Forcible Entry: CPAT Event #5

As a 22 year FDNY veteran, Forcible Entry was always my favorite part of the job. It's event #5 of CPAT, and you should be able to breeze through this event, making up much needed time on your 10 minute limit.. You'll need to master the 10 pound sledge hammer, or what we call on the FDNY, the maul. Accuracy counts, in both real life and on the CPAT forcible entry testing device. Short, sharp, dead-on swings will move your target faster, resulting in a much more efficient operation overall, and with less wear and tear on your body for the duration of the test.

Forcible entry involves firefighting at its most explosive. In very tight, sometimes hot and smokey hallways, you are called upon to break down a possibly high security entrance door. Learning to swing a maul like a tool, not a baseball bat, is a skill that needs to be learned. If you're in the construction business, you definitely have and edge here.

The weight of the tool most follow in a straight line. The top hand (near the head) is held down about 8 inches. The further down this hand is, the more force, but less accuracy you'll generate. The other hand is held near the edge of the handle. If possible, the major thrust comes form a horizontal swing of the hips. This isn't always possible at live fire operations, but CPAT allows ample clearance.

The firefighter controlling the forcible entry needs to shift his body weight, getting his center of mass into the swing, letting the tool work for him. It's a skill that sometimes needs to be learned over time. At FDNY / CPAT Prep, we use a heavy truck tires driven over a plywood table, old school and it works, teaching you how to handle the 10 pound maul and ace this event. 

Below is a brief video clip of a forcible entry class.  



Our CPAT training includes all 8 events, including Forcible Entry. If you're interested in learning more about our FDNY / CPAT programs: CLICK HERE