Emergencies do not always occur in locations that allow for easy truck placement.
This past Monday the Fire Department trained on setting up the ladder truck in challenging locations, including areas with multiple overhead obstructions (powerlines), narrow streets, and steep hills. Firefighters learned several techniques in the setup process that allowed them to level the truck and operate the 110' aerial ladder safely and efficiently.
One such technique firefighters trained on, is called "short jacking". Short jacking is used where space is limited. This process involves extending the stabilizing outriggers only a portion of the way on one side of the truck. This will allow firefighters to operate the aerial ladder off of the opposite side of the truck that is "short jacked". The side aerial ladder is being operated will have the outriggers fully extended. While not ideal, short jacking allows the firefighters to operate the ladder off one side of the truck during an emergency.
Written by Chad Weihbrecht, Bellevue Fire Department