Once the company has gained entry, their job is not over; there is a level of control that has to be considered when utilizing the entry point. In case there is a significant event awaiting the suppression team on the other side of the door, how will the company control the point? Most firefighters carry rope in their turnout pockets; tie a quick clove hitch or any other type of non-slip knot around the knob or handle in the event the door needs to be closed quickly. Additionally, the use of the adz end of the Halligan bar underneath the door while forcing will help limit the travel on the inward-opening door, allowing better management of the entry point.
Consider the entry point in the event of a catastrophic failure of the structure in the area: how will the company make their way out? How does the rapid intervention crew enter to facilitate rescue of the company? Once access is made into the structure for the suppression teams, the entry team must find a secondary access point in the structure, and announce its location over the radio; not only will it allow for tactical use during suppression, it will also serve as that critical “two ways out” access point for the interior operations. Consider a front door attack on a two-story wood-frame residential dwelling with a wrap-around porch on the front of the dwelling; the cantilevered porch has minimal support on the rail end, and could collapse over the front door, trapping the interior companies within the structure (see Photo 10).
The society we live in affords building owners with a multitude of various security devices for multiple applications in their facilities, be it residential or commercial. We must be prepared to find the easiest, most efficient way into these buildings to lessen the damage that the fire is inflicting on the structure. Knowing the best way in before the incident will help in making shorter work of the incident as a whole, keeping the people we serve, and the firefighters we serve with, safer in the big picture.
Until next time, stay focused and stay safe.
- See Michael Daley Live! Michael P. Daley will be teaching "It's in the Attic" and "First Due? Then It's Up To YOU! The Role Of The Initial Incident Commander" at Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, July 17 - 21.
MICHAEL P. DALEY is a lieutenant and training officer with the Monroe Township, NJ, Fire District No. 3, and is an instructor with the Middlesex County Fire Academy, where he is responsible for rescue training curriculum development. Mike has an extensive background in fire service operations and holds degrees in business management and public safety administration. Mike serves as a rescue officer with the New Jersey Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 and is a managing member for Fire Service Performance Concepts, a consultant group that provides assistance and support to fire departments with their training programs and course development. Mike has been guest on several Firehouse.com Podcasts including: Successful Rescue Operations in Today's Fire Service, Preparing for Tomorrow's RIT Deployment Today and Basement Fire Tactics Roundtable podcasts. You can reach Michael by e-mail at: FSEducator@aol.com.