Posted tagged ‘irons and ladders’

Revisiting the Past


While I gear up for some new material I thought it was appropriate to revisit some of the most popular articles that have been posted on here over the last couple of years. These all deal with forcible entry, but we do write stuff based on other topics believe it or not, it just seems like the best ones usually come from the technical side of forcible entry, and really breaking down the basics. Thanks for the support. Never did I imagine these articles would get as many views as they did, it is encouraging and what drives me to continue posting more. Thanks

Here is an old one, where we break down the differences in quality made Halligans that are designed for work, and other bars that are sold to make money without function in mind. Make sure you know the difference before your next purchases.
Halligan Bars…They are not the same. 

Here we are breaking down the basics and the noticeable differences between mortise and rim cylinders. The more we know about their function, the easier it is for us to operate them when the time comes to go through the lock. Take the time now, to make this operation only a few seconds when it counts.
Mortise Cylinders V.S Rim Cylinders

Halligans will do the job straight from the factory, but are they at their best? Absolutely not. This will guide you through the steps to take your Halligan from a sloppy high school football player and turn it into a well tuned Super Bowl champion. Make sure your bar is ready for game day.   Fine Tuning Your Halligan

The Truckies version of the great nozzle debate, which way do you prefer to set your Halligan when forcing inward swinging doors? Neither way is wrong, as long as you know the strengths and weaknesses of each.                                                                        Bevel To The Door V.S Bevel To The Jamb

Here is the specs that we have found to create the most spot on set of modified channelocks we can come up with. If your ready to make a pair for yourself, check out this article for a step by step guide to walk you through it.  Thru The Lock Pliers (Modified Channelocks)

This article talks about an experience that backs up everything we have ever spoke about regarding real halligans v.s their cheaper made counter parts. Don’t get caught in the fire service gimmicks! Imitation Halligans, A Setup For Failure.

A short simple article covering a great street proven way to clear your flooded saw. This is basic saw 101 information, but it can make or break your whole operation when it counts. Make sure you know how to field clear your saw.  Clearing A Flooded Saw

I hear over and over again, “Oh, this one has a drops bar, we would  have to wait for the saws”, well we are here to say the Irons are a powerful tool, and we should be taught solid tactics with hands tools and how to overcome everything possible with the Irons before we ever wait for any mechanical tool. The better you are with the Irons, the better you will be with the saws. Are you ready to handle anything with your Irons?  Tonights Matchup…Irons V.S Carriage Bolts.

As you can see by the articles, we Love a good set of Irons!!

Fire Engineering Radio Interview


We were honored and happy to do an interview the other night on the Fire Engineering Radio Show. Three of the Irons and Ladders owners (Nick Chapel, Bryan Lynch, Ryan Royal)  were interviewed by P.J Norwood and Brian Brush who are both instructors from FDIC. They interviewed us on what Irons and Ladders is doing across the State of Colorado, how we started and some basic mentality questions that we believe in. It is recorded and if anyone is interested in getting a little better idea of who we are and what we believe in check us out.

We are the second half of the show and start around the 38 minute mark if you would like to fast forward.

Fire Engineering Radio Show Episode 215

May 30th Hands On Forcible Entry Course


There will be a hands on forcible entry class on May 3oth. Stratmoor Hills FD will be hosting IRONS and LADDERS LLC. This is an open enrollment class for any firefighters interested and is limited to the first 20. Click on the flyer below for a larger printable version with all the details of this class.

For registration or more information email or call Ryan 719-660-4740, Bryan 719-331-7284, or Nick 719-649-8060

Video Training: Smoke Explosion?


This video has been making the rounds for a while now. We have not posted it on here yet, and we think it is worth seeing. You can see the first companies arrive on scene and everything seems to be going pretty well. First line is being stretched and is ready to advance. Ladders are being thrown and what appears to be in preperation for ventilation. A second line has been stretched. You can see one or two guys get a good look at the building on all sides. Nothing out of the ordinary, and it is all being done calmly and quickly. Thats when we get to the meat of this video, where the fire behavior changes very rapidly. Take a look.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Any thoughts on what caused this? How would you react? Any tactics you would change or perform afterwards? If this is what you had showing upon arrival, what would your assignments have been?  Throw your thoughts out there for all of us to hear if you have some.

Door Size Up #4


This version of the door size up series is a little different than our previous ones. Below we have multiple doors that have a few things in common. Sometimes the most important part of door size up is recognizing when to move on to another door. Obviously some buildings may have all of their doors that are equally secured and they will all give you trouble. However some doors like the ones below would have been your worst choice to start your forcible entry operations.

These doors all have signs telling us that they are not used very often, or not at all. If they appear they have not been used in years, there is probably a reason. Sometimes we just have to trust what the size up is telling us and move on. Here are the examples.

Door  1

The first door has obvious signs on the outside that it is not being used any more. You can see it has two pieces of steel welded to the frame, covering the outward swinging door. The other side of this door has been covered and walled over. In the lower picture the door would have been behind the shirts that are hanging.

Door #2 

This door would have appeared to be pretty straight forward from the outside and has common security features showing. Luckily someone tried to warn us on the door that this is a poor choice to make entry. I am glad to see someone else spells like I do. The door you see in the interior picture is not the one we are looking for. The door we are sizing up is actually behind the shelves containing the cups and bowls.

Door # 3

Lastly we have an aluminum stile storefront door that has become a blockade. This was a side entrance of the building and is obviously rarely used, if at all. This would be easy to identify unless smoke had stained the windows, but it shouldn’t take us long to see this one isn’t a great choice. Could we get through these doors?…..Sure we could eventually, but on these particular buildings it would not have been the best choice, and it means we failed to notice key size up points that would have clued us in to their potential difficulty.

Thanks goes out to our fellow “South Siders” from Engine Co 11 for some of the photos and insight for this post. Site Update


Some quick updates we would like to make every one aware of. We finalized ownership of the domain name  You may have noticed before hand we were at This is not a big deal as both links still go to our site. You don’t have to change anything if you have it saved, however from now on you can link or save this site as

Next, If you have not noticed the Tactical Safety articles( located lower on the page) are updated weekly. If your interested in keeping up with them we post the updated link once a week with the date, under the original Tactical Safety post.

Fire Nuggets has opened their sign up for the 2010 Professional Development Series in Denver   These guys consistently provide five high quality classes with speakers from all over the country. You can receive a hundred dollars off if you sign up before February. It looks like a good line up this year and I look forward to attending all of them. If you are interested here is the link 2010 Fire Nuggets Classes

Lastly anyone still interested in the upcoming Engine Co. classes on Jan 6th must sign up soon. The guys running that ( have let us know that 90 out of 100 positions have been filled.

Thank you for the interest in the site, we have a ton of content still to come.

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