Fire Chief Tim Butler

Fire Chief Tim Butler
Thanks for checking out my web log! My radio call sign in Saint Paul is "Car 1." Join me as we go "On Scene" to the fire stations, training evolutions, emergency incidents, and community events in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Let's share perspectives on the issues facing our Department, our community, and the American Fire Service!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

DAY 22 - December 11, 2009

I completed my Flat chop test in 1 minute, 9 seconds!!! Everyone in the class eventually passed this milestone, and some of the times were VERY impressive: 37 seconds, 39 seconds, and several others in the 40’s and 50’s!!

The ladders and salvage tarp practical exams took several days to complete, owing to the large number of testing stations, the limited instructor staff, and the bone-chilling weather. Temperatures were in the single-digits for nearly a week. I had no problems passing the tarps and ladders, and my written scores continue to be in the “A” range.

In the afternoon, the Hennepin Technical College Forcible Entry “Mobile Simulation Trailer Unit” was on scene for the practical portion of training in the afternoon. This trailer is specially designed and constructed so students can practice specific forcible entry skills. “Forcible entry” is the function of overcoming locks, barriers, and obstacles keeping us from gaining entry into a building or an interior room. In many situations we need to conduct this “legal breaking and entry” in order to get inside to rescue people and save property. The Forcible Entry Trailer had a variety of “stations” on the exterior and interior of the trailer that challenged the students’ ability to force open locked doors and to cut metal locks, bars, and siding. To quote the Hennepin Technical College literature on the trailer:

"The Forcible Entry Simulator is self contained and provides students with the ability to force open and breach through a variety of residential and commercial doors and windows without damaging the equipment. The ability to reuse the facility will maximize the instructor ability to provide students with repeatable scenarios found in actual on-scene conditions with minimal time between evolutions."

We used rotating saws to cut through metal siding and security bars. We used a variety of hand tools to pry open locked doors or to remove the lock cylinder from the door. There was even a station where we used a variety of hand tools to “pick the locks” on a variety of doors. The Forcible Entry Trailer was – for me – a really effective way of reinforcing the knowledge we had gained in the classroom AND because of the wide variety of forcible entry situations it presented us, it was a very “efficient” way to teach this functional area as well.

After the flat chop test, the rest of the day was really enjoyable and educational!

For more information on the Hennepin Technical College "fleet" of Mobile Simulation Trailer Units, follow this link to their website: Training Trailers.

Stay safe!

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