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Members of Thomasville Fire Rescue are participating in annual training to help ensure the department is ready to respond to all situations, no matter the height. Each member of TFR must ascend the department’s aerial truck ladder to its full height of 100 feet. To mimic real-life emergency scenarios, the training exercise requires TFR members to complete the ladder climb wearing full turnout gear and carrying a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

“All combined, the turnout gear and SCBA adds about 45 pounds to the individual performing the climb,” said Craig Dukes, Chief of Training. “In a real emergency situation, firefighters must be able to carry themselves, their gear and, in some cases, also assist with bringing down victims as well. Training exercises such as these keep our staff ready to serve our community, no matter the situation.”

Mark Sealy, Assistant Chief, completed the training with the members of his battalion and said it is important that all members of the department be capable of making the climb as quickly and safely as possible. “Our job is to respond to a variety of emergency situations, some of which may occur at a height that involves our ladder truck,” he said. “While making the climb can be a challenge for some, performing it annually keeps us accustomed to working under conditions that mirror what we may encounter during actual fire calls.”

In total, 39 members of Thomasville Fire Rescue will perform the aerial truck ladder climb over a three-day period. The exercise is performed annually each spring.

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