The Daily Drill: Part 3-Forcible Entry

Here is another great post from my friend Lance Peeples of the Webster Groves Fire Department in St. Louis County.  Thanks Lance and now for some fire-thinking to occur.

 

Review the following videos and answer the questions:

 

 

 

1.  Who is assigned the “Irons” or “Bar” position on your first alarm assignment?

 

2.  List EVERY tool the forcible entry (FE) firefighter (FF) should carry when he dismounts the apparatus for an alarm investigation at a multiple dwelling.

 

3.  Are these tools mounted near the riding position of the FE FF?

 

4.  Who is the FF on your first alarm who is designated to use the axe to drive the halligan while the FE FF holds the halligan in place?  What tools should he or she carry?  Are they mounted immediately adjacent to that riding position for quick access?

 

5.  Will a Rabbit tool (hydraulic forcible entry HFT) work on a door with angle iron shields?

 

6.  How would you defeat an inward opening door with angle iron shields that cover the entire length of the door?  What if another piece of angle iron (or a “U” channel) was attached to the door frame and thus prevented placing the fork of the halligan between the frame and the angle iron attached to the door?

 

7.  Is it acceptable to attack the hinge side of an apartment door in a multiple dwelling?  Why or why not?

 

8.  At multiple dwelling fires is it standard practice in your department to force an adjacent apartment door before forcing the fire apartment door?  What might be an advantage of doing this?

 

 

9.  Will a Rabbit (HFT) tool work on outward opening door?  What does an outward opening door in a multiple dwelling suggest to you?

 

10.  What do bolt heads projecting through a door suggest?

 

11.  Should the fork bevel be against or away from the door?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each position?

 

12.  Some departments order halligan tools that are longer than the standard 30” length for increased leverage.  What is a serious disadvantage of longer tools?

 

1 Comment

  •  
    1.  Who is assigned the “Irons” or “Bar” position on your first alarm assignment?
    The firefighter on the truck company that sits behind the officer. His call sign is "irons"
     
     
    2.  List EVERY tool the forcible entry (FE) firefighter (FF) should carry when he dismounts the apparatus for an alarm investigation at a multiple dwelling.
    For an investigation the Irons FF carries a set of irons, the can and a modified rex in his pocket. He is only half of the team, the officer is also part of the "Irons team and will have a 6' hook, axe, and TIC.
     
    3.  Are these tools mounted near the riding position of the FE FF?
    Yes in the compartment closest to his seat.
     
    4.  Who is the FF on your first alarm who is designated to use the axe to drive the halligan while the FE FF holds the halligan in place?  What tools should he or she carry?  Are they mounted immediately adjacent to that riding position for quick access?
    Our striking person is the Truck officer, and the second person of the irons team. They do carry an axe but the irons man always has a set of irons in case the striker does not. This is also usefull if you make it to the door before the officer and members from the engine are ready to make entry. They can be the striker until the boss meets back up with you.
    5.  Will a Rabbit tool (hydraulic forcible entry HFT) work on a door with angle iron shields?
    It can, they are most effective the closer they can be set to the locks. If the shield is not that large you may be able to go right above or below the shield. If it is larger, I would gap it away with the halligan first and then set my Hydraram. Would probably take longer then just going conventional however.
     
    6.  How would you defeat an inward opening door with angle iron shields that cover the entire length of the door?  What if another piece of angle iron (or a “U” channel) was attached to the door frame and thus prevented placing the fork of the halligan between the frame and the angle iron attached to the door?
    I would definetly go conventional right off the bat. Depending on what this angle irons looked like I would work the adze in an attempt to peel back the iron and obtain a gap. Once I do we should have little problem forcing the door with the forks and conventional forcible entry. All depends on how well the angle iron is setup and where its weak points are. We will still get it with the irons.
     
    7.  Is it acceptable to attack the hinge side of an apartment door in a multiple dwelling?  Why or why not?
    Wouldn't be my first choice, or even my second. But in forcible entry I dont think it is smart to say never. Just when you do, is the day you will find a door that could have been forced that way. A lot of complications can come up depending on the grade of hinges, inward or outward swinging, type of frame and door. These all add up to make this more difficult. Not to mention people secure the hinge side with slide bolts and drop bars also. I would go through my Plan A, B and C on the lock side before I ever moved to the hinge side.
    8.  At multiple dwelling fires is it standard practice in your department to force an adjacent apartment door before forcing the fire apartment door?  What might be an advantage of doing this?
    Standard practice….No. Would I do it? Yes, based on conditions. It could make a real get place to get out of the way if you lose control of the door to the fire apartment that has rapidly developing conditions. Another plus to this is you get a real quick look at the apartment layout from the hallway before you go in to search the smoky one.
    9.  Will a Rabbit (HFT) tool work on outward opening door?  What does an outward opening door in a multiple dwelling suggest to you?
    Will it..Yes, or at least get you started. It is not real effective though because all you are doing is obtaining a gap. It may gap it wide enough to defeat a common deadbolt, but by that time you could have done it with the Irons. If the door has anything on the backside your just wasting precious time. Irons.
    Outward swinging doors in apartment could indicate utility doors, closets, elevators fire doors. But depending on what has been chopped up and converted you could also find a living area behind it.

     
    10.  What do bolt heads projecting through a door suggest?
    Varies greatly. What it will tell you is there may be some kind of secondary security device on the back. If it is outward swinging they commonly mount drops bars, slide bolts, padlock hasps, and multi locks with carriage bolts that go through the door. The mounts are usually on the door which is why we see the bolts. However inward swinging doors are different, dropo bar mounts are then put on the frame which will prevent you from seeing bolt heads through the door.
     
    11.  Should the fork bevel be against or away from the door?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each position?
    Both sides have a place in the game, the bottom line is knowing when and why you use the bevel in each position. As a rule of thumb it is good to remember Bevel to the Jamb = Easier to drive and set but less leverage when you go to force. Bevel to the door can be more difficult to drive in and set, but more leverage when you go to force. Both ways have a time and a place.  I wrote about this a while back at http://ironsandladders.com/2010/04/05/bevel-to-the-door-vs-bevel-to-the-jamb/
     
    12.  Some departments order halligan tools that are longer than the standard 30” length for increased leverage.  What is a serious disadvantage of longer tools?
    Some departments do this thinking they will gain more leverage with the length without having any disadvantages. The problem is the longer 36" or 42" bars will not fit inside of many standard door frames. This can make it difficult if not impossible to use the bar to its maximum potential because it is too long and will hit the wall or frame before it is maxed out. The 30" Pro Bar is the way to go.

     

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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.

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