Climbing the ladder: a metaphor for safety

An article on firehouse.com recently asked the question, “When was the last time that you climbed a ladder and were not 100 percent focused on safety?” It’s a good question. But they also asked, “When was the last time that we did any task with 100 percent of the focus on safety?” This seems contradictory, but there is truth in the two questions.

Step One: Preparation

Before climbing a ladder or onto a rig, PPE selection should be first and foremost on your mind. Wrong PPE selection can lead to trouble. Some people have one selection problem: they select not to put it on properly, if at all, simply because nine times out of ten the situation doesn’t call for full PPE. While this may be okay for those nine times, you should always be fully prepared for that tenth time when the unexpected happens. From turnout’s to medical PPE, it can and will make a difference.

Do you wear full PPE on every call?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Step Two: The Climb

While climbing the ladder, or performing any other duty, remain focused on the task at hand. Do not miss a step; keep your emotions under control and be aware of your surroundings while maintaining focus on your task. The way to improve concentration is constant training and continual drilling. It should be second nature to you.

Finally: The Top of the Ladder

Once you’re at the top, nothing should be blocking your focus. Whether you’ve reached the top of the ladder or the top position on an emergency scene, you shouldn’t let anyone or anything disrupt your focus. Always give 100 percent when it comes to safety.