Firefighter Training Drill: Opening Up on Cape Cod-Style Homes

By Curtis Patterson
Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Prince George’s County, Maryland
Instructor, Traditions Training LLC

This drill will start some discussion at your kitchen table. Knowledge of building construction is always paramount. The Cape Cod-style home offers unique challenges within its building components. In this drill, we’ll use the terms “knee walls” and “dormers,” which are found in the Cape Cod (but not limited to only Cape Cods). Knee walls can hide fire and can envelope crews in heat, causing mass confusion, loss of the operation, and possibly injury or death.

It’s imperative that crews be aggressive in the advancement of the hoseline and opening up knee walls as you move along. This drill will hit on a few techniques used to advance and extinguish hidden fire and keep your crew safe. Should you have an exterior crew, you’ll find tips for ‘opening up’ on the outside of the home, which will directly affect operations on the inside. 

Please utilize this drill as an opening discussion and follow it up with further research and pictures from your own response area.

Download this drill as a PDF HERE.

Listen to the most recent Traditions Training Radio show HERE.


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