Archive for December, 2009

Framing Square Video

Here’s another video we shot a while back that we recently came across. This video shows the framing square forcible entry technique. We originally featured this technique a few years ago, click here to see the original write-up. The technique involves using the rotary saw and a framing square to manipulate panic hardware. The benefit to this technique is that this allows the door to be secured afterward. A simple strip of duct tape over the kurf you made in the door and you are good to go. The building will be able to be secured until the building owner can get the door repaired (weld or bondo?) This technique is certainly not something that could, or would be used often but you may find a situation when you could utilize it. This technique WOULD NOT be necessary on a door like the one shown here, this was the only door available at the time.


Grab the Right Tool

Lieutenant Brian Dalrymple from Richmond (VA) Fire sent in this interesting adaptation to an aluminum stile door. The question is what tool do you grab and why?

Hopefully you didn’t drawn in by the pad locks and think of the bolt cutters. Look at the photo below, the padlocks have nothing to do with securing the actual door, they are only there to hold the expanded metal grate in place to protect the glass. The metal channel that holds the grate also somewhat protects and blocks access to the mortise lock. So the K tool is out, the A tool may work sideways, but that’s unlikely too. Some may suggest some irons work on the door, but you’re almost guaranteed to end up braking the glass in the process and loosing the ability to control the door after the force. What about grabbing the rotary saw and cutting the lock throw? It may be the most viable option in this particular scenario. As with every other forcible entry scenario, slow down and Identify and Visualize what you are trying to do. While Identifying what was securing the door, it would become very obvious that the padlocks are insignificant. Don’t get drawn in, we need to work smarter not harder.


New Stuff for Christmas

We have received numerous emails about getting some new items up for the store. So we finally decided to get a few new things lined up. First up is a Gray Hoodie Sweat Shirt (with pockets), then some Black Beanies with only the Maltese portion of the logo embroidered on the front, and FINALLY a Navy Blue Shirt. The Navy Shirt is basically the same design as the original White VES Shirt, with just gray and red inks. The shirt is more Navy colored than reflected in the proof. Speaking of that, you’ll have to excuse our “proofs” for the visual. We will replace them with the actual photos after the Holidays. All Domestic Orders received by Sunday December 20th @ 11:59EST. Will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail and should arrive on or before Christmas Eve. Check out the store for the details (you may have to hit your web browsers refresh button when the store page loads.) Thanks again for the continued support!


Swing Toward Life

Matt Stelle and Rick Dunn from the Loveland-Symmes (OH) Station 61 sent in these pictures of something they recently found during a pre-plan of a new building in their first due. It’s simply an interior outward swinging door. A general tip is that doors swing toward life. So more than likely an outward swinging door like this leads to a mechanical or storage room.

Once the door is opened, it becomes obvious that it is an attic access door. But look close at the floor; there is nothing more than blown-in insulation and the drywall ceiling below, there is no floor. Under smoke conditions the floor surface, or lack thereof, may not be noticeable. Hopefully the vertical 2×4 (part of the truss assembly) would alert us that something wasn’t right.


Pounds of Aluminum?

Prince George’s County (MD) had a fire in the University Park area last night. The crews were met with heavy smoke and fire upon arrival. Apparently they had some water supply issues that resulted in the fire getting ahead of them. Eight firefighters were said to have received injuries and transported but it appears the injuries were minor. But while watching the news this morning, the following picture (from MyFoxDC) of the fire was shown, which brings up a great subject.

Are we bringing pounds of aluminum or actual ladders to the scene? Ladders are only going to do us good when they are in position, not stored on the rig. The picture above is a perfect example of good laddering. At this point we are not sure if any of those ladders had to be used for rapid egress, but that’s not the point. They were in position and not stored on the rig. The picture below from an unrelated call demonstrates what could happen If ladders aren’t thrown early.

The Engine (if positioned improperly) could block the ladder compartment. But look close at that ladder compartment… All of the ladders were already in position! Ladders are nothing more than pounds of aluminum if they are not in place on the fireground. Take the time to discuss Truck and Engine placement with the rest of the crew, emphasizing the importance of throwing ladders early.