Crib Packs

Captain Dave Facer from New Albany (IN) sent in these photos of their crib packs. As you know from previous posts, we are big fans of efficient ways of storing and carrying equipment on the rigs and on the fireground. The nice thing about this particular idea is that it does both; it stores well and carries well. Their crib packs utilize 18” long unpainted, non-pressure treated soft wood cribbing. Each crib-pack consists of (8)-4×4’s, (4)-2×4’s and (4)-4×4 wedges. Each pack builds an 18” platform when used as a 2×2 box crib stack. The 3/4” plywood can be utilized as a base when working in soft or uneven terrain. The plywood can also be utilized as a sliding base allowing the crib stack to be built from beside (not under) the vehicle, eventually being slid into position. The plywood can also be used as a shield in-between the patient and the tools when working in tight situations.

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As you can see, basic notes were drawn onto the plywood for quick reference for their crib stack capacity, heights, configurations, and airbag information to make sure everyone is on the same page. The rubber mat (commercial mud flap) can be used for soft victim protection or for protecting lift bags when the need arises. The plywood is sandwiched by the cribbing and secured with two 1” ratchet straps.

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Each crib pack takes little time to assemble but deploys quickly and provides a fast and convenient way to transport a fair amount of cribbing. Each pack weighs about 30 lbs. and one firefighter can carry two Crib Packsacks without difficulty.

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The 6×6 cribbing is bundled with 3 small loops (yellow) and one large loop (red) that holds all 4 pieces together with one handle. This allows one firefighter to carry two bundles to the scene and build a 22” box crib for each trip made from the rig. The different colored webbing handle makes it easy to remember which loop is the “main loop” and keeps the bundle organized and compact.

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This is simple and effective way to store, and efficiently carry, cribbing to the scene. Taking a little extra time to come up with efficient methods like this go a long way on the emergency scene.

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Intelligently Aggressive Truck Functions

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Join us at FDIC 2016 on Wednesday April 20th at 10:30 in room 138-139. Jimm will be debuting his new class Intelligently Aggressive Truck Functions. Get there early, last year we had well over 250 students in the class, with standing room only at the back of the room.

Come learn how to take your truck skills to the next level.

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Emergency Roof Bail-Outs

Engineer Caleb Eiriksson from Fort Walton Beach (FL) Truck 6 sent in these photos of some recent emergency roof bail outs he and the rest of C watch trained on. The idea here is simple, if you are on a roof and cut off from your means of egress and had to get off the roof in a hurry, how would you do it? Obviously we hope to never find ourselves in this situation, but it’s something worth considering. Even if any of these techniques are not something you’d be comfortable with, you should at least have a plan of how you plan on getting off a roof in a hurry without a ladder. It’s important to point out that in these photos, they were doing a simple body wrap with the escape rope simulating that no harness or other personal escape system was available to the trapped member.

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The first method pictured is a NY roof hook and a rope bag with a carabineer attached. You could pull a ridge vent and exposing the decking/trusses, tongue-and-groove boards or make a purchase point in the plywood. Next, you insert the 45 degree angle of the hook as an anchor. Then place the carabineer over the working end of the roof hook. Finally, a half hitch is placed towards the middle of the hook. The half hitch will keep the hook pulled down towards the roof decking during the decent.

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The next method utilizes a roof ladder. If you had a roof ladder with the hooks deployed over the ridge, simply pull out your rope, wrap around a rung and hook the carabineer back on itself. Of course if the roof ladder was long enough, you could just lower it over the side and climb down the ladder. Let’s not over think this…

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Another option uses the halligan. Simply tie a figure eight on a bight or use a carabineer. Slide your figure eight on a bight or carabineer over one of the side of the fork. Next, run the rope around the pike and back on its self. Now place a half hitch towards the middle or lower portion of the shaft towards the shoulder. Once the rope is secured to the tool, drive the halligan into the roof .

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You could simplify it even further and just tie a clove hitch around the shaft of the halligan just above the shoulder of the forks.

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Caleb and the crew wanted to point out they didn’t come up with these techniques, they just wanted to share their photos and highlight the training they did. There are an almost endless amount of ways to quickly egress from a roof if the situation ever arises. Take the opportunity to discuss it with your crew and come up with your company’s plan. If nothing else, take the time to talk about how you would prevent ever having to egress from the roof. A special thanks to Caleb, FF Corrigan, FF Dowd, Engineer Kempf, Captain Morgan and FF Shalduha for sharing the photos.

***The safety police just called and wanted us to remind you to always use a belay when training, the belay was not shown in these photos to simplify the visual.

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TEN YEARS!

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It’s hard to believe, but today marks the 10 YEAR Anniversary of VentEnterSearch.com!

A decade ago, we decided to create a neutral, unbiased and un-intimidating medium were we could share ideas, methods, and techniques of this great profession. We truly believe that firefighting is an art, and we want to protect the art for generations to come. The avenue to a safer fire service is by being pro-active rather than re-active in both our training and our tactics. We want to bring back the aggressively safe attitude to the fire service, in order to continue to protect each other on the fire ground. This can only be accomplished through educating each other and sharing ideas, tips and tricks.

We can honestly say this site has been much more of a success then we could have ever possibly imagined. We started this website with the intentions of sharing some information on the local level. Thanks to each of you, it quickly became so much more than that. We have gotten emails, comments, and material from people all over the world! The thought never crossed our minds that this is what would have become of the site over the last decade! The overwhelming success of this site would not be possible without each and every one of you. No amount of thanks could possibly be enough. It is because of you, our loyal readers, that this site is what it is!

