Firefighters regularly help ambulance and police officers gain entry to premises where the occupants are either injured and unable to open the door themselves, or if there is concern for a resident's welfare. FRNSW trucks are equipped with door-entry tools including hydraulic spreaders which will force a door open, hammers and wedges which achieve the same result, and a range of hand tools. Hand tools are the preferred method to open a door, as they cause less damage and allow premises to be re-secured after entry has been gained.
Fire stations often receive calls to help people who have locked themselves out of their homes. Unless there is an emergency, firefighters are unable to assist and a locksmith should be called.
On Wednesday, Cardiff and Lambton fire crews forced entry to a house at New Lambton Heights to help a woman, 90, who had fallen. She was treated at the scene by ambulance officers.
On Tuesday Tarro fire crew used door-entry tools to gain access to a house in Beresfield, where a 92-year-old woman was found on the floor in a distressed state. She was taken to hospital.
Firefighters will be opening the doors to fire stations in Newcastle and the Hunter on May 18 from 10am to 2pm. People can see the fire trucks and equipment and chat to firefighters about the critical work they do.