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Home>Topics>>Avoiding Injury When Forcing Entry

Avoiding Injury When Forcing Entry

Mon, 29 Nov 2010|

John Buckheit and Mike Perrone share some tips on avoiding injury and developing good technique for forcible entry operations.



[music] Hi, I'm John Buckheit. >> Mike Perrone. >> We're back with another training minute and, what we wanna go over this time is, good practice and not so good practice when working with the axe and the halligen. We're gonna show you some stuff on how to maybe avoid injury and, You know, the injury can be significant if you're trying to force entry. Everybody's waiting for you. You know, maybe medics are waiting for you to, to gain access to a patient. Maybe the nozzle team's waiting to get the line in on that fire. So if you, you know, strike the your partner's hand, and you crush his hand. >> Don't wanna do that >> It's all over, you, you know, you've stopped, not only did you hurt that individual. We stop the, the whole operation. So there, there's some ways to avoid it. I'll start out with the you know, we hold the tool in a very specific way. Sometimes guys lose this, this detail. You know, they might hold the tool right up next to the head of the axe. One, one small mistake and you've crushed your finger and you might not wanna continue that operation and, and you might not recover from that injury. So we, we always hold the tool properly you know, with good technique. Another common mistake for them the person that's doing striking is, they might take a measure [SOUND] and they're good to go. And then, and then they get off balance and they move a little bit. And now, they miss. So, if you had a little smoke. Hey, hey that can be really critical so you wanna take you're measures, get your footing and stay in that position. Third thing is, we like to cross the tools. Alright? You have less of a chance of missing the head of that hallgan and striking you're, you're partner. Mike's gonna tell you how he likes to hold that halogen to also avoid that type of injury. >> Alright, I'd always rather be on this side of the tool, alright. If I don't, if I don't have, if I have a wall here and this is a corner apartment. And I don't have a choice, I have to be on the door side of the tool, okay. What this gives me, to me this is a, is a disadvantage, to only advantage I see to being on the door side of the tool is that I can actually see when the crotch is driven in til it's at the inside part of the stop where the door hits the stop. When that's even with that, I'm where I wanna be and I can force the door. Here's one of the, one of the first problems of being on this side. Once it's driven in and I go to force the door, I gotta pull towards me. I'm not forcing this door. I'm getting on behind it now and push into the door, okay? So it's a two step process. That I don't have if I'm on this side of the, of the tool, OK? If I don't have that wall here, and I can be on this of the tool, I wanna be on this side of the tool for a few good reasons. First of all, we just talked about, after I set the tool, I go in to the door, it's a one step deal. All right? Also, when he's striking for me, and you always want to stay perpendicular when you can, guys. Alright, you don't want to come sideways, there's more of a chance of getting hit. Alright? So he's staying perpendicular, I'm steering the tool around the jam, okay? And what's happening here, you see what's going on, he's trying to hit along this axis. If he misses by the one inch on this side, he maybe gets a finger. I can still continue, it's gonna hurt, I may still be able to finish this job out with a broken finger. He's gotta miss by four full inches to hit anything vital, which is my wrist, or my forearm. Alright? He breaks my wrist, if he breaks my wrist, basically I'm not functional anymore at this job. He breaks a finger, we're gonna, we're gonna handle it. Alright? So I would rather be on the protected side. Plus, like I said, once you've, once you've set the tool, we go to the door. Ok, the only disadvantage I have to this side is I actually physically have to peek over to see when this crotch of the tool is at the inside part to stop. Alright and some companies what they do is a small notch even with the crotch so that you don't even have to look over when that slice. That notch makes it to the inside part of the stop? They stop. They don't have to look over the tool. Mmk? >> Now the one for the thing about, developing good striking technique, is, most firefighters have trouble when they, don't have enough power. So, I'm right handed, my right side is good, I prefer to strike. In this direction but there could be a wall there could be an obstruction maybe we are down a flight of steps and i might have to swing from weak side. That is when i lose control that's when i begin to get into trouble. So one way you can develop better control is to practice. Well how are you going to practice. One way that, that we've used is we go to a car crusher, a car recycling place, ask their permission, make sure everyone has proper PPE, because it is a, injury factory and we'll actually force car doors conventionally with a Halligan and a maul. Gives a guy practice using the Halligan in its many forms, using the point, the adze, the fork. And also gives a guy practice striking, striking, striking. Okay? So