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The Rabbit Tool Broke...Now What????

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  • The Rabbit Tool Broke...Now What????

    Okay Truckies, how many of you have forced a steel door with the axe and irons, opened the roof with an axe, popped a car door without the "Hurst" tool?

    I love all these new tools but when they break down, many people are left scratching their heads. Do you drill on the basic hand tools and are you proficient in their use? Did you know the Halligan hook was designed to pry roof boards? Why does the pike axe have that pointy thing on it? The TIC batteries are dead...is the fire spreading? The aerial is blocked out, how do I get to the roof?

    Just wondering if the "BASICS" are really dying a quick death.

  • #2
    Re: The Rabbit Tool Broke...Now What????

    Originally posted by E229Lt
    Just wondering if the "BASICS" are really dying a quick death.
    What are basics?

    I think the fire service needs alot more "back to basics" training. Yes, we have better tools now. Yes, we train with these better tools. However, people tend to not train with the older hand tools and other "basics" because it is easier to use the newer equipment.
    IACOJ Agitator
    Fightin' Da Man Since '78!


    • #3
      Hey Lt.

      Last night we took our probies through their ladder drills for their Basic course coming up.

      Yes we use WOODEN 35 foot ladders on our trucks, with the full set of drills for raising and lowering. We still teach leg locks on the ladders.

      Last fire we went to the roofing was removed with an axe and crowbar, them saw thingys you guys use sound awfully techminical to us.

      How many of you have practiced crossing a large distance using a 35 foot ladder, say a 20 foot river? try it some time, you never know when it may be handy.

      Are any of you taught to kick your heels up when walking backwards lowering the ladder etc to prevent yourself falling over hoses or other obstructions?
      Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
      Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.


      • #4
        I feel your pain, we had a fire a few months ago where a commercial solid wood door in a metal jam took 15 minutes to force. Sure their was low visability and they couldn't use the rabbit tool because it open outward. but this is firemanship 101.

        While haz mat, technical rescue, EMS, Water, WMD, pub ed, etc. are important we are the only ones who are called when something is on fire. We have to be able to act in a rapid professional manner. Last year we had some aquired structures so for drill one day we took the axe to the roof. After the roof was opened one of the guys comented that it was hard work. No S***.

        I feel that it is a disease spreading through the FS we are loosing the basics, and our traditions.


        • #5
          What is a Rabbit Tool?

          I.A.C.O.J. Probie

          You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

          Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01


          • #6

            The Chinese version is called a "Wok"

            as in:

            "Pick up the Wok and thwow it at the Wabbit"
            Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
            Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.


            • #7
              Dont forget rule #1 of making entry:

              TRY BEFORE YOU PRY!

              It doesn't get more basic than that!

              I agree that "the basics" are being shorted at the expense of our other missions. And they absolutely cannot be taught with a book or videotape - you gotta go out and break stuff.

              a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for


              • #8
                Hey Luft,Gets me to a basic question.Whats an Eng. officer doing with the rabbit anyway?I thought that was a Truckies job(G)!T.C.


                • #9
                  What is "basic"???

                  Excellent question Loo,

                  I think the focus on the basics is critical to saving more lives, civilian and firefighter alike. One problem I have found though is the term "basic" doesn't really always mean "basic".

                  To many FD's out there basic means what does the IFSTA manuals say? What are 4 different ways to roll a hose? What are three proper folds for a salvage cover? Or what is the proper way to hoist a hose using a rope? I say who gives a s#@*! Roll the hose the way you would find it on your Engine. Fold the salvage cover the one way you would find it on the Truck, and hoist the hose so it is done quickly and can easily be undone, even at 0330hrs!

                  There are a select few that focus on what should really be basic skills...forcible entry (the old fasioned way like the Lt. mentioned) searching without a hoseline, VES, proper nozzle and hose selection for Highrise ops. Proper stretching and flaking of hose in a stairwell. Proper use of the fire stream during attack. Proper ventialtion, etc.

                  I've seen the "basics" even vary signifigantly within the same dept. I know some Pump operators who thought smoothbore nozzles had higher reaction forces than fog nozzles. I know depts that don't want their members to remove tools from the rigs until they get inside and see what they need!!!(a fireman without tools is nothing more than an educated observer) I know a guy who tried to hook up to test connection of a standpipe system (instead of the siamese) at a high-rise job. (He used double female adapters)
                  Was this the fault of the firefighters...some sure but also the Training Divisions of these depts. should shoulder most of the blame for not adequately preparing thier members to deal with their assigned positions.

