Firefighting

Trimming a Window

Issue 12 and Volume 162.

By MICHAEL N. CIAMPO SEARCHING FIREFIGHTERS often vent windows at fire scenes with a hand tool to remove smoke, heat, and gas, usually working quickly and from inside the structure. Often, these firefighters do not completely remove the window glass because of heavy smoke and poor visibility. As firefighters, we are all taught to clear a window of broken glass shards prior to leaving the fire scene. Many of us refer to this tactic as “trimming the window,” and it is part of a truck company’s salvage duties. This prevents these glass shards from falling and injuring someone after the fire department leaves the scene. In addition, “cleaning out” the broken glass shards makes us look more professional. However, how professional do we look when a firefighter uses a hand tool on a window and smacks broken glass outward, sending the shards flying like projectiles as the firefighters scatter below…

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