In a real emergency, such as a working structural fire, the effectiveness of the emergency response in the early moments of the incident have major implications on the outcome. Fire departments address this reality by drilling on tactical activities & skills to ensure their members are properly trained to respond with urgency, safety and skill. Volunteer departments like your Guilderland Fire Department must address this challenge with additional uncertainty around member availability to respond, due to their “full-time” job commitments and other life circumstances.
In light of this, GFD is fortunate to operate an aerial ladder truck, Truck 29, to serve our fire district and neighboring districts in the Town of Guilderland. Truck 29 functions as a “quint”, meaning it is capable of providing five essential fire ground activities: fire attack, ladder operations, victim search & rescue, ventilation and water supply.
Recently, members drilled on the aerial ladder functions of Truck 29 to improve their skills in responding in those first critical moments of an emergency.
Members practiced staging the apparatus (setting the jacks) for aerial operations, operating the aerial ladder from both the turntable & platform stations, and executing commands that simulate realistic fire ground scenarios to demonstrate competency with the equipment. In addition to knowledge of equipment and controls, this drill tested members on tactical decision-making, fire ground communication skills and coordinated activity. These types of drills, when conducted in non-emergency settings, ensure your volunteer firefighters are most effective when the emergency is real.