Archive for the 'Props' Category
There are a number of different methods to defeat the carriage bolts that hold supplemental locks in place. The two most popular are cutting the head of the bolt with the rotary saw, or driving the bolt through the door with a halligan. Lt Christopher Parker from City of New Haven (CT) Squad Co 1 sent in this idea for a simple prop to practice either technique. The prop is a simple stand that “clamps” a scrap metal door in place horizontally to allow for a large surface to mount carriage bolts. Once the door is consumed the carriage bolts are loosened to allow the door to be removed and another slid in its place. The stands are only 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide and don’t take up much room when stored. The legs are 5ft 4×4’s with heavy-duty brackets to secure the uprights. The uprights are made from 5ft 4×4’s on one side and 5ft 2×4’s on the other. The bottom “shelf” of the uprights are 3ft 2×4’s with an additional scrap of 2×4 cut into ¼” thickness (see photo below.) The ¼ scrap is simply to make up the difference of the thickness of the door. A piece of ¼” plywood would work just as well and may even be easier to work with. Once the door is clamped in place, simply drill holes and place the sacrificial carriage bolts in place. Wing nuts can be used to prevent the need for any additional tools when clamping the door or adding the carriage bolts. Notice in the first picture that the prop is up against a curb to limit movement (sliding) during use, placing the prop against a building would work the same. This easy to assemble prop can provide some great forcible entry training on a technique that may not often be practiced.
Here is the detailed parts list that can be obtained for well under $100:
(2) 10 foot PT 4x4s
(2) 8 foot 2x4s (plus a 2ft scrap),
(2) 8 inch carriage bolts
(2) 8 inch lag bolts
(4) heavy duty 90 deg brackets
(1) 2×2 sheet of plywood
3 inch deck screws
Jerry Smith from Baltimore City Truck Company 15 sent in these photos of a new training prop being used by Truck 15. Jerry points out that they got the idea for this prop from the members of FDNY Tower Ladder 58. They prop is intended to allow members to review different styles of roll down gates, and the different locks that secure them. The prop not only allows members to discuss how to attack these locks and but also to get their hands on the locks to see how the locking mechanisms work.
The prop has two working sides. The front side is mainly for show and tell. The members can manually work the locks to see how they operate. This side is also used to allow members to manually force locks with the duckbill lock breaker. The front side contains a total of eight different styles of locks, all of which are commonly found throughout Truck 15’s area.
In addition to the locks, the prop also contains the two most common styles of roll down gates. The first style is the newer flat surface style roll down, and the second is the older style curved slat roll down. Toward the bottom of the prop, the slats are pre-cut the slats so members can slide the slats apart to see how the roll down is held together. Obviously a better understanding of how something is constructed provides useful knowledge on how it can be defeated. There is also a hole in the slats so members can practice the extremely effective method of pulling the slats out with the halligan.
The rear side of the prop is designed to be the cutting or working side of the prop. They attached excess roll-down gate material so members can practice cutting the slats with the saw. In addition, there are three lock cutting stations: the first is for hockey puck locks, and the other two are simple padlock hasp assemblies. Finally, the prop has metal cutting station that utilizes pipe to allow practice of both horizontal and vertical cutting. This simply addition to the prop allows members to practice and prefect operating the saw at different angles.
This prop is a simple yet effective way to provide valuable training to members. The prop is easy to build and at a relativity low cost. The beauty of this prop is that it can simply sit against the wall in the apparatus bay for those impromptu company level training sessions. Just being able to pull the prop out and review techniques with members provides an worth while training session, even during days when weather would limit other training options.
Aaron Foster from DCFD sent in these photos of three different roof props they have at the DCFD training facility. The first is flat roof, the second is a 6/12 pitch, and the third is a 12/12 pitch. The frames of the props are made with doubled up 2×10′s. The joists are made with 2×6′s (with 2×4′s on top) attached to the 2×10 frame with joist hangers. The 2×4′s are on top as sacrificial pieces that can be easily (and cheaply) replaced after someone runs the saw too deep. The props are mounted to telephone poles that are buried into the ground. The cut surfaces are simply sheets of plywood that can quickly and easily be removed and replaced after each training exercise. The painted areas of the prop show the “do not cut” areas, and ladder placement on the pitched roofs. These props are an extremely simple and effective way to teach (and perfect) saw technique. It allows for a large group of people to observe the cutting operation to maximize on the learning opportunity.
The photo below shows the entire frame without the sheeting, you can see that the sacrificial 2x4s are not yet in place.
The picture below was taken with the prop upside down on the bay floor. Its just a closeup of how the 2×6 fits in the joist hanger with the 2×4 on top (actually on bottom in this case since the prop is upside down)
Lieutenant Ronald K Bourgeois from Buffalo (NY) Engine 1 sent in this video of a MAYDAY prop they are using in Buffalo. Unfortunately, the motivation for the prop and annual training came from the tragic loss of two of Buffalo’s Bravest on August 24, 2009. Lt. Chip McCarthy and FF Jonathon Croom both fell from the first floor into the basement while searching for a reported person trapped in the structure. (We recently received some additional information from BFD about this training. The training was in the works well before the tragic LODD. The planning and development of this training actually began in January of 2009, before the LODD incident, not as a reaction to the incident.)
