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Episode 3 – Should aerial ladders be used as artificial high directionals for rope rescue?

 Contributors in this Episode


This episode discusses the question, ‘Should aerial ladders be used as artificial high directionals for rope rescue?’ in a round table discussion hosted by Kelly Byrne with guests Mike Forbes, Doug McElmury and Wayne Chapman.

Topics Discussed:

  • Should aerial ladders be used as artificial high directionals for rope rescue?
  • Examples of when you might use an aerial ladder as an artificial high directional.
  • Minimize the load, maximize the degree of aerial elevation, minimize aerial extension, keep the ropes distinct resultant and distinct with crane theory
  • What other rope rescue scenario is a go, no go by a 300lb margin?
  • Attendant or no attendant?
  • Aerial ladder construction.
  • How do we account for the belay impact on the ladder?
  • Are aerial ladders bombproof?
  • Block and Tackle theory.
  • Do your research.

Please email us with questions or comments about this topic at


Mike Forbes’ website:

ITRA (International Technical Rescue Association)

2:50 Pat Rhodes – Aerial Ladders Used as Artificial High Directionals (AHD)

14:20 Kelly Byrne’s 1016 paper at ITRS on ‘Fire Department High Directionals’

35:10 National Fire Academy paper

Additional Resources: Aerial Physics

Contact Us!

We appreciate listener feedback. Please let us know if you have any questions or topics you’d like covered in future episodes of the CMC Podcast.

Important Warning

  • Many of the activities discussed in this podcast pose a very substantial risk of serious injury or death.
  • Products and techniques discussed in this podcast are intended for use by specially trained professionals.
  • Technical rescue, rappelling, climbing and the training involved are very hazardous activities. Each situation has its own unique conditions and must be evaluated by those present. Effective risk management comes from experience, proper training and good personal judgment.
  • CMC is not liable for any damages arising from abuse or improper use of the techniques or equipment discussed in this podcast.
  • Topics discussed are the ideas and opinions of each individual.
  • Department protocol and regulations should always take precedent.
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