We know things have slowed down a bit lately around here, but we promise to make it up to you. We have some big things in the works that we’ll be coming out with over then next year. We promise we’ll start getting out some quality content more regularly for you! Don’t forget, send us your submissions, and we’ll make you internet famous!

And in case you are wondering, we went a little retro with the picture… That’s our original logo from back in 2006!

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Climate Controlled “Storage”

Lt. Todd Hime from Marion County (FL) Station 18 sent in this interesting find they came across while out testing hydrants.

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From the outside, it appears to be a straightforward townhome building with a total of 5 two-story units. At the top of the stairs you will find an interesting opening about two to three feet high. As you can see from the photos below, this leads to a 3rd floor “climate controlled storage.” Climate controlled storage is the term the builder used when describing this set-up to the inquisitive crew. However we could certainty see it being used for a child’s play room or even worse case scenario, a child’s bedroom.

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Upon closer inspection of the rest of the buildings being completed in this complex the crew found that one of the buildings at least had windows located in the gable of the two end units that may tip us off to the presence of this potential “third floor.” Two of the buildings in this complex (including the one shown here) do not have any windows in the gable.

Apparently, the building code allows for this “climate controlled storage” as long as it does not have permanent steps leading to the floor or include doors to close them off. Since these are townhomes and not apartment buildings, the occupants are free to alter the insides of the units however they like. We wouldn’t put it past a homeowner to retrofit a door to cover this opening once they take ownership of the property. Once a door is covering this opening, it may look like a simple air handler closet.

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As we mentioned earlier, this opening is right at the top of the stairs. Any fire or smoke conditions on either floor would quickly fill this space with smoke and heat.

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Below are the floor plans from the builders website, with no indication of the “climate controlled storage”.

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A quick aggressive and effective search is essential to increase/ensure the safety/survivability of the occupants in a building experiencing smoke and fire conditions. Unfortunately for us, sometimes building construction and poor choices of the occupants work against us. We must constantly be learning about trends in building construction, and learning the buildings in our first due in order to remain successful on the fireground.

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Can Confidence & Advanced Search Class

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Valencia College located in Orlando, FL will be hosting the extremely popular VentEnterSearch.com class “Can Confidence” on January 29th. This full day class will include the normal 4 hour can class with an additional 4 hours focused on advanced search techniques. The search component will cover proven, realistic search techniques to improve your efficiency and effectiveness on the fire ground. The class will feature a number of Class A fires to ensure students are learning and practicing skills in realistic fire conditions. For additional details and sign up information click here to access the class flyer.

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Free Prop

Lieutenant Jordan Samson from Englewood (OH) submitted this simple and cheap (ie: free) thru-the-lock prop. He and Andy Zumberger put it together in less than one hour. It was made with a scrap 2×6 and a bunch of donated locks from local hardware stores. The purpose of the prop is to demonstrate the inner workings of various locking mechanisms. Labels were created to make sure everyone knew the proper names for each style of lock.

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This simple and free prop is useful when reviewing or introducing thru-the-lock techniques to new or inexperienced members.

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Cancel the Engine

We are sure this video is going to make its rounds on the Internet. At this point we don’t know much about it other than it’s from Bellerose Terrace NY. Judging by the names on the coats, we are guessing it’s Floral Park FD. We already know that many people have taken exception to the lack of SCBA use during entry. We could also make an argument to leave the building sealed up until the water can was ready to go. However, we are not here to throw stones, lets use this video to discuss the effectiveness of the water can. In this instance it appears that the Truck Company (without water) arrived ahead of the Engine Company. This could happen in any city in the world. Even if your Truck Company carries water, it could have been a Chief’s buggy that arrived on scene first. For that very reason, EVERY VEHICLE THAT HAS FIRE DEPARTMENT MARKINGS SHOULD HAVE A WATER CAN! We can show up on scene and do nothing, or we can at least slow the forward progress of the fire. We are the fire department and that’s what people expect, regardless of the vehicle we show up in!

As demonstrated in the video, the water can works! Every firefighter should be Properly Trained on how to efficiently and effectively use the water can. We are professionals and should know more about this essential piece of Fire Department equipment… It’s a lot more than just P.A.S.S.

We have always been advocates of the water can. In the hands of a well trained firefighter, the can will put out a tremendous amount of fire.

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Keyed Vise Grips

Engineer Brandon Daniel from Kannapolis (NC) Fire Department send in these photos of his modified vise grips. As you can see from the photo, he made two simple modifications to the vise grips that make the tool more versatile.

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The first is replacing the set screw with a threaded eye bolt. This modification not only makes the eye bolt easier to manipulate with a gloved hand, it also serves as an attachment point for webbing when using the vise grips to stabilize a padlock when cutting with the rotary saw. The other modification was welding a key tool to the handle of the vise grips. This ensures that the key tool is always readily available when utilizing thru-the-lock techniques. Its worth mentioning that may be beneficial to make the tip of the key tool a bit more slender about 3/16″ or so to ensure it fits inside the lock sufficiently to manipulate the mechanism.

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Keynote Presentation and Leadership Classes

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Jimm Walsh will be heading to the 23rd Annual North Country New Hampshire Emergency Services Conference on November 13-15, 2015 at the North Conway Grand Hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire.
He will not only have the pleasure of of facilitating two of his popular Leadership classes, he will also be giving the Conference’s Keynote Address titled Responding with Passion, Purpose, and Pride.

The conference is sponsored by Littleton Regional Healthcare in conjunction with New Hampshire State Fireman’s Association. Additional details about the conference can be found by clicking here. Online registration is available here.

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