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Monday, February 21, 2022
Firefighters Complete Aerial Apparatus Operations Training - Georgetown

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Firefighters from the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company recently completed a 12-hour training course on Aerial Apparatus Operations taught by the Delaware State Fire School in conjunction with the Georgetown Fire Company.

The training objectives of the course were to highlight and explain the different capabilities with distinct advantages and disadvantages for the various types of aerial apparatus.  The course provided an explanation of the three basic groups of Aerial Fire Apparatus:  straight aerials, platform aerials, and water towers.  The advantages of the different aerial mounting locations: rear-mount, mid-mount and tiller-mount and proper use of the features of aerial fire apparatus which included but not limited to safety considerations, apparatus positioning, stabilization, rescue, raising the aerial device; placing the aerial ladder or elevating platform and spotting the turntable.

When an alarm sounds and fire trucks respond, standardized procedures as well as aerial placement and operation are all part of a strategic response. An aerial device provides additional support on the fire ground; how it’s used and the operational efficiencies it offers can make a significant impact on lifesaving tasks.

The placement of an aerial device at an emergency scene can greatly impact the effectiveness of an operation. There are two fire truck placement strategies: horizontal and vertical.

  • Horizontal placement focuses on the reach of the aerial or ladder device. For example, in a residential area with two-story homes, a fire truck can remain parked on the road and the aerial device can reach the roofline to execute rescue operations or ventilation.

  • Vertical placement focuses on the height of the aerial or ladder device. Vertical placement is required in many big cities with tall apartment buildings and hotels. Aerial devices must be able to ascend upwards to perform rescue operations.

Aerial placement and operation depend on the type of fire truck in use, either rear-mount or mid-mount:

  1. A rear-mount aerial has the turntable positioned at the rear of the apparatus, which means the ladder can be positioned to work on either side or off the rear of the truck. The pivoting turntable allows the truck position to vary based on the assessed need at the emergency scene.

  2. A mid-mount fire truck features a turntable directly behind the cab, in the middle of the truck. As such, aerial operators are working off the side of the truck.

Illustrated herewith are some photographs of the actual hands-on phase of the training curriculum.