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Chain-Link Fences

Tue, 4 Oct 2011|

Battalion Chief John Buckheit of the FDNY discusses overcoming chain-link fences.



[MUSIC] Hi I'm John Buckheit, I'm back with fire engineering for more training minutes. If you've been following along with our series, we've been trying to, teach everyone how to deal with common fortifications. And in this next series, were gonna be dealing with, chain link fences. Which, if, if found everywhere, you're gonna find simple residential fences which are really just boundary markers, up to some fairly high security commercial interests, all the way up to, you might have a prison in your response area or something like that which is gonna have, you know, really tall and really heavy gauge, and high security. Chain link fences. Many times in my career I've, I've come against chain link fences either trying to stretch hose lines, trying to access a patient or a, an investigation, for a source of, smoke or something like that and if you're hanging around long enough you're bound to, you're bound to run into these. So, what we're gonna try to do in this first part of the series, is teach you how to look at these with an educated eye. Improve your size-up skill. They're all similarly constructed, but they have variations, which will enhance, or detract from some of the evolutions that we're gonna try to teach you how to do. Now, when you look at these fences, you wanna try to figure out what that variation is and consider how much damage you're willing to do, how much time you have, what tools you have, and what your goal is. Are you trying to access and transport a patient? Are you trying to, place a line or advance a line? Or are you trying to just gain access for fire department personnel or rescue personnel? All of those factors will come together in your size up, and what I'm really trying to encourage you to do is look before you leap, do the size up. Let's take a look at how these fences are made. This is a very simple residential. Gate, but it has all the features that you're gonna find in even the very high security fences. They all have in common is that they created out of this wire lattice, it's known in the train as a fabric, wire, wire fabric. The spacing can be tighter, like the fencing behind me. Which is high security, harder to climb. The gauge can be light gauge like this fence, or it can be thicker, like this fence. Under any case, it's going to have some type of support. It may have a top rail. It may just have a wire. It may have nothing. It may have a bottom rail or just a wire. [NOISE] It'll be tied at regular intervals with, wire ties. These are pretty soft, pretty easy to cut. And then it's gonna get tensioned horizontally, using these tension bars, which slide through the fabric. And then using either a mechanical device or in a simple installation like this might be done by hand, in a large fence like this it might involve using a come along, the fence is gonna get tensioned and then attached to either a line post or an end post using this tension clamp. The line posts would be found roughly every ten feet typically along the installation. This is a typical line post. They can be thicker, they can have a greater diameter for a more substantial fence. And then where the fence changes angle. Or comes against a gate it's gonna have a terminal post. These are thicker, greater diameter and more securely anchored. All of these features all need to be appraised before you begin your evolution that you're gonna use to get through these, these gates. They're all gonna influence. How well, or how poorly, your choice is going to help you. Consider the time factor, consider what you're trying to accomplish, the amount of damage you're willing to incur. And all those things, all added together, would help for a successful operation. And you can decide which of the several evolutions, that we're gonna present to you, you should use. I'm now gonna lead you through this one example of bad size up. We have, in this scenario, we have a very heavily used highway above us, the call comes in for a major motor vehicle accident. The initial units get the call. They're up on that elevated highway. They find that one of the vehicles in this high-speed crash has left the highway and has crashed down into this, side part of the highway. A second unit might get that information they're gonna access from this vantage point and they come against this fence. In this instance, what am I looking at? I don't have a top rail. It's just the wire up there. That's typical for along highways. I don't think they want the horizontal bars because people can get impaled by them, so typically you're gonna find just the fabric with a wire or nothing along highways. It has a tight weave and it has a heavy gage. This would suggest maybe I could ladder this, but missing that top rail, and also I'm dealing with patient access and patient transport and I might have to get heavy equipment in there, Hurst tool or something like that. So this is really a poor choice for those. I'm gonna do a little more size up. I'm gonna walk around the corner, take a look. Maybe it's late at night, this might not be obvious. So look before you leap, take the time to size up. I'm gonna come over here and we'll see what we find. So, what I'm encouraging is take a few seconds to do a little bit more size up. And as I rounded this fence, what did I find? It's a, it's a lower security, much easier to manipulate this fabric. It's poorly tensions, so we might be able to get rid of this right away, it's only held on by one strand, or, what do you know, I look even further up the slope here, and the fence has already been removed. So we can do all of our patient care, all of our extrication, move all our equipment in and out via that access and we're done. So the point is, look. Size up the fence in careful detail. Think of the principles that we're gonna teach you. And then take a good look before you start your operation. You'll be better off. I'm John Buckate with Fire Engineering Training Minutes. Thanks for watching. We'll see you on the next part of the series. [MUSIC]