We all have learned forcible entry techniques dating back to fire school, the key is to stay proficient in your trade. Firefighters regularly blow apart residential doors with a boot, the irons, or the baseball swing, but one obstacle that many firefighters do not get much practice in is commercial door forcible entry.
For about $250 worth of steal, 3 old Oliver plow springs (from brother firefighter & farmer Josh Goetz in Carroll Township (OH)), and some time I was able to weld together a forcible entry prop that can take the abuse over and over. There are some commercially made and other homemade props like this around the country, but here’s my variation.
A moveable, but fortified door jam is tensioned by bolts and the Oliver plow springs. This tension produces resistance that simulates commercial doors and challenges even the most seasoned firefighters.
The prop simulates a commercial door on one side and a residential door on the other. 2×4’s ripped in half and then cut into foot long pieces that are secured with wedges represent the lock.
There are also several brackets on the side of the prop at varying heights to secure rebar for K12 work while holding the saw in different positions.
Firefighters will learn the importance of working together and the gap / set / force techniques. Understanding your tools (and there capabilities), tool placement, locating the door stop, and staying balanced are aspects of this task that will improve.
This is another creative training evolution to sharpen skills and getting the crew to work together.