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Firefighters grateful for donated heavy-duty door

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 December 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Shelby Volunteer Fire Company firefighters Scott Petry, left, and Jeff Arnett were successful getting The Multi-Force Forcible Entry Door open during a training exercise this afternoon at the Orleans County Fire Training Center.

Local businesses pooled their money to buy the door for $6,000 from Firehouse Innovations Corp. Before the county had the door in its training arsenal, firefighters used a rusty old door at the Fire Training Center, or they hoped to use a house that would soon to be taken down.

It wasn’t an ideal scenario because firefighters didn’t have doors that could take the repeated demands for training exercises, said Jerry Lewis, a state certified training instructor.

Firefighters now have a door that can take all kinds of hits, as firefighters practice getting a locked door open quickly.

“It’s made to take a beating,” said Jeff Lyons of Lyons Collision in Medina, which donated for the training door. “They said they want it to last.”

Jeff Arnett, left, and Scott Petry work together trying to get the door to open.

Many firefighters have already trained on the new equipment, which actually has two doors. Lewis said firefighters are learning nine different techniques for getting doors open. The equipment can be set up as inward-opening doors, outward-opening doors, left-hand and right-hand swinging door, and with metal or wood jambs. Firefighters can practice using Halligan and flat head axe or maul. A Hydra Ram and rabbit tool can also be used.

“Forcible entry is hard to teach unless you have something that can take the repetition,” Lewis said. “We’re trying to provide the most realistic training you can get so when they get out on an emergency they can perform their jobs.”

The faster firefighters can gain access to a building, the quicker they can douse flames.

The door will also be available to the SWAT team in Orleans County.

Lyons donated to the door and also secured donations from the following businesses: David Dunn Salvage in Middleport, Cruisin Auto Parts in Middleport, Zacher Construction in Medina, Brazzell Automotive in Medina, Medina Lumber & Hardware, Medina Cold Storage, Rudy’s in Medina, Growmark in Knowlesville, Panek Farms in Albion, Matt C.M. Contracting in Medina, Waters Autobody in Albion, and Orleans Ford in Medina.

Firefighters and two of the businesses that donated to the forcible entry door pose for a picture today. The group includes, from left: Dale Banker, emergency management director; Jerry Lewis, fire instructor; Shelby firefighter Jeff Arnett: Shelby firefighter Scott Petry: Jeff Lyons of Lyons Collision; and Cory Vercruysse, general manager for Cruisin Auto Parts and a driver for David Dunn Salvage.