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 the†controls 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 around†a training area or†the 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
ladderjack
“Go” Versus “No-Go” A Brief Look into Survivability Profiling
Anthony, Thank you for your response. I hope I didn't come off as saying that "I am the only opinion that matters in this paper." I agree with you 100% that there is no "Set" way to do anything, and that we need to keep our minds open to different techniques and thinking outside of…
2014-08-27 20:34:16
Ryan McGovern/ Ladderjack
“Go” Versus “No-Go” A Brief Look into Survivability Profiling
Ben, Thanks a lot for your comment! You're definitely right that there needs to be hoseline protection given to the guys working above the fire; and that a TIC should be utilized when attempting VES techniques. Every little thing we can do and engineer to make an already dangerous maneuver safer is a must! Thanks…
2014-08-27 20:25:20
Anthony Correia
“Go” Versus “No-Go” A Brief Look into Survivability Profiling
While VSP was written as an EFO paper, the paper it is not end all be all on this topic. In a presentation Marsars did last year, he himself said it wasn't 100%. Even gave an example of a fire in his home local where a person lived, that would of met unlikely survivability profiling.…
2014-08-27 19:24:24
Ben Waller
“Go” Versus “No-Go” A Brief Look into Survivability Profiling
...OK, it was 3 points, but who is counting?
2014-08-26 23:44:08
Ben Waller
“Go” Versus “No-Go” A Brief Look into Survivability Profiling
I agree, with two additional points. VIES of the tenable 2nd story windows should include the following - 1. A heavy Transitional attack in the 1st floor windows below the fire to protect the truckies' access, the ladders, and egress for truckies and (potential) victims. 2. Truckies take a thermal imaging camera and size up…
2014-08-26 23:43:33

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