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Brian Brush's Blog (47)

Overcoming the Wall on Recessed Doors

This post was Co - Authored by Ryan Royal

Commercial outward swinging doors can be some of the most difficult forcible entry situations due to the locking systems and added fortification but what is often overlooked in training is access challenges. The outward swinging door below was on the back of a commercial building. You can see this situation has a half wall on the hinge side and the jamb side…

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Added by Brian Brush on November 17, 2013 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

Full Door Forcible Entry

Most of our fires occur in residential structures. The primary access door to most single family dwellings and multi-family units are inward swinging doors, secured with a key in knob lock and a dead bolt above. This is not an absolute, this is a majority. If we think about theses locking mechanisms and the fact that they are centered at the jamb this point is going to be very tight, but as we work away from these mechanisms we may see an opportunity.…

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Added by Brian Brush on October 15, 2013 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Halligan Adze: The Working End

The forks of the Halligan bar get the bulk of the attention in most fire service text books. To meet "critical criteria" on various state or local certification exams you must force doors by a very specific check list of operations using just the fork end with great attention to detail on how the bevel or arch of the forks is in relation to the door jamb.  Too many…

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Added by Brian Brush on September 29, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Dear "Friends"

Politicians and administrators can take funding, pay, positions and pensions, but we own our pride, purpose and the public's trust.



The tide of political disrespect, blame and distrust of public servants only seems to ebb when flags are lowered, badges draped and processions pass through their towns.



The supreme sacrifices we sometimes make leave our children, our spouses and our homes empty so that you may…

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Added by Brian Brush on July 11, 2013 at 9:01am — No Comments

Conventional Methods for Defeating Window Bars

By: Brian Brush

In most settings window bars are more deterrent than actual fortification.  There are places where window bars and coverings can be substantially built and designed as an obstacle, for example commercial occupancies or vacant property systems.  For the…

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Added by Brian Brush on June 15, 2013 at 9:30pm — No Comments

When You Always Remember You Never Forget

On the morning of December 13th 2011, I stood on the roof of a hotel 23 stories above Ground Zero in New York City. I was with a small group from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Committee. We had just finished climbing 110 flights of stairs to honor those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center which once stood on the ground we over looked. The night before Ron Sarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF presented the FDNY Counseling…

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Added by Brian Brush on February 18, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Eric Hurst - An Eye at a Mile High

The Mile High City is not one of the first to come to mind among those in the fire service. Denver is not one of the “Great” cities; New York, Chicago, San Francisco. Not among those currently seeing high fire duty like Detroit or New Orleans. It sits humble in the shadows of the Rockies, between the two coasts with few if any appearances on the covers of National professional journals.

Don’t be fooled by the lack of exposure, there is a…

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Added by Brian Brush on February 4, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Jamb Mounted Forcible Entry Technique Prop

By Brian Brush:

A few months ago I began to sketch out some ideas for a forcible entry prop. We had some scrap steel at the station, a few left over 6′x6′ posts from a recent structural collapse training and being the Rescue Company, all the tools necessary to take ingredients and idea into reality.

My initial idea was to build a prop that we could mount…

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Added by Brian Brush on January 30, 2013 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Modifying Tools

By: Brian Brush

It should be no surprise that firefighters appreciate quality tools. The more we know about the tools of our craft, the greater our ability to leverage our skills and efforts. With that said, there are times when the original tool, regardless of the quality, does not completely meet your needs due to regional differences, manufacturer limitations, or simply a lack of communication between the end user and vendor. With this article, I’d like to provide you an example of…

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Added by Brian Brush on January 1, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Love for the game

By: Brian Brush

Think to yourself about a professional athlete that you believe truly has a love for the game. Those who so clearly stand out, not just for performance and consistency, but also their humbleness and approach. The ones that take to the field, court, or ice because it is what they live for, not what makes them a living.