he can, if he's, if the firefighter is, is a, is a good, striker, then maybe they can practice on their weak side. If they're not so good, they can practice on their strong side and get better accuracy and better technique. >> What we do in my firehouse is, we set up. Hold that a second there? We set up a we call it a totem pole put a 6x6 into the ground, cement it in, And for new guys we drive in spike, We tap in large spikes and we have them hit from both sides. I prefer swinging left hand alright, make sure you are just a hand down from the top, okay. I prefer left hand but you know what. The hallway may not afford the option of swinging where you're comfortable, all right? So you may have to swing from the other side. So we have young guys driving spikes in from both sides, making sure they can hit from both sides. Now if you put the tool up, John, put the tool up to the door. If he puts the tool up to the door, and I prefer this side, but what am I gonna do if, if he tent, if his leg is here, okay, and he's steady that way. I, I tend to have a little bit of a pendulum swing, I may hit his leg and then, and then miss the tool, or hit him. Okay, in this situation if I don't have a couch here and I, and the hallway affords me to be on that side of the tool, I swing, I swing to this side, where he is not, he is not a factor anymore in my hitting this tool, okay. [SOUND] Never want to put my head very close to the head of the halogen because again, a slight error, even a glancing blow, it's going to really, really seriously injure you. >> When we were taught a long time ago, we were taught. This side of the door, and on your knee when you force it. And, if, if heat, if heat is not driving you to your knees, do you wanna be anywhere near, in smoke, a guy swinging an axe or maul close to your head? No. you wanna be, If you have to be on this side of the tool, you wanna be up. If you're on this side of the tool, I prefer this even more. Like I said, protected and you go to the door. That's when you're going to use bevel to door. Hey, if it's a tough door, you got to go bevel the jam, you're out here, you're unprotected. You know what? Tough job, you got to go with it. >> Now, one last thing about striking, you never really swing the tool. we, want to train for smoke conditions. Either light smoke condition to a heavy smoke condition. So in heavy smoke condition, I might actually feel the head of this [UNKNOWN], find it, take my measure, and then it's a quick karate chop. It's from, you know, 10". It's, it's not a swing at all. And Any movement that Mike's gonna do with, with the head of this tool, they're gonna be regular, steady moves that he might announce, or that I have to be, you know, make attention to. >> That's why it's always good too, if you're comfortable calling for the hits, I always say to guys, when you're adjusting this tool, keeping it off the jam, and steering it, you are adjusting the tool, you aren't going from point A to point B to point C. By, going for the hits, you're making sure in those moves, I'm steadying out for the hit. It's, and never look at the guy hitting guys. Turn around. Look at him if he's ready to hit to begin. And your eyes are here or you're not gonna set the tool. You're not gonna be able to steer this tool in. Keeping it off the jam and between the door and jam. If you're watching me out here. It's just going to be constantly into the jamb. You're going to have problems. Okay? The last thing. But here's a point though. Once I'm in, and I want to stop, okay? I don't go stop, and then go to the door. With all the confusion, maybe the masks are on, a lot of noise, radio chatter. If I say stop and go to the door, he may not a hear, hear me. And then I get hit in the elbow or something. Alright? That's the only time I wanna look back on him. I say stop, and I look. And I make sure that ax is shouldered. And make sure he's not coming through with another blow, with a good blow, go to the door. Okay? >> So there's been a few, a few we pointed out a few common mistakes that people make, and they wind up getting injured. And we also pointed out a few good techniques. If you hone these down and they become regular practice, they'll serve you well when you're out there and you're trying to, you know, get these doors. There's one more thing I want to add, John. We are talking about heavy smoke. There is a sounding technique. I kind of use it in heavy smoke just so the guy knows I'm coming with hit. You hold the tool and I'll demonstrate. And you call for the hit. Call for the hit. >> Hit. I'll sound it. I'll actually let the guy know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna two sounding guy. I like a [SOUND] you can tell, that's not a hit. That's a sounding move [SOUND] and then bam! He knows after the, [SOUND] he's steady. He's not moving at all and it's coming. Alright? Some guys like to sound by doing one. They go [SOUND] and bang. Okay? I like that [SOUND]. In heavy smoke he calls for hits without heavy smoke i can maybe just straight out as he calls for the hit okay. So you kind of got to work this out with your partner before the tour. So find out what your partner likes because you got the be on the same page with this to stay away from injuries guys. It's been another Training Minute. I'm John Buckeye. >> Mike Malone. >> Thanks for watching.