Rig placement can set the tone at a fire. The importance of the first-arriving companies positioning their rigs correctly cannot be over-emphasized. Communication plays a significant role in this.
With proper training and planning, members should anticipate and be prepared for what “could happen” when positioning the rig. This is of utmost importance when the first-due engine is securing/choosing a hydrant.
Considering Overhead Wires
Overhead wires present a challenge to the ladder company chauffeur LCC. As you pull into the fire block, be aware of the location of the utility poles (if any). They will have the primary lines on top and the secondary lines beneath them. The secondaries cross overhead, too, feeding the homes on the opposite side of the street from the utility poles.
Herein lies the challenge between stopping before or just past them. If you are underneath them, you need enough clearance to get the aerial or bucket out of the cradle, clearing the rig and wires before you can move to your objective. Refer to Aerial Ladders 7.12. If you have a rear-mount aerial and the fire is on the side of the street that has the utility poles, sometimes, you might get lucky enough to find an opening, such as a driveway, on the curb. Try to back the rig onto the sidewalk. This puts your turntable on the other side of the primary lines, providing access to raise the aerial to the roof or windows of the fire building. Remember, trying to cover two sides of a private dwelling is ideal.
To read more on rig placement see Firefighter Peter Kenney’s article in the 3rd/2016 edition.