The Door to Nowhere

We have all been taught to control the door. I have watched countless firefighters try to kick in doors, bulldoze their way through them along with every other tactic that does not include a set of irons.  Here is one reason why control in forcing doors is so important.

This door is in a city hall that my son was practicing in. The area that the door is in used to be a balcony that goes all the way around the gym with two doors that lead to the main floor of city hall.  Over the years, as they ran out of space, they began to make office space on that balcony.  

The door is almost always locked and access to this area is likely to be searched during a fire.  The hazard here is obvious, but the lesson for any situations: control.

By using proper forcible entry techniques with a set of tools, you can control the door and be cautious about what is behind it.  A fall from this door could be disasterous. We have to be ever diligent to master the basics.  A lack of basic forcible entry skills could result in a Mayday and RIT situation which makes a hazardous situation even more so.

Be smart, know your area and train hard. Master those basic skills and require it of your crew if your the boss. Stay safe and thanks for reading.

Jason

2 Comments

  • It's kind of amazing how common set-ups like this are. I have seen several in my travels over the years and most have had to do with access for storage. There have been a couple, however, that were the result of illegal renovations, which makes it doubly dangerous.

  • "Be smart, know your area and train hard."  That is exactly right – it is so easy to rush through in the heat of the moment.  

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

AFFOWE Calandar

June 2011
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