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Our aerial appliances might just look like fire engines with long ladders on them, but we do have three very different types
Aerial appliances can be used for a range of tasks including delivering water from height onto a fire, as an observation platform, providing lighting and in certain cases rescuing people from height.
Aerial appliances aren't usually used for firefighting in high rise buildings where people live because firefighters use the fire safety measures and equipment inside the building. If aerial appliances are sent to an incident they are not used until we know that any people still inside the building are out of the way of the jets of water. The hoses can pump 2,400 litres of water a minute - that's seven baths full of water every 60 seconds.
Turntable ladders have large telescopic ladders that can, in good conditions, reach up to 32 metres - that's about the tenth floor of a typical high-rise building. Turntable ladders have a cage at the top where firefighters can direct a hose from or reach people that need to be rescued.
Aerial ladder platforms or ALP are the most manoeuvrable of our aerial appliances. ALPs can extend in different directions, unlike the turntable ladder which can extend in one direction, but be turned. The ALP can deliver water onto a fire at height and also provide a stable platform for carrying out a variety of operations or when appropriate or safe to do so rescuing people.
A hydraulic platform is like a big crane with a caged platform at the top. We use them to deliver water from above a fire or rescue people at height - most commonly injured builders on scaffolding.