The purpose of this prop and training evolution is to build confidence and promote self rescue techniques. The portion of the prop shown in the video is part of a confined space maze that ends with the blindfolded firefighter falling through the floor. The collapsible floor section is activated by an instructor pulling on a rope, removing the hinged floor section’s support. Once the floor section collapses, the firefighter falls into a pit filled with foam. The pads end up surrounding the firefighter making movement a bit more difficult, similar to having debris from the collapse. The prop also contains a window at the end of the foam pit so the firefighter can practice self rescue form a high window. The prop cost was roughly $450, and was constructed with 2×4’s and ½” plywood. The trap doors were hinged with three heavy duty hinges, with a lip underneath for support. A hinged 2×4 holds the doors up and a rope is the trip mechanism.
Unfortunately, we cannot take back any of the LODD that occur in our line of work, but we can learn from them and try to prevent them from occurring again. Training evolutions like this are an important component to learning from them.http://www.vententersearch.com/videos/props/buffalomaydayprop.flv
Captain Dale Pekel from Wauwatosa Fire (WI) and Elm Grove Fire (WI) sent in this informative video of a simple but effective training prop he has developed. The prop is simple to build, easy to set-up and break down, and doesn’t cost more than $200. The prop has a number of different configurations that allow it to be changed up to make some of the drills more challenging. Take a look at the video to see the various different techniques that can be practiced on this prop. This prop would be useful for performing quick drills around the firehouse that can be incorporated into more full scale drills at a later date. It would also be handy to have set-up at the firehouse during inclement weather that makes training outside a challenge.
Here’s another great idea for a cut prop. This prop was sent in by Lieutenant Jeff Pacia from North Providence (RI) Engine 1. The prop is build out of 2×6 lumber and can be mounted to a building as shown. The prop measures 4ft x 4ft but could be made whatever size you need. Once the box is made, it is backed with a sheet of plywood for stability and two 5ft long 2×4’s are used to mount the prop to the building. The top and bottom 2×6’s have ½ holes drilled in them about every 8 inches to accept the rebar. The clamps are made from two 4ft long 2×6’s are ripped in half using a table saw. These ripped boards have holes drilled on either end to accept 8” carriage bolts with wing nuts with washers. Each clamp assembly rests on top of one of the horizontal 2×6’s. The rebar is fed in from the top and clamped in place. If just the bottom portion of the rebar is cut, the clamps can be loosened and rebar lowered and re-clamped. The same set-up (clamps and holes) could be repeated on the sides of the “window” if horizontal bars are desired. It’s all about getting the saw in peoples hands, and actually using it for real. Starting the saw and watching it idle on the ground is not training!
This cut station is a simple prop that can be made for less than $100. The prop simulates cutting window security bars, allowing practice using the rotary saw at different heights and in different positions. As shown in the picture below, the prop was made from galvanized pipe fittings that are available at the local hardware store. Each “clamp” is made from a flange, two short sections of threaded pipe, a Tee, and an inline valve. Although ½” fittings may work it is suggested to use ¾” instead, giving you more flexibility in the material you use to cut. The assembly is then used to clamp rebar, or Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT.) Ideally the clamps would be screwed into the building at windows height. In these pictures, the clamps were simply screwed into a concrete light pole. Either way, it’s an effective prop that can be made relatively cheap in a less than an hour.
Lt. Joe Pennino from Largo (FL) Fire Rescue sent in some photos of an aerial training method that has been around for a while. It helps aerial operators with the depth perception and finesse of the controls.
Their method was simply to hang a traffic cone on some rope, and place some other cones at different spots around (and on top of the) building. We have seen a similar method that uses a tennis ball on string, and five gallon buckets. Either way, the idea is the same, simply to place whatever is hanging from the aerial in (or on) the target object. This drill is very helpful in teaching new aerial operators to fine tune their movements.
Ryan Royal from Colorado Springs (CO) Firehouse 8 sent in some ideas for a training prop that he and the crew at Firehouse 8 recently completed. This Thru-the-lock prop was made with a scavenged door and numerous locks from buildings awaiting demolition in their area.
Check out the training props page for details on its construction.
Since our last post had some discussion about cutting the roll-up door it seemed appropriate to follow up with this. Engineer Jim Hanel with the Golder Ranch Fire District sent in photos of a roll-up door training prop. The prop was built by Jeremy Rinder, a steel worker/artist from their area. A lot of thought went into the design: It can accommodate any size door since the two sides are totally independent and even works with different sized center rods and roll size. The large yellow handles adjust the distance between the center rod hole and the roll down channel. The small yellow handle (seen in the second picture) secures the roll from rotating once it is all set. As mentioned above, although it’s hard to tell from the pictures, the roll-up slides down a channel just like on an actual installation. The channel prevents the roll up from bouncing while making the cuts, giving it a realistic feel. The nice thing about this prop is once all of the cuts are made and there is no useable door left, simply roll down some fresh door, secure it, and go! The prop can be broken down into 4 pieces for storage or transport and can be fixed to the ground by spikes when necessary.