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FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:55 am
by kearnet
So while a medical divert is hardly news worthy, this one really caught my attention:

This past Tuesday, an EK A380 flying DXB-JFK diverted to BGR for a sick pax.

Instead of putting air-stairs on the main deck, the fire department used their ladder truck to extract the pax direct from the upper deck.

The article states this was done because BGR doesn’t have air-stairs that can reach the a380 upper deck (does anyone besides maybe Airbus or maintenance facilities?).

I’m scratching my head at why they thought putting a truck ladder at 8L (top, rear most door) was better than putting air-stairs at 1L which seems safer, faster, easier, even if they were 2/3 feet below the 1L threshold (I have to believe BGR would have air-stairs that could at least get that close). I'm assuming the sick pax was strapped to a backboard and slid down the ladder with ropes. In which case why not carry the pax on backboard down the main stairs and out 1L?

The only possibility I can think of would be if it was a “passenger of size” for whom carrying through the cabin and down the main stairs wasn’t safe or practical?

The article has photos from Twitter user MikeHartford4 of the trucks ladder at the 8L door.

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/ ... -emergency

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:02 am
by Polot
Firefighters are (presumably) trained to do extractions using their ladders. Just because their ladders don't look as sturdy as air stairs doesn’t mean it is not safe if they know what they are doing. I’m not sure why you think having regular air stairs and a 2-3 ft gap would be safer than a ladder that go right to the door.

I’m guessing they went to the upper stairs because the passenger may have been laying on the galley floor and it was safer/easier to remove him directly from there than lugging him down the internal stairs and to a lower emergency exit.

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:18 am
by FluidFlow
Probably because you can load the passenger onto the little platform atop the ladder and either lower said platform along the ladder or most probably lower the ladder with the platform to ground level. It then works like an elevator.

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:35 am
by dtw2hyd
FD got the patient out. Kudos to the quick thinking of firefighters. End of story.

If not aerial ladder a rope and basket would do.

If they sat on their rear ends claiming they don't proper equipment to safely remove the patient, that would be news.

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:38 am
by kearnet
FluidFlow wrote:
Probably because you can load the passenger onto the little platform atop the ladder and either lower said platform along the ladder or most probably lower the ladder with the platform to ground level. It then works like an elevator.


I admit I did not think of the ladder as being equipped with such a platform as they don’t have them where I’m from although I’ve seen them in media. This actually does make sense then if it’s the case here.

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:41 am
by FluidFlow
kearnet wrote:
FluidFlow wrote:
Probably because you can load the passenger onto the little platform atop the ladder and either lower said platform along the ladder or most probably lower the ladder with the platform to ground level. It then works like an elevator.


I admit I did not think of the ladder as being equipped with such a platform as they don’t have them where I’m from although I’ve seen them in media. This actually does make sense then if it’s the case here.


I think they had one:

http://media.graytvinc.com/images/AEROBUS+WEB2.JPG

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:35 pm
by OlafW
There may be a misunderstanding due to terms being used differently. From what I witnessed, what US Fire Departments call a ladder truck is the one with a 70 or 100 ft. ladder with nothing mounted at the tip. A tower truck also has a ladder but also features a bucket at the tip. Maybe the naming in Canada is different.
Also, don't be fooled by the appearance of the ladder/tower truck. This one (which looks similar but is from an older generation than the one we can see in the pictures), has a Safe Working Load in the bucket of 450 kg (1,000 lbs): https://bos-fahrzeuge.info/einsatzfahrzeuge/45892/
This one in European style doesn't look as massive but has a SWL of 500 kg (1,100 lbs): https://bos-fahrzeuge.info/einsatzfahrzeuge/149541/

Most of the buckets, at least in Europe, feature a stretcher mount in the bucket, so you can safely rescue a person on stretcher from any height the ladder can reach keeping them in a horizontal position all the time. I guess this was the idea here.

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:05 pm
by ThomasCook
Depending on the nature and severity of the medical event, location and perhaps even the size of the passenger, it may have proved difficult to move the passenger to the forward stairs and out of ML1 or MR1 as apposed to UL3 (not 1L or 8L). The curvature of the aft stairs would also make it likely impossible if not dangerous to move a pax on a stretcher between decks and out of ML5/MR5. To move a potential stretcher case from near U3 doors to M1 would require lifting this over the top of the reasonably high sided business seats as the aisle would not be wide enough to accommodate this. You then need to get this through the First Class Suites between U1 and the forward stairs which feature even higher sided doors/walls. During non-routine situations, decisions like this will need to be made in coordination between the Fire Service, PiC and the Purser. UL3 would not have been opened without the normal doorway protections without a lot of thought and planning as it presents a serious fall from heights risk (as would opening the main deck doors).

Hope this provides some perspective.

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:39 pm
by fgb
From the picture, the truck used was indeed a tower ladder/aerial platform. The US fire service has as much jargon as anyone else, so there are different names for it and any number of variations on a theme from place to place! In any case, prior posters are correct on the methodology, the platform (with providers and their gear) is raised to the door, patient is moved onto the platform, and elevator ride down. The aerial at this height/extension is stable however you park the vehicle, so easy to park in a way to avoid damage to the aircraft. Plenty of capacity, the 500kg range above is typical and as a limit assumes full extension and unfavorable placement (which this case isn't). So - easy and quick, and commonly trained for. Just a funny looking building as far as the operation goes :)

Re: FD uses ladder to extract pax from upper deck of a380 on med divert.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:51 pm
by fgb
Addendum to last, a straight stick (no platform) wouldn't be much harder, providers enter off the ladder then the operator could raise it a bit and use a stokes basket and ropes off the ladder to lower the patient and an attendant (like a crane). Raise and retract the ladder a bit (moves basket away horizontally) then rotate ladder away and lower ladder tip and basket to the ground. Tag lines to control the basket so it does't spin. Platform is easier but this isn't terribly difficult or unusual.