Do you drop your tool to escape a fire???
During a training exercise my partner and I where doing a primary search in a multi room burn building. We where located in a back room at the charley / delta side, at which time the emergency evacuation signal sounded. Both my partner and I began immediate evacuation, just 10 feet in front of us was a Lt., acting as operations. He saw we had a set of irons, he yelled out to us ďDonít worry about those **** tools, drop them and get the *&@ out of here!Ē I informed him I wasnít doing that, I looked at my partner and told him not to drop his tool. We continued out of the building. During our critiquing he brought this up with anger, he didnít understand why we where so concerned about these tools valued at less then $500.00? Your thoughts?...
Emergency Evacuation and your tools
First of all, your Lt. needs to understand that the hand tools that we carry are designed to get us into spaces , but more importantly, they are also designed to get us out of them too. The cost of replacing the tools is irrelevant. When you are evacuating a building, you may need your tools again to facilitiate forcing your way out if your primary and/or secondary means of egress become blocked or are now nonexistent. Depending on how deep we are into the building, we may need our tools to fight our way back to our primary or secondary point of ingress/egress. Also, once the building is evacuated, we still have a fire to fight and we may still need our tools for exterior ops.