By Mark van der Feyst
Many jurisdictions have high-rise buildings. These can range from three stories to more than 50 stories. When the fire department receives a call for a high-rise alarm, a response will be initiated based upon standard operating guidelines. These guidelines will dictate the number of apparatus to respond, where to stage, which apparatus will do which task upon arrival and so forth.
One area that is also included is the type of equipment to be brought in. The minimum should be a basic set of hand tools, such as a flat-head ax and a Halligan, a high-rise kit containing at least 100 feet of hose along with connections for the standpipe, a portable radio, and a thermal camera for the officer. One item that is often overlooked is the master key. This key will open any and all doors within the building. It will help when trying to gain access to certain apartments or areas of the building as opposed to using forcible entry. Having the key will save time, energy and property damage.