Arch Aluminum & Glass Helps Develop New Firefighting
July 28, 2009
To help better train new recruits in dealing with hurricane-impact
materials, Arch Aluminum & Glass in Tamarac, Fla., recently
provided the Davie Fire Rescue Department with several pieces of
specially laminated glass. According to battalion chief Brian Nolte,
department officials were forced to reassess existing firefighting
techniques for entering buildings through windows due to the increasing
use of hurricane-resistant glass in south Florida.
"We have to rethink how to break glass, to not only get into
buildings but also how firefighters can exit safely. Hurricane-resistant
glass doesn't break like other types. It's much tougher," Nolte
said, citing safety concerns for his crew and potential emergency
The recruits were instructed to try and break through the 7/16-inch
and 9/16-inch-thick hurricane-impact laminated glass, placed in
a wooden frame, using an assortment of standard firefighting equipment
pieces (axe, reciprocating saw, glass cutter, K-12 saw, chain saw).
After a day of trial and error, the chain saws turned out to be
the most effective tool for the job.
"By supplying the folks at the Davie Fire Dept. with a range
of laminates, they were able to come up with procedures to not only
effectively get through the material and do their jobs, but also
ensure the safety of the firefighters," said Max Perilstein,
Arch vice president of marketing.
Since the training regimen, held at a Broward County fire station,
the department is considering implementing similar sessions for
all 25 fire stations in the county.
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