                  Some Chief's refuse to take the steps toward teaching advanced classes on VES and Standpipe ops...rather they print off tired old check sheet drills that focus on the VERY VERY basic skills we all should have mastered in the first two weeks of academy!(Perhaps they can't teach what they never learned themselves?!?!?)

                  What is often basic in one dept is advanced (often refered to as dangerous, foolish, etc...) by other FD's.

                  I attended FDIC a few years back and from what I saw...many of the skills and techniques taught were excellent, many were well established as sound firefighting practices and principles, These skills were well understood by the depts the instructors represented. All of these operations are historicly proven effective...however many of the firefighters in attendance had never heard of many of the skills. Many also thought that many of the techniques wouldn't be accepted well in thier home Dept. Some questioned the need for VES. Others wouldn't even imagine searching without a hoseline. And as also we have seen on these forums, many choose to ignore history and continue to use 1 3/4 hose with fog tips in High-Rise ops.

                  My thoughts are that the people that advocate the back-to-basics approach should ensure that what they define as basic is acurately conveyed.

                  Stay safe brothers.


                  • #10
                    I've been doing this long enough to remember doing vehicle extrications with come-alongs, air chisels and porta-powers. It took exponentially longer to do the job. However, it probably isn't a bad idea to drag these tools out every once in awhile and blow the dust off. You may be in a situation where you are presented with no alternative but to use them.


                    • #11
                      posted by Rescue101: Hey Luft,Gets me to a basic question.Whats an Eng. officer doing with the rabbit anyway?I thought that was a Truckies job
                      How do you think it got broke?!
                      Steve Gallagher
                      IACOJ BOT
                      "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes


                      • #12
                        vehicle extrications with come-alongs, air chisels and porta-powers
                        George, come on down to my classes! Nights 1 and 2 are done exactly this way. No better way to learn than to actually work at it. Save the hydraulics for later. They always think I'm crazy...then one day the power unit fails...

                        We used to let FF1 class teach the basics, then we would add on to those skills. However, I am seeing now that FF1 does not even go that basic. It's interesting to take a crew in to a smokehouse, then take away the TIC and see if they can find their way out. Basic's rule!
                        "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?


                        • #13
                          Passing the crust.

                          opened the roof with an axe,
                          Yes I have in a drill, it was barbaric! 4'x4' is alot bigger than it sounds. Next drill im reaching for that vent saw.

                          As a explorer I am drilled in the basics alot. Our adviseors honestly enjoy setting up these drills and teaching us because they get the benifet of going over the basics again and have to demonstrate it and look for problems in our technique therefore they see our common(sometimes very strange ) mistakes and refine there own personal technique.

                          ENG229 shouldnt you be running the "Mutha of all Engines" instead of dealing with dem wascally wabbits. JK
                          Last edited by dfdex1; 06-11-2003, 01:22 AM.


                          • #14
                            Well, A Rabbit was Invented by Lt. Hare.....

                            Lt. Jimmy Hare, PGFD (Ret) Invented the Rabbit tool as a vent for his frustration over breaking (or not being able to use) small Porto Power Jaws to open doors. P.G.County then was building lots of "Garden" Apartments and the entry door to each unit was steel clad wood set in steel frames. When a deadbolt lock was added, that became a forcible entry nightmare for most people with the usual hand tools. Everyone out there was trying different things for forcible entry, modifying existing tools, or scratching up home made "new ideas". My brother, Lt. Ray Woods PGFD (Ret) and Capt. Bob Ridgeway (now the Fire Chief in Gastonia, NC) were among those who tried a whole load of stuff, some practical, some not,( I don't know where to classify the Glenn Dale Sledgehammer, the damned thing weighed 22 Lbs or the Woods tool, a 6 foot halligan bar) But Jimmy Hare's "Rabbit tool" was the best thing out there in those days. Someone asked what it is, so here's my version: A hydraulic hand pump hooked to a small spreader tool. It works liked a Porto Power or a hand pumped hurst tool. But it's still on top of the list for most Truckies. Stay Safe....
                            Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                            In memory of
                            Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                            Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                            IACOJ Budget Analyst

                            I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



                            • #15

                              Very interesting hwoods.


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