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  • BCLepore
    replied
    I understand that he may be a terrific kid, however, imagine the video footage on CNN of the firefighter who would not climb a ladder. As a result, a mother and her child died on the second floor balcony.

    Your officer has an obligation to start documenting IMMEDIATELY. This is a major safety issue to the department, the community, and his crew.


    you wrote:
    "Not climbing the aerial may be acceptable because he could go on the engine, but not even going halfway up an extension ladder well that is a serious issue. "

    This is an incredibly short sided statement.

    The department also needs to evaluate how a firefighter gets hired with a fear of heights.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by BCLepore; 02-18-2007, 04:49 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Geinandputitout
    replied
    Next guy on the list...

    There are lots of people willing to do this job. It isn't uncommon to have several hundred people apply for each opening. I'm sure he's a good kid, most of them are, but he can't do it.

    Climbing ladders is an essential fireground task. You wouldn't be having this discussion if he couldn't carry an SCBA - this is no different. This isnt about wanting to keep a nice guy. It's about doing the job, if he can't do it find someone that can.

    Leave a comment:


  • dday05
    replied
    Originally posted by pletch View Post
    In some way shape of form everyones affraid of heights buy every one can get over them, just give him time and support him a little by little, get out the ladder and have him climb one step more each shift, of each tranning, reasure him the the brotherhood of firefighters is behind him and it will be ok ... just dont give up , hes a good Firefighter remeber
    Thats all well and good until your shift is pushed to the extreme when you have a good working fire. What happens when your shift is busy and ff A and B have to go up the ladder to do a rescue or what not and ff B can't go because of a fear of heights then thats not good. I agree, work with them but if you don't cut it in a reasonable time,then it's time to move on before you put you fellow firefighters in jepardy. We work with 4 on a shift and if we couldn't go up a ladder we'd be out the door real quick.See where I'm coming from?

    Leave a comment:


  • randsc
    replied
    You can't be hired here without completing the state's acrophobia test, which involves climbing a 100' unsupported ladder at an angle of between 65 and 75 degrees, without stopping for more than 30 seconds.

    I think in Massachusetts, its a 40' ladder, but you need to perform some task like threading couplings at the top, to make sure you don't freeze up.

    So if you hired this guy and your department and officers are working with hiim, you have all already really gone out of your way for him. And he needs to show his approciation by working very hard and doing whatever it takes to get over his fear, or find a new job.

    Leave a comment:


  • pletch
    replied
    Give him time

    In some way shape of form everyones affraid of heights buy every one can get over them, just give him time and support him a little by little, get out the ladder and have him climb one step more each shift, of each tranning, reasure him the the brotherhood of firefighters is behind him and it will be ok ... just dont give up , hes a good Firefighter remeber

    Leave a comment:


  • jccrabby3084
    replied
    Not to be too harsh here....BUT

    The victim screaming for their life trapped by a fire, hanging from a window....THEY DON'T GIVE A DAMN IF YOU'RE SCARED OF HEIGHTS....They don't want to die.

    As a FF heights are part of the job...we had an Explorer get over his fear of heights. We practiced on ladders gradually going higher. He could climb our aerial before moving on to college.

    We also had a FF who lost his job because he could not climb a ladder.He said he couldn't do it, so there went a great job.

    Bottom line is he needs to get over his fear...or enough to where he can perform his duties. To coddle him, not send him up a ladder is wrong. He must do the job he accepted.

    WE ARE NOT IN THIS PROFESSION FOR OURSELVES, BUT THOSE WHO WILL NEED US.

    Leave a comment:


  • clark918
    replied
    Didn't he need to go through the academy, or get FF1 certified to get the job? I was afraid of heights when I started my FF1 training. The instructors could tell at first as well. I just knew I needed to get over it to ever pass the class and get a job. I eventually did. I'm still not happy to be climbing them, but I wouldn't think twice about doing it when needed. Even in training.

