By Bradley Koltz
At a drill recently held at the Bethel Fire department, firefighters used a simple game of catch with a football to show how stable they can be when on a ladder using leg locks. Leg locks is a skill that when mastered makes a firefighter very stable and able to work safely while on a ladder.
The exercise was after they went about raising different size ladders, ranging from small roof ladders all the way up to the 40 foot "beast" with tormentor poles.
Deploying ladders is one of the very basic but critical jobs firefighters perform, and it was a good chance to review lifting techniques, carries, short staff considerations such as a single person raising a 24 or 30 foot ladder, and safe lowering. They also worked on climbing ladders with a variety of tools such as pike poles, halligan bars, axes and a variety of saws used for roof ventilation. At the end of the drill they went over working off a ladder and broke out the football.
Courtesy Photo - Firefighters at the South Street Station practice ladder drills.