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April Drill Of The Month: Hydra Ram

Welcome to APRIL, and you know what that means? ONLY 13 MORE DAYS UNTIL FDIC! But before you go out and get some of the greatest fire service training on the planet, take some time this month to go over the Hydra Ram.

The hydra ram is a self-contained hydraulic forcible entry tool used to open inward swinging commercial doors. I can be used on residential doors but you run the risk of displacing the jamb so much that the tool is no longer affective.

In addition the tool is actually powered by mineral oil and not hydraulic fluid.

When checking the hydra ram during your morning apparatus check it needs to be placed under a load. This allows the mineral oil to actually reach the gaskets keeping them moist. 90% of the hydra failures you see have to do with the gaskets drying out, and failing under load. When the gaskets fail you will either not be able to generate enough pressure to extend the ram enough in order to displace, or defeat the locking mechanism. Or you will just have complete failure of the tool and a big mess to clean up.

Lastly always remember to bring the iron with you whenever you deploy the hydra ram. If it fails the irons will the only way you are getting in the door. The hydra ram is a valuable tool but unless you have a mastery of the irons then you should not use the hydra ram, as when it fails the irons will be what you have to use to defeat the door, and if you’re not good with them then the entire operation is in jeopardy.

So get out there this month and get familure with your hydra ram. If possible get to a building, or forcible entry simulator and actually use it, but at minimum exercise it under load, do some PM (preventative maintenance), and read the following articles

http://blog.brotherhoodinstructors.com/2011/01/hydraulic-forcible-entry-tool-maintenance/

http://traditionstraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/HYDRA-RAM-FINAL.pdf

http://traditionstraining.com/test-your-hydra-ram/

Remember if you’re coming out to FDIC be sure to come say hi, I will be teaching “Engine Company Emergencies” on Wed. 1030-1215, I’ll be Running the Courage and Valor 5K, attending the FOOLS Brotherhood Bash and MUCH MORE. If you want to know where I am the best thing to do is follow along on twitter @averagejakeff

Also I just found out yesterday that my wife the author of ICS For EMS will be doing 2 separate book signings at the Penwell/Fireengineering Bookstore. Come out and get your copy of ICS For EMS and meet the author and get it signed. Be sure to follow her on twitter @stickysidedwn as well.

Hopefully we will see you at FDIC but if not be sure to follow along for all the FDIC updates.

As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!

 

 

 

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