On March…

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Added by Brian Brush on December 13, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments

Resiliency before "Survival"

From the time the alarm sounds, stresses begin to deteriorate our abilities to function as we do normally. The alarm itself kicks off an acute physiological response which immediately reduces cognitive and physical abilities. We pile on gear which restricts our movement, retains heat, and weighs down our body. The trip to the alarm in the rig is exciting; sirens, the smoke column, and radio traffic continue to ramp up emotion. Now we arrive to find the ball is set in motion; firefighters are…

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Added by Brian Brush on November 17, 2012 at 10:09am — No Comments

NIMS and Chaos

For some truly unfortunate reason there seems to have been a number of chaotic events in my state over the last few months. Wildfires, two Police LODDs and most recently the devastating mass murder and assault in an Aurora movie theater that left over 70 injured and 12 dead at the time of writing this.

Regarding the Aurora shooting specifically my neighbor asked me yesterday, “How can you even prepare for something like that?” I provided a stock answer of MCI drills, multi-agency…

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Added by Brian Brush on July 22, 2012 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

Fly In?

For the first 14 years of my fire service career I had never questioned the fly out instruction I had received in regards to extension ladders. I just assumed if it was so engrained it must be for good reason. During the ground ladders component of my department’s truck company operations academy the instructor presented us with a letter from Duo Safety (our ladder manufacture) regarding the use of their ladders in a fly in configuration.…

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Added by Brian Brush on July 3, 2012 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Lazy Halyards

The halyard is one o f the most ignored pieces of the extension ladder system in use, exposure and maintenance. A ground ladder is a rescue device first, both for our neighbors and our firefighters, untying a halyard to raise a ladder should be framed in these terms.

Very few people are great at untying a knot while wearing gloves, let alone untying a knot which they did…

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Added by Brian Brush on May 29, 2012 at 1:43pm — No Comments

FDIC 2012 Ventilation Prinicples and Practices

At FDIC this year I will be presenting a classroom session titled Ventilation Principles and Practices on Thursday 4/19 from 1330 to 1515 in Rooms 134/135. Below is a preview of some of the information I will be covering. Choosing a class to attend from the schedule is very difficult due to the quality of programming and sheer number of sessions. If you are unable to attend FDIC this year or you choose another session I would still like to make my information available to you as…

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Added by Brian Brush on March 19, 2012 at 9:33am — 2 Comments

Armchair Blindness

We are well aware of the fact that fire behavior is heavily influenced by many factors; ventilation, construction, wind, fuel loading. The fact is that there are just as many if not more variables and factors at work on human behavior as there are in fire behavior. The ignorance begins when we watch a video and believe that those at work on the screen are in the same frame of mind as we are at our desk. Only when we consider these influences, couple them with the presented conditions can we…

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Added by Brian Brush on January 23, 2012 at 10:37am — 1 Comment

2012: A Year for Active Choices and Conditioned Decisions

“The National Fire Protection Association list 13 attributes that the job of firefighting requires. Most are physical- the ability to climb a lot of stairs, lug a lot of gear, move heavy hoses around, rescue large people and the like. But one goes under the helmet. The NFPA says a firefighter ‘must be capable of critical, time sensitive, complex problem solving during physical exertion in stressful, hazardous environments (including hot, dark, tightly enclosed spaces)…

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Added by Brian Brush on January 5, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

The Company Officer: An Embedded Leader

I was recently reading about the history of the Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs) and modern Navy SEALs. The founding father was Lieutenant Commander Draper Kauffmann whom in 1943 was given a piece of property in Fort Pierce Florida, some men, and a blank sheet to write the plan for a new small unit Special Operations. One of his keys to the development of these teams…

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Added by Brian Brush on November 25, 2011 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Saws

A few years back it was decided that circular saws ordered for the rescue and truck companies would be the same model and manufacturer.…

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Added by Brian Brush on September 19, 2011 at 2:50pm — 1 Comment

Benefits of Conducting a Nozzle Study - From Aug 2011 Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Magazine





Following the completion of the nozzle study, our standpipe operations and equipment also underwent complete revision
Following the completion of the nozzle study, our standpipe operations and equipment also underwent complete revision, bringing higher volume flows at lower pressures to these incidents. (Photos by author.)…
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Added by Brian Brush on August 5, 2011 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

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