The ground ladder: Basic tool, but not without risks

Here's why heeling a ground ladder from the front is key to avoiding injury


In the past, we have addressed the issue of using ground ladders on the fireground as effective tools for the rescue function. The ground ladder is a basic tool that we can use for many functions when called upon.

One basic function is to gain access to elevated areas of a building. When we are doing this, we have been taught to have a person heel the ladder for us so that it will not kick out and cause us to fall.

Whenever a ground ladder is used on certain surfaces, there is a greater chance of the ladder kicking out than with others. When being used on a soft surface like grass, the ladder butt will dig in as opposed to a concrete surface, where the ladder butt will be more prone to slide and kick out.

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