Ladder rescue of construction worker from balcony of apartment building under construction.
Firefighters used an aerial ladder to rescue a construction worker from an upper floor of an apartment building that was on fire Tuesday. A construction worker was stranded on an unfinished balcony with no railing on the fifth floor of a burning apartment building. With heat and fire building, he dropped himself to the fourth floor balcony with a reverse pull up maneuver.
Firefighters then brought the aerial ladder to his level. Two firefighters were on the ladder with with both firefighters climbing rapidly. The maneuvering of the aerial ladder and the load of the two firefighters caused the aerial ladder to rock and sway, which apparently prompted the top-level firefighter to order the lower firefighter back down the ladder. The urgency was to stop the rock and sway as quickly as possible to provide a stable ladder for the transfer of the construction worker from the balcony. It appears the ladder was extended fully with about a two-foot gap. The construction worker was agile enough to cross the gap, and successfully rescued.
While the rescue was successful, a wall collapsed dangerously close to the firefighter and construction worker as both were making their way to safety on the ground.
Houston Fire Department Rescue.
Cell phone video shows wider view
Two-part cell phone video show rescue of construction worker who dropped himself from a fifth floor balcony to a fourth floor balcony to avoid heat and flames. Firefighters then moved an aerial ladder to the fourth floor balcony and a firefighter climbed up the ladder to rescue the construction worker (View full screen, recommended).
It is unknown if the ladder truck was positioned initially for water/ladder pipe operations or if the rescue was the first objective.
1. Respond safely to the scene.
2. Stage the apparatus or take initiative if first on the scene.
3. Analyze the structure or objective for the ladder.
4. Identify hazards and obtructions (e.g., power lines, trees)
4. Place the truck for optimal reach and stability.
5. Set vehicle brake to prevent movement.
6. Engage power-take-off (PTO) to provide power to the ladder mechanism.
7. Set all wheel chocks.
8. Set outriggers to distribute load and stabilize truck.
9. Elevate ladder to proper angle.
10. Rotate ladder toward structure.
11. Extend flies.
12. Lower to objective, if necessary.
13. Reverse the maneuvering to return the ladder to the bed.