More Training From The Horse Barn

Last week we posted about a horse barn forcible entry training.  The project started when I was asked to help a young firefighter-to-be prepare for a high school demonstration.  Read last weeks post HERE.  Unfortunately, the young lad won’t be going to the regional qualifier because other students presenting on basket weaving and the aerodynamics of horseshoes were selected instead.   I don’t get it, we don’t get it, but all I can say is keep training and learning.


Jenga or blocks for the prop?

After last weeks post, we’ve had more interest in the training by some local firefighters.  Since we were teaching anyways we didn’t turn anybody away.  After a quick breakfast we all headed to the horse barn.  One good thing about an ad hoc training like this is that more guys add to the conversation and the passing of knowledge is easily transferred.

“Like” FDT on Facebook

Below is the firefighter-to-be demonstrating on the residential side of the prop.  Remember, this is one technique and not necessarily the gold standard.  Your text book teaches you one way and the street teaches you multiple ways.  In the video you will see how he works with two tools and rotates the tools so they work more efficiently.  At very least, this technique on this prop makes the firefighter think about tool placement and how the forces are applied.  Talk with your crews about the different options of forcing doors.


Tool Caddy

In other news, we have been helping Ryan at Ryno Concealment refine his firefighters tool caddy.  The product is improving and being used on the street in Kansas City and several other locations.  They are working on a website, but for now be sure to “Like” the Facebook page for updates and contact information.  More coming soon.

“Like” Ryno Concealment on Facebook

Pass it on!

  • Jamie Morelock

    I am just going to come out and say this. The technique performed above on the prop (in the video)would not work on an actual door. To many times the techniques people use to “defeat” a prop are not practical on the street. Training in this way sets us up for failure. It will delay operations on the fireground. It WASTES time. When it comes to forcible entry on an inward swinging door, the GAP-SET-FORCE method is the tried and true technique, the gold standard. Why? Because it works and allows for flexibilty. That is why guys like Robert Morris and Andrew Brassard use it, that is why companies like Brotherhood Instructors, Traditions Training and a number of other top-notch companies teach it. I am not saying that someone won’t come up with a new technique for forcing a door, just make sure it will actually work on real doors first. The technique shown above is not a tried and true method, it will not work on a real door, it will only result in delays in entry on the fireground.

    The GAP-SET-FORCE technique:

    If you determine the need SHOCK the door, high-middle-low (one time each) then transition to the adz, rotating away from the pike to GAP the door. Now position the forks, how you place the bevel side is up to you, and drive them until the crotch of the forks is even with the backside of the door stop. Now the bar should be set for the FORCE. If the door doesn’t completely open, a chock or the axe blade can be inserted into the gap to capture the progress. Now the bar can be reset in a diiferent manner to obtain additional leverage.

    Here is a video of the GAP-SET-FORCE technique, done by two instructors. This same technique can be accomplished by a single firefighter as well.

    Stay safe, Jamie Morelock

  • Thanks for the continued discussion Jamie. I know you don’t like the video and the technique, however, I do have a few thoughts that are important as we traded in a couple emails and that I spoke of in the text of the last two posts. 1) This is a gap/set/force technique. Not the same one that was in the video you linked, but another. That technique is also shown on the prop. 2) I think this technique on a prop, although not the first option, may be worthy of knowing as just that, another option. It also makes the student think about tool placement, angles, and the direction force is applied in another situation. 3) I do not have a video on an actual structure, but will get one someday and pass it on. If its junk, I’ll call it junk, but I’m a bit more optimistic that its a option.

  • wildcat

    well you can gap / set / force any hollowed out vacant door in toledo.

    Id mule kick it

  • Jamie Morelock

    I always love people on blogs who hide behind some made up name. When you have something intelligent to add to the disscusion and post it under your actual name then please join in.


  • Jamie Morelock


    The reason that this will not work is that there is not enough give in most door systems to gap in this manner. They are simply too tight. It is difficult enough to drive the forks through the gap. The problem with utilizing the axe in this manner is that you can not “steer” it through the gap. It would only drive straight into the door jamb. All the power from the drive would be lost into the jamb. Many firefighters have a problem driving the forks through due to lack of training and experience, so many times they forget to apply leverage back to lift the tips of the forks off the jamb (steering) in order to facilitate an efficient drive.

  • Pingback: Last of the Horse Barn…For Now – First Due Tackle()