LAFD ladders

Bulldog

Bulldog
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Does anyone know the reasoning for use of wooden ladders by LAFD as well as several other California Departments? It seems like were heavier and require a lot more maintenance I don't see any big advantage for them. If there was he would think that other departments would also be using them. My only guess is that it's more a historical thing than anything else.
 

Bulldog

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So basically it boils down to it being a tradition? Yes they are not electrically conductive but neither are fiberglass ladders which are a lot lighter weight. There are many areas that have a significant number of electrical wires overhead yet they don't use wooden ladders either so it can't be that much of a concern.
 

Lebby

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So basically it boils down to it being a tradition? Yes they are not electrically conductive but neither are fiberglass ladders which are a lot lighter weight. There are many areas that have a significant number of electrical wires overhead yet they don't use wooden ladders either so it can't be that much of a concern.
My understanding is as they're heavier, they require more people to safely raise which the union uses to ensure proper levels of staffing.
 

Bulldog

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My understanding is as they're heavier, they require more people to safely raise which the union uses to ensure proper levels of staffing.
Once again, the unions are allowed to dictate policies in this case it actually probably makes it less safe for the firefighters.
 

Lebby

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Once again, the unions are allowed to dictate policies in this case it actually probably makes it less safe for the firefighters.
I don't follow, ensuring that a ladder company has let's say five members instead of three, sounds more safe to me. It obviously works for them which is what matters.
 

Bulldog

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I don't follow, ensuring that a ladder company has let's say five members instead of three, sounds more safe to me. It obviously works for them which is what matters.
If the ladder is heavier the risk of getting hurt while erecting it is higher no matter how many people you have. We all know that no matter what the SOPs say they're going to be times when fewer members are going to have to erect a ladder during an emergency. Especially at these times the risk of injury goes up!

I saw a video one time of about the ladder shop, I believe only 2 members work there.
 

Lebby

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We shall have to agree to disagree, from my friends on SFFD I have developed nothing but the upmost respect for thier operations. If it works for them (and other regional departments) who am I to dissent? But, whilst researching this, I found SFFD's ladder manual and it's a treasure. From bridging buildings to battering rams.
 

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entropychaser

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Forget the ladders. Seems like I read somewhere that it is a city ordinance in San Francisco that the SFFD has to maintain a certain number of fire stations (42,44,???). Wonder how high the union bar tab at the Top of the Mark was for entertaining city council members for that vote.
 

CFDMarshal

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LA swears by them, They teach it in the academy exclusively regarding maintenance and upkeep. Many videos show one man carries of the extensions. Just watched one today!
 

nfd2004

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This web site is made up of union firefighters, non union firefighters, volunteer firefighters and also buffs.
There should be a certain amount of respect for each other.

Many of us know firefighters of every kind that have given up their lives to save others.

It's not about a union bar tab, entertaining city council members, or who has the biggest and prettiest fire truck.

It's about individuals that save lives and depend on each other to do the job.

Until you walk in the other guys shoes, we ask that as members of this site, we all respect each other for what they do.

Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation
 

Bulldog

Bulldog
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Apr 16, 2008
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This web site is made up of union firefighters, non union firefighters, volunteer firefighters and also buffs.
There should be a certain amount of respect for each other.

Many of us know firefighters of every kind that have given up their lives to save others.

It's not about a union bar tab, entertaining city council members, or who has the biggest and prettiest fire truck.

It's about individuals that save lives and depend on each other to do the job.

Until you walk in the other guys shoes, we ask that as members of this site, we all respect each other for what they do.

Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation
That's exactly why I didn't ever bring up the union issue in my original post. On top of that I don't really think that have anything to do with the reason they use wood ladders, they just like them plain and simple. It is strange however that if they are so good why many other departments don't use them except in California.
 

fdhistorian

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Why the San Francisco Fire Department Uses Handmade Wooden Ladders

These ultra-durable tools are saving lives

By Jordan Valinsky

Apr 16, 2015

It doesn't sound like the smartest idea for a fire truck to carry around wooden ladders, but for the San Francisco Fire Department, it makes a surprising amount of sense.

