I guess I'll start off just by saying that there is a little saying in the fire servicce that goes a little something like.. "The only reason a firefighter stops training is because he's died." Or another one "Let no mans ghost say his training let him down."
So I figured this would be the perfect place as truckies to share any training tips hints or tricks that we might have picked up through out the years, from our departments SOG's SOP's or company training.
I guess I will start with something that I thought of when I was shown a video of a FF bailing out of a second story window when he got lost. There wasn't a ladder at the window and he was disoriented and ended up falling from the second story. The window he exitied was breached for ventilation and in the next room over was a window breached for egress with a ladder placed for rescue. I can only guess that he was lost and knew that there was a ladder on that side of the fire bulding and finding the open window thought that it was it. He fell head first fifteen feet.
One way that i thought of over coming this situation is developing a SOP on how to take a window in two different ways, one for horizontal ventilation, and another for egress and rescue. When taking a window for vent operations remove the window completly as you normally would breaking and sweaping all glass from both the outer and inner panes of glass, if the window has an inner pane. Remove the screen and or blinds and curtins so the smoke does not become obstructed by it. However leave the center sash in place, doesn't matter if it is a verticle or horizontal sash. Leaving the sash in place will not obstruct enough smoke to make a difference in your ventilation efforts. However should a firefighter need to bailout he will feel the window and notice that the sash is in place and that this is a window that does not have a ladder at it and not a safe exit.
Taking a window for rescue or egress you would follow the same steps as for ventilation, however this time remove the center sash from the window so that a firefighter egressing out can do so minimumal dificulty. A firefighter coming across this window, will feel that the center sash has been removed meaning that this window is laddered and safe to exit out.
Further more departments comiing in mutual aid to your town might not know your SOP reguarding horizontal vent. To take care of this problem the SOP still does have a benifit to it. Luckly horizontal ventilation is fast and quick and can be done by some of the first arriving companies by your department. and in reguards to mutual aid FF's needing to bail out they will issues their mayday and if they come across a window with the sash still in place they will need to remove the sash before exiting, thus buying you time in knowning exactly where they are and allowing you to move or throw a ladder to that window for them to safely exit.
To remove security bars from windows, if you dont have a saw, i have found that a set of irons will do the trick. first, take the flathead and hit the top corners ( metal parts ) until they bend or shear off. if they dont shear off then you need to hit the framing that they are installed into. after the top is taken care of, begin working on the bottom corners. repeat the process. once the security bars are cleared, take the halligan and remove the window ( sash and all ).
just my input for a easy way to remove these deadly devices.