Firefighter cutting and entry drill
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Here’s what you’re going to need to undertake this drill. If you don’t have these things available, you may be able to substitute.
- An area where loud noises aren’t a problem
- A timber frame construction, or similar, to hang old roller doors
- Appropriate cutting tools, these will vary based on what your station has access to.
Safety considerations for firefighters
Firefighter safety is paramount. Do not conduct the drill if you don’t have appropriate PPC.
- You’re going to be cutting, so appropriate PPE is required.
- Safety glasses used in conjunction with helmet visor
- Full firefighting PPC
- Hearing protection
How to undertake the drill
Before we left station we briefed the crews on the structure of the night including instructors and safety officers. We assigned safety officer per group of five firefighters. We handed out safety instructions for the tools being used which all operators of the evening were to read and once on site ask any questions before starting the evening. Some of these tools were not standard issue for us and were kindly loaned to us by Clennett’s Mitre 10. (The reason behind this was to get firefighters familiar with using different types of power tools).
Once that was all in place we divided into two groups with different tools and did some horizontal cuts through roofing iron on a pallet using the grinders in one group and metal cutting saw in the other to get operators comfortable using the gear.
Once everyone had cycled through we then conducted a demo of a door entry using the 9 inch on a roller door. Once this was completed we split again into two groups cycling through all the tools cutting openings.
We ran this session as informally as we possibly could where firefighters didn’t feel like they were getting tested on their skills more so as an information and practical skills acquisition night which we achieved.
Our drill was designed to enable our Firefighters who work in a job where they don’t get any exposure to power tools, to gain experience and confidence using a small cache of tools which we hope to acquire soon through the feedback received on the night.
I founded Flashover to promote Australian Firefighting. I’ve been a volunteer and a paid firefighter but now I spend my time chasing up leads, promoting good mental health and making the occasional Grumpy Firecom comic!