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Ok Brothers, trying to acclimate myself to how other Departments are operating. How do we feel about carrying "the can" (water extinguisher) on primary search?Curious to thoughts. If you are gonna tell me it's too heavy, hit a gym (lol). Seriously, do many departments carry the can. We have had great success and I do have stories to share so lets get this discussion going.....

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I have always been intrigued by the can. In fact we are ordering some for our ladder companies now. My department has always been very Engine company dependent. I think it makes perfect sense on a VES to have a can but I know little to nothing about how much fire it can actually protect someone from. This would be a great topic for an article. I would love to see any SOP's on the use and a training outline about it. Thanks for starting the thread.
Love the can...just make sure it is carried with you at all times when traversing/searching the fire floor. Some opt to leave it at the stairwell until they've located the fire apartment. However, no one likes to "patiently" wait until someone fetches it as the top of the apartment door is burning away at the end of the public hallway...Also, although effective, don't use it as a door chock...use the hydra ram instead!!!
Placement is also important. Where are you placing it when you force a door? We train our guys to do this. When it's lights out you will not be wasting time on a search for the can instead of fire/victims.
Ray is right on with this. Get yourself into a habit of keeping it in one place as you force/open the door. I like to keep it upright right near the latch side of the door. That way I can still control the door (very important), and its right where I can find it if I need it. But you need to remember, it's only 2 1/2 gallons of water. You need to drill on this if you can at a controled environment (burn building). If you still can use class "A" fuels, and have a room that you can keep tight, get a decnt fire going and then really see how much fire you can control. If you have one of those flashover simulators, take the can in with you and as the ceiling starts to "roll", try the can to control it. You might be surprised. Just remember in real world, that 2 1/2 gallons goes away far too quickly. Training is the key on use of the can.

(Ray...sorry I didn't get up to the Armory...ended up down at Connellys on 45th, see you in Indy. Unfortunately, most of us are stuck out at airport hotels. Lots of early nights)
The can man carries a hook and Halligan in addition to the water can. He assists in controlling the door, and holding fire in a compartmentized area in many instances. When operating before a line is in place or ahead of the engines advance I can see that 2 1/2 gals. as a real lifesaver. Often when switching from investigative mode to working fire/ search mode the can gets left in the dust at the door or stairwell. I'm going to make sure to reinforce the need for the can man to keep his water can with him during the search in situations where we are not close by an engine co. Our guys see the value of keeping it with them on the floor above so they should see the value of this too.
At first glance, the image I conjured up in my head after reading the initial post about using a can during a primary search was of crawling on my hands and knees bumping or dragging the can along behind me or beside me. After reading the other posts, I can see what was meant and can definitely see the benefits of it.

The first time I saw a can used was on a kitchen fire while companies were stretching lines to the front door. I have grabbed the can on other calls where companies may arrive and investigate a smoke condition. I'm a firm believer. Many times since, I've carried the can in - but not always. Its not as bad as people would think to carry and can always be left at doorways if needed.


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