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  • Dealing with gates/fences

    We ran first due on a structure call at a housing project last shift. As we rolled up, the driver braked hard and shouted an expletive when I noticed that the center of the access dive had a large concrete island in the middle of it. We wound up having to curb the tires and go over it (it was so new that we now have yellow sidewalls on the tires).

    We now understand that the private corp. that manages the complex is planning to install a security gate with a magnetic card reader to limit access - and crime - in the complex. They also thoughtfully installed an 8ft high aluminum fence around the entire facility, so we can't fight fires from the city street at the front four buildings any more.

    So how do you deal with this sort of barrier when you roll up for a fire or medical? I'm thinking if the power is out I'm going to have to break out the cutter/spreader and remove a section of fence.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  • #2
    Well, to deal with the gate issue, when you roll up on scene and approach the gate, just keep going. Barge right through it. Those remote ones shouldn't do much damage to the truck, and what ever damage it doies do, send the complex the bill. Now, the fence, well, bolt cutters.

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    • #3
      yeah, that way when the truck is stuck half way through the gate....

      talk to the property managers and tell them that unless they want the gate torn up by the extrication tools being used to open the gate they better work out something with your dept for when emergencies arise.
      NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
      IACOJ Attack

      Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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      • #4
        Did you have to hop on the curb because the engine wouldn't fit? Is it not fire code in your City that driveways have to be clear and unobstructed? I think ours here have to be 10+ feet wide. If they want to install a gate, we have to have some way to access that property.

        Good luck,
        *Mark
        FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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        • #5
          Maybe we'll just "mow" the fence down.......

          Originally posted by Kvfcjr
          Well, to deal with the gate issue, when you roll up on scene and approach the gate, just keep going. Barge right through it. Those remote ones shouldn't do much damage to the truck, and what ever damage it doies do, send the complex the bill.
          Son, the last thing anyone wants to see from you is tactical advice on emergency incidents. Spend more time in the English books, and less time "pretending". Your department (if they truly acknowledge your existence) has the responsibility to limit the amount of damage caused to the taxpayer.

          ullrichk .. Some of these issues could be handled with pre-planning, and working closely with you fire inspection / fire marshal divisions. In my county, gated and/or restricted access establishments must provide the Fire Department the means of immediate access. It's part of a Fire Code we have worked hard to get set up. Additionally, most electronic gates have release mechanisms for power outages. Good opportunity to get the crews out in the daytime during inspections and learn how to operate them.

          Finally, if all else fails, go for the bolt cutters. Here again, you want to cause as little damage as possible. When it comes to locked chains, remember to cut the chain and not the expensive padlock. Chainlink fence should be cut at the post connections and rolled back, so that when you leave the facility, you can easily roll it back and re-secure.

          FG
          IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
          (Seize the Nozzle)


          "Victorious warriors win first,
          and then go to war,
          while defeated warriors go to war first,
          and then seek to win."

          SUN TZU

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          • #6
            Sorry for my sarcastic answer

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            • #7
              Well,for us it's either code acess(supplied to the dept)Knox box,or my personal favorite;Pak-cut.No gate too tough.T.C.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kvfcjr
                Well, to deal with the gate issue, when you roll up on scene and approach the gate, just keep going. Barge right through it. Those remote ones shouldn't do much damage to the truck, and what ever damage it doies do, send the complex the bill. Now, the fence, well, bolt cutters.
                And this from your "vast experience" in the fire service? Would you do this with your POV? I doubt it.....

                In my community, a complex that wants to put in a gate has to get approval from the City. It requires a construction permit and a review from the Traffic commission, the Police and Fire Chiefs. If the gate is approved and must be "locked", they are required to install a "knox lock" made by the same company as the knox box key safe system and keted to our city's code. The one complex we have that is "gated" has 24 hour security.

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                • #9
                  We have a gate at a large buisiness complex that is *supposed* to open automatically when a piece of apparatus rolls up to it. It's usually no problem during the daytime when some poor rent-a-cop has to sit in the guard booth, but we've had problems with night responses. So far, we've had nothing but accidental automatic alarms, so having our officer running around the gate and trying to get it to open in the middle of the night hasn't been a major problem yet.

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                  • #10
                    my dept has key cards for different gates around the town on the 1st out pumper at station 1 and station 2 along with the cheifs have their own set of key cards.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the input so far.

                      This gated "community" is a first for our area. We have a building codes dept. but no fire code enforcement. I'm not sure how this one got their approval. It's obvious that the owners hadn't thought about fire engines, garbage trucks, utility trucks, etc.

                      On the subject or release mechanisms, which side of the fence are they usually on? Common sense would say the "secure" side. We might get to do ladder evolutions too

                      Are most horizontal sliding gates chain or cable actuated? I'm thinking that a cut chain/cable/whatever might be a cheap place to break in should the situation call for it.

                      And the fence isn't chain link - it's that high dollar aluminum stuff (simulated wrought iron) so I'm not crazy about the idea of laying any part of it on the ground. But it is tempting.

                      To give you an idea of the timetable here, I was at this particular complex on a medical call on the afternoon of the 20th and there wasn't a hint of construction. By the 23rd they had the place surrounded and they only lack putting up a gate!
                      ullrichk
                      a.k.a.
                      perfesser

                      a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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                      • #12
                        We have several gated apartment complexes as well as a gated assisted living/nursing home in our first due. All have Knox Locks installed to permit access by the FD.

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                        • #13
                          We have a large gated community in our first due. The one gate is staffed 24/7/365 with a guard so that is no problem. The 'remote' gate is siren activated so it opens on approach of fire, ems or pd units. Sometimes it is a little stubborn but it always works with no more than a second or two delay.

                          The gates also have barcode readers for the residents so for non-emergency response (pre-plans, comm. svc., training, etc), the management of the complex has provided us with the same barcode stickers for our apparatus. Approach slowly, the laser 'eye' reads the sticker and the gate goes up.

                          If they are raising gates like ours and you have a rear mount ladder truck, just remember to watch out for the overhang of the ladder over the cab Not that it's happened before or anything !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                          • #14
                            I would think that you can deal with it the same way that the police department need to deal with it. They will probably need access far more often than fire or EMS.

                            I like the suggestion of seeing the property manager and working with them. However, I would not suggest that he give you a pass card or you will tear up the gate.

                            Just explain why it is important that every apparatus that may respond needs to have a key. If they will not work with you, contact the insurance company. I am sure they will not like having to replace a house or two because the fire department could not enter the complex.

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                            • #15
                              When it comes to locked chains, remember to cut the chain and not the expensive padlock.
                              We do the opposite, we cut the lock. That way, when the owner replaces the lock, he remembers to give a key (or combination) to the PD so we don't have to cut it a second time. Has worked pretty well so far, but takes a little educating of the owner.
                              "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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