Bridgewater Fire District 3 Drills with FDNY
The fire companies of Bridgewater Fire District 3—which include Country Hills, Green Knoll and North Branch—combined resources with FDNY Firefighters for a forcible entry drill at the North Branch Fire House in Branchburg Jan. 19.
The firefighters of the district are always honing their existing skills and learning new ones. Drilling, training and firefighting go hand in hand, and is a never-ending process. The firefighters of District 3 log thousands of hours every year in training.
Looking for a drill that would challenge the firefighters' forcible entry skills, North Branch Training Officer Doug Larson researched for a company to aid in the process. Forcible entry in the fire service is very complicated as there are literally thousands of scenarios with locked openings that can either hamper rescue operations or impede a firefighter's ability to exit a hazardous situation. The ability to rapidly gain access to a locked door can mean the difference between life and death for both a victim or the rescuer.
Who better than seasoned FDNY firefighters to help in forcible entry training? The city offers many challenging entrances and their firefighters face them daily.
Larson reached out to firefighter Michael Perrone of Ladder 175 in Brooklyn for help. A 30-year veteran of the FDNY, Perrone came with a unique skill set and the required tools to train the large group from District 3. Perrone’s company, Firehouse Innovations Corp., designed and built a mobile forcible entry prop called “The Multi-Force Forcible Entry Door System” that was brought to the North Branch Firehouse for the training.
Fifty firefighters participated in the six-hour training. Upon completion, the firefighters learned the most basic “door pop” to more complicated tight egress techniques of opening locked doors.
The participating firefighters ranged in age from the Probationary teenagers to the seasoned 50-plus year olds.
The Multi-Force forcible entry door system has actively been in use by the City of New York Fire Department (FDNY) since September 2008. Hopefully, the firefighters will never have to rely on this specialized training in a life or death situation, but in the event they are faced with one, they will be prepared.