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Looking for info on the origin of Hook & Ladder term

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  • Looking for info on the origin of Hook & Ladder term

    Giving a talk to the high schoolers and they want to know about where the term hhok and ladder derived. I believe it was from the old days when the trucks were equipped with hooks and they hooked onto a building which had large loops and simply pulled the building down if it was on fire. I believe it originated here in Chicago but I'm not positive. Anyone have any insight I can pass along?

  • #2
    Sorry, I should spell check. The term of Hook & Ladder!

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    • #3
      I think your right. If I remeber correctly the hooks were used to pull down burning thatched roofs so fire fighters could put them out easier.

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      • #4
        I had heard that it was the long pike poles "hooks" carried with the ground ladders on the first trucks. Saw a great old "hook and ladder" truck at a convention last year, all it carried were about a dozen ladders ground ladders, a pair of scaling ladders, and another dozen pike poles along with a folding safety trampolene and a few extinguishers.
        ________________________________________________
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        • #5
          Hook ladder?

          Maybe a connection with "Hook ladder" as carried by LFB until 1980ish? If memory serves me 13ft long-8 jagged teeth/6inch bill reinforced with piano wire-- round ring at the top to receive hook on belt worn by operator.
          "If you thought it was hard getting into the job--wait until you have to hang the "fire gear"up and walk away!"
          Harry Lauder 1981.Me on the left!

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          • #6
            Hook is synonymous with pike pole or plaster hook, etc. So Hook and Ladder is just an old term for a ladder company. They preformed truck work at fires. An old tactic was to tear down an exposure to prevent fire spread. That era also had the bed key which was used to take apart a bed, because for many it was the most valued possession a person had.

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            • #7
              Like elswappo said, hooks were used to pull down thatching (thatched grass/straw roofs). Being that the neighbors house usually had thatched roofs too, this was a general form of exposure protection. It was proabably the best method that early fire companies could utilize, to prevent fire spread. Instead of wasting time trying to put it out, efforts were aimed at getting it off the house, and then getting it out. Remember that early fire protection usually meant writting off the house that was burning, and efforts were geared towards the control of fire spread, and not so much extinguishment in the early stages of fire attack. Fire spread was a much bigger factor in those days than it is now... whole towns or cities could be lost very quickly, so that is why they primarly worked to prevent fire spread.
              http://www.sanantoniofire.org

              IACOJ
              Got Crust?

              We lucky few, ... we band of brothers

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ADSNWFLD
                An old tactic was to tear down an exposure to prevent fire spread.
                Somehow, I get the feeling that tactic might be somewhat frowned upon as far as PR goes today

                Command to Engine 6 and Rescue 2, commence operations on the second floor. Truck 3, when you arrive, vent the roof over hear then knock down the neighbors house."
                Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                • #9
                  I can see it now... We'll all be responding in Bulldozers!

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                  • #10
                    If you have not seen it yet, rent Gangs of New York. There is a scene where the local VFD shows up to a fully involved structure (takes place about 1860). The chief looks at the house and sees its really cooking, looks for the hydrant (which was hidden by some thugs from another VFD) and says "This one's a lost, take that one!" pointing to the house next door. The owner runs up to the chief screaming "But its not on fire!" Just then a rival VFD shows up and the two chiefs start going at each other, before you know it there is a huge brawl in the middle of the street w/o a single firefighter fighting the fire!
                    ________________________________________________
                    If you are new to posting please CLICK HERE for an essential lesson
                    ________________________________________________
                    A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!

                    IACOJ Fire Boat 1

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                    • #11
                      Main Entry: hook and ladder truck
                      Function: noun
                      Date: 1865
                      : a piece of mobile fire apparatus carrying ladders and usually other fire-fighting and rescue equipment; called also hook and ladder, ladder truck

                      Organized fire fighting began in New York in 1648 when the first Fire Ordinance was adopted by the Dutch Settlement of New Amsterdam. Fines levied for dirty chimneys provided funds for the maintenance of buckets, hooks and ladders. It also established a fire fighter watch of eight Wardens and required that each male citizen stand his turn on watch.
                      Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 10-18-2003, 08:47 AM.
                      ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                      NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                      343
                      CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                      LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                      FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                      FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                      FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                      FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                      FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                      FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                      FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                      FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                      FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                      Charleston 9
                      "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
                      *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by E40FDNYL35
                        Main Entry: hook and ladder truck
                        Function: noun
                        Date: 1865
                        : a piece of mobile fire apparatus carrying ladders and usually other fire-fighting and rescue equipment; called also hook and ladder, ladder truck

                        Organized fire fighting began in New York in 1648 when the first Fire Ordinance was adopted by the Dutch Settlement of New Amsterdam. Fines levied for dirty chimneys provided funds for the maintenance of buckets, hooks and ladders. It also established a fire fighter watch of eight Wardens and required that each male citizen stand his turn on watch.
                        That's sooooooooo cool, Ray! Knew you'd come up with something official LOL. Oh yeah, been meaning to tell you I love all those old pics you've been posting
                        September 11th - Never Forget

                        I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

                        Sheri
                        IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
                        Honorary Flatlander

                        RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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                        • #13
                          .
                          ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                          NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                          343
                          CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                          LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                          FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                          FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                          FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                          FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                          FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                          FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                          FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                          FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                          FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                          Charleston 9
                          "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
                          *******************CLICK HERE*****************

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ,
                            ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                            NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                            343
                            CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                            LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                            FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                            FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                            FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                            FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                            FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                            FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                            FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                            FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                            FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                            Charleston 9
                            "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
                            *******************CLICK HERE*****************

                            Comment

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