Update: In the process of looking up information on my post about Outriggers (coming up today – 2015 April 17) I came across an another good article about apparatus placement at a fire scene and tips on the safe & effective placement and use of the Ladder Truck on scene. You can read the article HERE at Fire Engineering
Note: the photos in this post are ones that I took a couple years back. The top one is that of a Burleson FD apparatus in Burleson, TX; The second is from a “Grand Opening/Open House event of Station 5 in Fort Worth, TX A ladder truck is sometimes referred to as an Aerial truck. A ladder truck, as one might rightly presume, has an expandable or telescoping ladder attached. Such ladders are usually hydraulically or pneumatically operated. Ladder trucks also carry a variety of different length extension ladders. Some ladder trucks have a bucket or basket attached at the top of the ladder. Such trucks are often called platform trucks. In some cases these baskets or buckets (also called platforms) are not attached to a ladder, but rather a jointed arm. These are used to get over obstacles that might get in the way of a conventional ladder truck by allowing the platform to go up and over said obstacle. The firefighters that work together on a ladder truck are sometimes referred to as ladder company or hook & ladder company. Two types of apparatus that should be mentioned here are the Quint and Tiller Quint. One of the functions of the quint is that of a ladder truck. Quints will often have a telescoping ladder attached. A Tiller Quint is a Tiller Truck that has been outfitted with an on-board Water tank. A little bit of history on the ladder truck Without going to much into the history of the fire truck & fire engine let’s just say that before about the early 1900’s firefighting apparatuses were confined to that of what could be done on foot and later horse drawn devices. At the turn of the century (1900’s) the invent of gas powered engine allowed for such apparatuses to become powered. In about the 1930’s the increased size of building heights brought about the necessity for firefighters to safely reach the tops of these buildings. Originally manually expandable ladders were used. Eventually ladders began to be installed on fire trucks. The development of the turntable ladder allowed firefighters to reach heights of 150 feet. Nowadays ladder trucks can reach heights up to 200 feet. In the the 1940’s, after world war II, aerial platforms (also called “cherry pickers”) came into the picture. Sources (for more information)
Join me on an A to Z Journey of firefighting tools throughout the month of April. I appreciate feedback. Please keep in mind that I am not (nor do I pretend to be) a firefighter or a member, either volunteer or paid, of the fire service. My purpose here is to pass on knowledge that I find in hopes to both bring awareness to the fire-service and to help those in the profession do their job safer and better.