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Mask Confidence Training and Window Bail-Outs

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Tue, 6 Jul 2010|

Firefighter Joe Alvarez of the Maplewood (NJ) Fire Department demonstrates a mask confidence training course and offers a tip for bailing out of windows.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

[MUSIC] Hi, welcome to training minutes. My name is Joe Alvarez, and today we're gonna go over mass confidence training. We have a firefighter here who's got a SCBA on, full turnout gear, and his face is obscured by a nomix hood turned backwards. The fire fighter's gonna move in a forward progress, and we're gonna have him do a left hand search for today's evolution. Start going. The fire fighter is sounding every tread to make sure that his stairs are stable before he commits. He's always feeling around them. [NOISE] Every time an elevation changes, the firefighter is making sure that it's stable ground for him or her to continue on their forward progress. [NOISE]. The firefighter's gonna continue the forward progress. As he's moving forward because now this is when everything starts to go wrong in the building, we're going to explain to the firefighter, you always want to probe in front of you, making sure that it's sound. So when you do come down, you're not falling into an opening. After a firefighter has come down to the lowest point where the ground level is, he's gonna orient himself and get back down to the ground because he wants to get away from that heat. [SOUND]. Firefighter always has a tool in his hand, He's probing around. He feels that there's an opening. What we are gonna teach him is to make sure that he feels a little bit further in front of him, wants to make sure that there's floor joints there, cuz maybe the house is under construction, He could be in an attic space, not really sure of what's going on in his house before we get in it. After he's negotiated his open floor joist, we're gonna put a prop in front of him now. That simulates a pitched roof. The firefighter would go out of window and he's gonna use the reach of his tool to hold on to the sill. So he gets the full reach, and he's not putting himself in harm's way until help can come and get him. If we took this tool away from him, which I'm gonna do now, and he needed to use the reach of his arms, now he needs to worry about the fire and the head that's gonna be venting out of this window eventually. Which now, will cause his hands to get burned, and he can fall off the roof. So, that's why it's important to keep your tool at all times, and never let go of it. Okay, the firefighter's gonna continue on a left-hand surge. So we're gonna have the firefighter continue moving forward. We're not going backwards. When a firefighter gets to a certain point we want to coach them through, we're gonna explain to them that, you've found an opening we want you to go through. As you can see, it doesn't matter the size of the firefighter. As long as you learn these techniques, you can get through narrow clearances or reduced-profile areas. The firefighters gonna first feel the area on the ground in front of him to make sure there's no bodies in the area where's he's gonna push through. He's then gonna take his halligan tool and he's gonna probe the floor very hard. Now again, making sure that floor is sound. After that's done he's gonna do one of many techniques of getting through a reduced profile. He's going to put the center of his cylinder, against the wall. After he probes through, he's going to make sure that he knows where his tool is at all times. He pushes his body through the opening. After he gets his entire body through, he's going to gain his composure, grab his tool again. Then he's going to orientate himself with the left-hand wall and continue to move forward. Okay. Now that we finished a mass confidence portion, we're gonna talk about going out of a window. So many times, firefighters bail out of a window head first. It's a very unsafe practice. We cannot dictate conditions that are gonna be in a building when a firefighter needs to evacuate a building by going out of a window. What we're here to talk about is using a halligan tool. We always tell firefighters keep a tool with you at all times. What we're gonna do with this halligan tool is we're gonna take and embed it into the drywall. We're gonna use the pick head into the drywall. We're gonna step on the adze end and we're gonna take the forked end and that's what's gonna go onto the ground. It's gonna give us our stepping point. We're gonna take the tool, drive it in, and make sure that it's in there nice and sturdy. Then what we're gonna do is grab the window sill, put our foot up on the Halligan tool, and we're gonna span the window sill. This gives us a much safer way to exit a window when needed. >> Everything you've seen here today was done inside of this trailer. This trailer was acquired. It was dropped off here, and the firefighters built all the props that are inside. Thing that you need to remember is, when a firefighter goes through this training, you do not want to take and push them through it. You want to talk them through it. This is something that a firefighter does not do on a daily basis. You need to build confidence in your firefighters. Before you send them out in the real world. And remember, the props that you're building your mass confidence station is left up to your imagination. [MUSIC] This is Joe Alvarez, and thank you for watching training men. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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