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  • Tie off the Halyard

    We are having a debate within our department:

    What knot do you use to tie the halyard off on an extension ladder?

    Please help us end the debate!

    Thanks.

    Joe

    [ 09-25-2001: Message edited by: Joe Fiala ]

  • #2
    It seems to be based on a few things. When in the modern NFPA history of the fire service has a ladder had both lock fail?

    if you tie the ladder off, how do you raise it or lower it from above to complete a rescue or get out of a window?

    Seems to me to be a waste of time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Joe ~ I've seen many different methods taught. One way is to pull ALL the halyard through the ladder and then throw a clove hitch around the rung(s), being sure the halyard running "up" the ladder is tight when the knot is set. Continue around the rung(s) and tie a safety half hitch above the clove hitch. Some argue that a clove hitch tied "double" like this (with two pieces of rope side by side) is not very strong or tight.)

      Another way is to again pull the halyard through the rungs, wrap it (doubled) around the rung(s) two or three times, then stack two or three half hitches around the rope going "up".

      Some instructors teach "wasting" all the extra rope you may have with a 35' or 40' fully extended ladder by wrapping the excess around two vertically seperated rungs; then tie off with the knot of choice.

      Ralph ~ "...both locks fail?"? Probably not too often. Both locks not set properly and then jostle off the rung ~ I've seen it happen more than once! (I know; we're SUPPOSED to check before we climb...) As for adjusting the length from above ~ I suppose if you plan on having to do that without a heeler below to do it for you, that might be grounds for not tying off the halyard. Don't think that evolution is taught in too many books, though.
      /s/ Phred1 from Ohio

      Comment


      • #4
        both locks fail?"

        phred,

        ???Both locks not set properly and then jostle off the rung ~ I've seen it happen more than once! ???

        Let me make sure I understand what you are saying. You extend the ladder and lower it into the building. and it doesn't fall and kill you between the time you let go of the halyard and the lower process?

        You don't hear the click of the locks on the way up, look up or anything to insure they are set and somehow gravity holds the ladder up?????? Do you tie the ladder when it is vertical or something while you are ballancing it 180 degrees???

        "I suppose if you plan on having to do that without a heeler below to do it for you, that might be grounds for not tying off the halyard. Don't think that evolution is taught in too many books, though. "

        I see, three guys on a rig and you leave one healing the ladder the entire fire? What book says bail out the window? Or ladder even with the sill?

        Comment


        • #5
          We use a clove hitch...mainly to keep it neat and from someone getting tangled up in it (which is more probable than a lock failing).

          Fortunately we have enough manpower usually the heeler ties it off and mans the butt while the ladder is "in use" by someone currently venting or having entered inside via it.
          IACOJ Canine Officer
          20/50

          Comment


          • #6
            Tying off the halyard from what I can remember is firstly to secure the fly in its raised position, and secondly to keep the halyard nice and tidy so you don't get tangled up in it if you have to lock off part way up. A clove hitch and a half hitch always work for me.

            Comment


            • #7
              We use a clove hitch both on the job and at the academy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for responding and sharing your information. It looks like the winner is the clove hitch.

                Stay safe.

                Joe

                Comment


                • #9
                  As others have said....take up slack in halyard until it is tight and then use a clove hitch with an overhand knot as a safety to pass the test at the academy. Then...on the fireground you can bet it will be done as quick and simple as it can be (if it is even done)

                  Some good points raised here in this... In 29 years...I have never seen one ladder lock fail much less both....

                  Still...tie em off for SAFETY! That is the key word here.
                  09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                  ------------------------------
                  IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                  "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                  BMI Investigator
                  ------------------------------
                  The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Howabout making the halyard just long enough to reach the fly where the other end is attached and tie it off or weave it in. No knots to untie or tie. Pull on the halyard and it travels in a loop up or down the ladder.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with both Halligan and Ralph. The Truck Co. I'm assigned to has the halyard weaved. If not, we still don't tie them. Many of the things taught at the drill school, academy, or where ever regarding ladders like healing, shifting left or right,carries,placement, and more are impractical on the fireground when someone's hanging out of a window. In active Trucks in lots of departments, the veterans hand down their knowledge of "thinking outside of the box" to the new guys and they work well and are safe also.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ralph,I know you're a purist so here goes.Halyard tied off with clove and half hitch safety per the way it's taught from rookie school thru FF 2.Second I defy you to tell me the second fly dogs on our 45' are dogged in in low light conditions.I'll err to the side of the halyard safety,thank you.Don't use a 45' you say?Consider yourself lucky.If my people do their jobs right,and they generally do,the chances of me having to move a ladder from an elevated position are in the same percentage as your dog failure."Train 'em right,they'll do it right".T.C.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It would seem that the purest is the guy who follows the book to the letter.

                          Comment

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