Post 9-11 protected buildings challenge firefighters
Firefighters nationwide have struggled to keep up with the protective trend, particularly when it comes to protective glazing, says Glen McGuire, captain of the San Jose Fire Department in California.
“Whether for higher security or hurricanes, [protective glazing] is more prevalent,” McGuire says. “But if we don’t know where these windows are and bring normal tools [to breach them], that could potentially mean more property damage or even death.”
The issues for firefighters include identifying buildings that have protective glazing and knowing the best methods to force entry through that protective glazing, says Hollice Stone, director of operations for the New York office of Hinman Consulting Engineers.
Source: Hinman Consulting Engineers, New York City
The GSA also created the Firefighter Forcible Entry Tutorial, an online tutorial and exam about forced entry into buildings through protective glazing. In addition, individual departments can participate in live demonstration sessions.
The San Jose Fire Department went through the first in-house training program, and the Seattle, Chicago and Washington, D.C., departments used the online program. “Every department across the United States should have this training,” McGuire recommends.