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You are the officer on the 2nd due ladder truck on a commercial structure fire, and your assignment is to report to the rear and give a report. You cannot get your ladder truck physically to the rear, but you must get to the rear and give a report to command. What tools will you take and what jobs are you going to do? A good truck crew will deploy ladders to the roof, coordinate ventilation with the inside crews, and force doors.

When focusing on forcing doors at the rear of a commercial building, a good truck crew must be ready to defeat multiple types of locks. Among the locks you will see there will be ones you can’t see, and that can hamper you from getting the door opened. When sizing up a door on the rear of a structure look for lag bolts on the door itself. This indicates there may be a drop bar locking the door. There are several ways to attack this lock such as using a power saw with a metal cutting blade or using a set of irons. Many times the power saw is over looked, but a good entry man on the truck should always bring the irons. I have found that you can defeat the drop bar quickly with a set of irons by driving the pick of the Halligan bar just above or below the bolt. This will pierce the door creating a larger h***. Once the h*** is made place the adz of the bar on top of the lag bolt and drive it through the door. Repeat this action on all the lag bolts. This action should defeat the drop bar holder and allow you to force the door.

It is always a good idea to get out in your first due response area and take a look at the doors on the rear of buildings. These are the doors that are the most secured. Size up the door and figure out how you would gain entry. A little pre-planning goes a long way.


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