    Leave a comment:


  • RRFD77
    replied
    I agree with an earlier post that he needs to get some more time on the job and go through an academy. There was a guy in my academy who was terrified of heights but with help from the instructors and classmates he was able to get through it and now he can't get enough of climbing ladders with a little time and help he should be fine.

    Leave a comment:


  • fireman4949
    replied
    If he can't climb a ladder, he has no place in the fire service. Plain and simple!

    Peoples lives are in the balance, and if this guy can't even climb a 24-footer in training , how can he possibly do it under the added stress of the fire ground?

    He needs to either get with the program, or get out! He is a liability!

    That may sound harsh, but this job can be harsh too.




    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • RESERVEFORNOW
    replied
    I too had some issues with heights when I began as a firefighter. I truly believe that on some level we all do. The issue is not being afraid, it is how we deal with it. I was able to come up with ways to manage mine quite effectively. Depending on how much your guy can handle, here are two things to try.

    First, have talk to him about controlling his breathing. doing this in a set, rhymical pattern is all it took to help me.

    Second, If he is as bad as you say, I have seen guys go up a ladder with a person hugging the beam around the climber. (Similar to the rescues in IFSTA, but going up instead of down.) It takes a while, but I've seen people do it to help others.

    I know we are now getting into suggestions and options when you really asked what will happen to this guy. I wen this route because what will happen to him is really only up to you (your department). I know that if it were me personally and this guy was on my crew I would do EVERYTHING within my power to work with and help him if he is going to be staying on my crew. Keeping him away from ladders now may seem great, but what do you do if there comes a day when you can no longer protect the poor chud and you need him to climb a ladder to save you or someone else's life?

    Leave a comment:


  • Halligan84
    replied
    He has been in for 3 WEEKS?? I think he needs the academy and some time.

    Leave a comment:


  • jerry4184
    replied
    That's the problem, for 99.99% of the stuff, he can pull his weight. It's that other .01%. I have to agree with what was said before, just keep trying to get him to do it, and work with him in controlled areas.

    I will say, a big thing that keeps me calm on the fireground as far as heights are concerned, is that I know I'm with a group of guys and gilrs that know their stuff, and won't let anything happen to me. If anything, being a little scared, makes me more careful when operating on a ladder.

    Leave a comment:


  • mattc05
    replied
    Originally posted by jerry4184 View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I've got a touch of the fear of heights myself. But coming onto my department, I knew heights were an issue. We have a 110 aerial, and we all need to know how to operate, and ride the bucket. If i had a serious issue with that, I know it could have potentially meant me getting told no go.

    But there also seems to be a prevailing attitude with most people, that as much as they dislike heights, they will go up if the job necessitates it. That's the problem I'm seeing in mattc05's post, they guy refused to go more than twelve feet up.

    jerry, honestly I have a small fear of heights as well but when it comes time for an emergency or even just sucking it up and climbing then I can do it. I feel the same way as you, he should have known heights were a part of the job. He did climb it at the academy and went halfway up the aerial. Not climbing the aerial may be acceptable because he could go on the engine, but not even going halfway up an extension ladder well that is a serious issue. Other than the heights the guy know his stuff, does well on all other calls but he's looking for answers and we have none.

    Leave a comment:


  • HenryChan
    replied
    Have him perform tasks at high altitudes in a very safe environment, such as at the station or training academy with fellow firefighters he trusts. The more he is in that environment the less he will be afraid. Also, a support group with him makes things less stressful.

    Oh, and tell him not to look down

    Leave a comment:


  • jerry4184
    replied
    Don't get me wrong, I've got a touch of the fear of heights myself. But coming onto my department, I knew heights were an issue. We have a 110 aerial, and we all need to know how to operate, and ride the bucket. If i had a serious issue with that, I know it could have potentially meant me getting told no go.

    But there also seems to be a prevailing attitude with most people, that as much as they dislike heights, they will go up if the job necessitates it. That's the problem I'm seeing in mattc05's post, they guy refused to go more than twelve feet up.

    Leave a comment:

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