the firehouse roof and hit the building and then blame the piece, it makes me cringe. Who’s to say I won’t be on that ladder some day? Anything is possible in the fire service.
Here are some things to keep in mind while checking the aerial:
What is the maximum limit of operations I can reach?
How far up and down can I go?
How close can I get to the cars next to me and still throw the outriggers?
If I put the ladder truck parallel to an engine, will I be able to use the aerial?
What else can I do with the aerial SAFELY?
The best start you can have with the aerial is to be smooth, efficient and precise. Everything else will build off of these skills. To practice this, we have a short drill that can help:
1. Get a collection of similar traffic cones.
2. Disperse the cones arounda training area orthe area where you normally check the piece.
3. Put the cones high, low, near and far so you will have as large a part of the aerial’s range as you can.
4. Hang another cone from the tip of the aerial. Use a carbiner so you can drop it off if you get a call during the drill.
5. Play “stack the cone”. Try to stack the cone hanging from the aerial on top of the other cones, one at a time.
The people with the smoothest control will do the best. The next step should be a timed event.
The drill can be made more difficult by extending the rope, but the focus may move away from smooth control due to the cone swinging. Rope length around 5′ should be good we found 10′ to be a bit challenging.Thanks to Vententersearch.com They also have a list of variations also.
Good luck, be safe.

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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Comments
Scott
The World is not on fire.
I am not sure that the author even understands his point, he says that science has gotten a bad name? Just because one does not like the results of the scientific process does not make them “bad”. The only bad is not learning and educating ourselves in our craft. To claim that a culture of…
2015-03-31 14:29:14
Jim P.
The World is not on fire.
BRAVO. Very good observations. Thanks for writing this. Decisions/leadership based upon fear or lack of training is unacceptable. These things need to be said, to counteract the attitudes that are trying to influence future generations of firefighters.
2015-03-18 14:39:28
Ret. Capt.
The next big thing…or just another acronym?
I'm not sure how the Portsmouth, VA FD normally operates but that is an embarrassment. I am not understanding any part of why the hose team did not make entry while one other member broke out the window with an extension ladder to provide quick ventilation. From what is seen, and the conditions present, in…
2015-01-16 17:21:54
Met Fan
The next big thing…or just another acronym?
Actually it does not seem to raise the temperatures at the floor in most cases. Do you feel feel different after attack begins? Of course you do. Steam is produced when water hits the fire and you feel the humidity through your gear. This is going to happen regardless of whether the stream entered a…
2014-12-29 02:43:23
Ryan McGovern (Ladder Jack)
Ideology vs Philosophy: Are you Slicing or Dicing in the fire service trends
Marques, As I have been following this debate for the past few weeks, and looking for the best way to respond, I could find no "correct" way to join the conversation without maybe coming off as narrow-minded. The response you have here says exactly what I believe is the best way to approach the SLICER/…
2014-12-03 00:41:24

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