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