The Northern California city is infamous for its tightly packed roads and low-hanging power lines. San Francisco's cramped quarters make the wooden ladders a "necessity," as this four-minute video below explains. Compared to their aluminum counterparts, these ladders don't conduct
electricity and are easy to maneuver in small spaces.

The coolest part? The SF Fire Department has its own in-house ladder manufacturer, the only city that can say that. The ladders are made from Douglas fir trees, and the lumber matures for at least 15 years so it can acclimate to the city's humid conditions. That's just the beginning of a life that can last for decades.
 

fdhistorian

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Sep 25, 2013
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Fire Ladders​

Alaco’s Tapered Truss Ground Ladders or Ground Fire Ladders originate from an innovative design by Frederick Seagrave, who built wood orchard ladders in Columbus, Ohio before switching to fire ladders in 1881. His ultimate goal was to design and fabricate ladders that were:
  • Very light for easy and fast handling
  • Strong and tough to resist abuse
  • Convenient to operate safely
  • Stiff, with as little bounce as possible for quick, sure climbing
Seagrave’s design was brilliant – even by today’s standards. Over the decades it was developed further by Los Angeles Ladder Company, and has been continually refined by Alaco.

Top Quality Construction
Constructed of Douglas Fir, Oak and Hickory woods with precision steel fasteners and hardware, Alaco Ground Fire Ladders are widely used by major Fire Departments and Agencies throughout the Western U.S. and beyond.

Benefits of Wood

  • Wood ladders are lightweight – comparable to similar aluminum ground ladders
  • Wood does not conduct electricity – helps prevent electrical injuries and loss of life
  • Wood does not conduct heat – insulating properties of Douglas Fir are excellent
  • Wood stays strong in the fire – if charred, it retains its original strength
  • Wood provides more resistance to flexing and bouncing when climbed quickly
 

skiLB

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Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
1,330

Fire Ladders​

Alaco’s Tapered Truss Ground Ladders or Ground Fire Ladders originate from an innovative design by Frederick Seagrave, who built wood orchard ladders in Columbus, Ohio before switching to fire ladders in 1881. His ultimate goal was to design and fabricate ladders that were:
  • Very light for easy and fast handling
  • Strong and tough to resist abuse
  • Convenient to operate safely
  • Stiff, with as little bounce as possible for quick, sure climbing
Seagrave’s design was brilliant – even by today’s standards. Over the decades it was developed further by Los Angeles Ladder Company, and has been continually refined by Alaco.

Top Quality Construction
Constructed of Douglas Fir, Oak and Hickory woods with precision steel fasteners and hardware, Alaco Ground Fire Ladders are widely used by major Fire Departments and Agencies throughout the Western U.S. and beyond.

Benefits of Wood

  • Wood ladders are lightweight – comparable to similar aluminum ground ladders
  • Wood does not conduct electricity – helps prevent electrical injuries and loss of life
  • Wood does not conduct heat – insulating properties of Douglas Fir are excellent
  • Wood stays strong in the fire – if charred, it retains its original strength
  • Wood provides more resistance to flexing and bouncing when climbed quickly
Gr8 info as always brother
 

entropychaser

Active member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
257
This web site is made up of union firefighters, non union firefighters, volunteer firefighters and also buffs.
There should be a certain amount of respect for each other.

Many of us know firefighters of every kind that have given up their lives to save others.

It's not about a union bar tab, entertaining city council members, or who has the biggest and prettiest fire truck.

It's about individuals that save lives and depend on each other to do the job.

Until you walk in the other guys shoes, we ask that as members of this site, we all respect each other for what they do.

Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation
Shortly after Johnny Carson retired from The Tonight Show, his successor Jay Leno was delivering the opening monologue from the NBC Studios on West Alameda Avenue in Burbank. Near the end he cut to a live remote shot with Carson at his home on the PCH 30 odd miles away in Malibu. After some initial banter, Leno announced that Johnny had sent him a gag for the show. He then delivered the one-liner. The audience, clued to the set up, sat in silence. Leno feigned indignation with the lame material he'd been given.

Carson went for the punchline. "Hey Jay, that joke was funny when it left here!"
 
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