The truck company driver or chauffeur needs to accomplish, in short order, a number of tasks upon arrival on the scene. Positioning the rig itself is only the first task. Here are 4 tools which will help make a good truck driver into a great truck driver. We’ll spend a little time on each tool and how it relates to the tasks we need to accomplish.
#1 – The Long Pro-Bar or Large Halligan
The Pro-bar or large halligan makes taking the window quick and effective. It also clears the center cross member of the window much easier than using a hook.
Clearing the center cross member is essential. We do not clear them 80% of the time because it takes too long. Sure, the window gets vented when the center cross member is left intact. But, you have not made the window into an emergency egress point until you clear it completely. If a member of your crew gets jacked up and needs to exit that window in a hurry, he cannot get past that center cross member with the bottle.
So clear the window completely; the long pro-bar or large halligan will help.
#2 – The 16-foot straight ladder and the 8-foot hook
The 16-foot straight ladder gives you the reach to most second floors. It is light and easy to throw. Attaching the 8-foot hook to the ladder gives you the added reach you may need to take a window or clear curtains.
I have also seen some good truck guys marry the hook with the pro-bar. Both are great concepts.
#3 – The 100-foot aerial or bucket
That’s right: the aerial is a tool! It can be used to gain access, rescue, ventilate, and raise or lower equipment.
The key to utilizing the aerial is thinking outside the confines of the ladder. Platforms are a little limited in one respect but are better as operating platforms than the ladder.
One important point about the aerial: you must practice fine movements often. Jerking the aerial around is not only dangerous but also stresses the tool.
#4 – The ladder hook or large carabiner
The ladder hook or large carabiner is critical for the outside vent team. It works in conjunction with the harness each truck mmeber should have.
It allows you to lock in on a ladder or fire escape, tether to the aerial while on a pitched roof, or assist in lowering equipment. The uses of the ladder hook/carabiner are endless and a must of the truck crew.
Be safe, stay low and keep learning!
Photo courtesy of Jason Comer (BCoFD).