A child is trapped in an apartment that is on fire. You are a member of the team assigned to do the search. Your way into the fire apartment is blocked by fire. What options do you have? PhotO by Michael M. Dugan A firefighter drives a halligan tool through a wall to determine...
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A child is trapped in an apartment that is on fire. You are a member of the team assigned to do the search. Your way into the fire apartment is blocked by fire. What options do you have?
PhotO by Michael M. Dugan
A firefighter drives a halligan tool through a wall to determine what is on the other side. If the tool makes it through, then a second hole should be made.
You are searching a fire building on the floor above the fire and fire erupts from the fire floor and traps you in the room. The interior stairs are untenable and you need to get out. What are your options?
Breaching a wall is one way to save yourself and at the same time get out of trouble. It may also be an effective tactic to get to a person trapped by fire.
Wall breaching is a tactic that can be used with success, but must be done properly to be effective. The breach must be made below waist level to avoid crosspieces, or “cats” as they are sometimes called, being used to hold the wall together. These crosspieces will now be above the breach area.
The area that you choose as the breach area must be able to be breached. The best way to determine that is to drive a tool through the wall. This will let the firefighters breaching the wall determine if they can get through the wall. Some walls may be blocked on the other side by wainscoting, heavy furniture or appliances.
If the tool does not make it through the wall, then you must try a different place to get through the wall. If you succeed in driving the tool through the wall, then immediately make another hole in that bay to determine that this bay is a viable option. This will give you two openings to make sure you will get through the wall. Other things to look out for in the wall would be electrical outlets and heating/air conditioning ducts.
Tools that can be used to breach a wall are a halligan-type tool, an axe or a hook. The metal hook is the preferred hook, if you have it. A wooden hook will work, but you must use extreme caution to avoid breaking the wooden handle. Be aware of pulling so hard on the tool that you snap the handle. A halligan type of tool works the best.