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Exiting windows

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  • Exiting windows

    I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for safely exiting windows after VES. I have no trouble getting in the window but I just don't know how to safely get out the window and on the ladder afterwards. I've watched numerous videos on the technique of VES but none seem to address this final piece of the skill that is so critical. I have been off the engine for 5 months now because I lost my balance performing this skill. I fell approximately 15 feet shattering my calcaneous requiring surgery. I am soon going to be back on shift and I really don't want this to ever happen again to me or anyone else. Thanks

  • #2
    Going in: Head along wall outside window with shoulder against side jamb. Swing leg in window and test floor.

    Going out: Head along wall inside window with shoulder against side jamb. Swing leg out window and feel for rung.

    I don't see much difference between going in and coming out. This assumes tip of ladder is center of window just above sill.

    If you are placing the ladder alongside the window with tip against wall closer to top of window you should not be getting off ladder to enter window or getting on ladder to exit window. It is unsafe and could easily cause you to fall. If you want that ladder positioning to work from you should re-position the ladder prior to entering. Plus, if you were to find a victim during the search portion of VES how would you get him/her onto that ladder if the tip was not right around the sill area? This is true for a conscious or unconscious victim whether you have assistance or not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Three,
      I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion on this. I think your incident could be a real learning experience for many here. Could you post more details as to how your accident occurred? I believe you would be providing a valuable service to the membership.

      Comment


      • #4
        I put my hand nearest the window on side of the window opening, do a "Rockette" style leg kick, sit up on thew sill and reach for the rung with my leg. I step on the rung, hold onto the side frame of the window and step out.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
          I put my hand nearest the window on side of the window opening, do a "Rockette" style leg kick, sit up on thew sill and reach for the rung with my leg. I step on the rung, hold onto the side frame of the window and step out.
          Sorry the computer isn't revealing if your kidding or not, but it would seem a forward step out onto a ladder would not be a preferred method? Maybe that's a backwards Rockette kick? Also, clearly the room has top be tenable or door control completely eliminates the heat exiting the top of the window if you're standing? This is not an assignment our guys do with true regularity due to the call volume but I know that in two cases I wished I was invertebrate so I could slither over the sill onto the ladder.

          I've been taught, trained on, done, and instructed exactly the steps as detailed by Captnjak. We also teach and practice the emergency headfirst ladder bail, but thankfully it's not been needed on any fireground I've been on.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post

            Sorry the computer isn't revealing if your kidding or not, but it would seem a forward step out onto a ladder would not be a preferred method? Maybe that's a backwards Rockette kick? Also, clearly the room has top be tenable or door control completely eliminates the heat exiting the top of the window if you're standing? This is not an assignment our guys do with true regularity due to the call volume but I know that in two cases I wished I was invertebrate so I could slither over the sill onto the ladder.

            I've been taught, trained on, done, and instructed exactly the steps as detailed by Captnjak. We also teach and practice the emergency headfirst ladder bail, but thankfully it's not been needed on any fireground I've been on.
            I don't see any difference between my method and captnjack's.
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

              I don't see any difference between my method and captnjack's.
              Gotcha, just the picture in my head of a "Rockettes kick" was of a standing up and straight kick forward or backward. Last time I saw the Rockettes was when I was a child, too many years ago.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post

                Gotcha, just the picture in my head of a "Rockettes kick" was of a standing up and straight kick forward or backward. Last time I saw the Rockettes was when I was a child, too many years ago.
                Standing with my right side next to the wall. Right hand on the window frame. Kicking my left leg up and over the window sill and pulling myself up onto the sill. Of course easier if the sill is lower.

                The window sills in our training tower are 42 inches off the floor. Even at 5'6" I can kick over that window sill.
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi captnjak,
                  Thank you for your advice. I apologize for my slow response but your words didn't go unnoticed. To give some more background on the incident, it all started when my partner gave me a knee to stand on. As I stepped up I swung my right leg over the windowsill and pushed against the inside wall with my left arm. The great irony was that I did this specifically to provide myself an anchor point to exit safely. As I placed my foot down it made contact with the ladder rung but I noticed that my radio lapel mic had been knocked loose and was hanging down the inside of the window. I believe at that point I attempted to use my free hand to grab the mic and throw it over my shoulder. What happened after this can only be described as a blur because it unfolded so quickly but my recollection was that I felt my weight shifting to the right of the ladder. In a panic I released my left arm from behind the window in an attempt to grab the beam of the ladder but was unsuccessful. For a split second I thought about lunging forward in an attempt to catch the windowsill but I knew that if I missed I would probably hit the ground on my stomach causing severe trauma or death so I made the decision to fall feet first. I hope my experience can be a learning opportunity for everyone, I hope no one ever had to experience what I did that day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Three View Post
                    Hi captnjak,
                    Thank you for your advice. I apologize for my slow response but your words didn't go unnoticed. To give some more background on the incident, it all started when my partner gave me a knee to stand on. As I stepped up I swung my right leg over the windowsill and pushed against the inside wall with my left arm. The great irony was that I did this specifically to provide myself an anchor point to exit safely. As I placed my foot down it made contact with the ladder rung but I noticed that my radio lapel mic had been knocked loose and was hanging down the inside of the window. I believe at that point I attempted to use my free hand to grab the mic and throw it over my shoulder. What happened after this can only be described as a blur because it unfolded so quickly but my recollection was that I felt my weight shifting to the right of the ladder. In a panic I released my left arm from behind the window in an attempt to grab the beam of the ladder but was unsuccessful. For a split second I thought about lunging forward in an attempt to catch the windowsill but I knew that if I missed I would probably hit the ground on my stomach causing severe trauma or death so I made the decision to fall feet first. I hope my experience can be a learning opportunity for everyone, I hope no one ever had to experience what I did that day.
                    One of those freaky type accidents that probably isn't that freaky. Kind of thing that you never could see happening until it happens.

                    Glad you're back to work.

                    Stay safe.

                    Comment

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