Training session on Fordson Escape and Turntable Ladder

A group of 9 of us met to train on the Wheeled Escape and the Turntable Ladder.

IMG_20150314_144330 (Copy)We wanted to get to be as competent and safe with the Escape as we are with the TL, and to practice rescue techniques using a Neil Robertson stretcher. A video of what we achieved can be seen here, on Facebook.

With the Escape, we learned the key skills from the drill book and Manual of Firemanship. For example, the No. 4 man must always remain in contact with the levers at all times when the escape is off the vehicle. What it doesn’t tell you is that you have to extend the escape at least three rounds, or the pawls catch on the rollers that support the ladder.

The scenario that we may wish to portray is that there is an injured casualty in a 3rd floor room that is now inaccessible because of fire. The escape goes in first, and a fireman goes into the room with the casualty, and confirms that the casualty will need lowering in a Neil Robertson stretcher.

IMG_20150314_145232 (Copy)The TL is put into place so that the ladder can be trained so that the lowering line can be reached by the fireman aloft, and then trained back so that there is clear space for the casualty to be lowered into.

The ladder was extended to 50 feet, with a lowering line already fed through the pulley block at the ladder head, with a caribina (actually the safely catch from the TL belt), and the guide line below. The Neil Robertson stretcher was also clipped on. The stretcher was hauled up to 40 feet, and guided with the guide line, [and then lowered so our chap on the ’40-foot tall’ IBC container could reach it 🙂 ]

The man aloft then deftly swapped the empty stretcher for one with our ‘dead Fred’ already strapped in, and attached the lines to it.

IMG_20150314_145345 (Copy)The man on the ground  then took the weight of the casualty, as the man aloft carefully guided the casualty out of the imaginary window, and used the stretcher guide line to ease the stretcher out into free space. He was then hauled up to 40 feet, and then lowered to the ground.

At this point, the real live ‘bloody’ casualty in our display would be brought out from a suitable hiding place in our 3rd Neil Robertson stretcher, and switched for the ‘dead Fred’. and carried out on a wartime Civil Defence stretcher into the public view to have First Aid administered by an ARP warden.

IMG_20150314_171106 (Copy)Later on, we took the opportunity to lower the ladder on the carriage, and do some maintenance. All told, a very successful day.



About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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