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

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  • #16
    BTW, the Rabbit Tool is very popular among police tactical teams for dynammic entry. Very fast and much quieter than the ram.


    • #17
      Well, Artie, I have in fact performed many of the tasks you asked about. I have chopped through a roof with an axe. Something else we try to do is improve the technique of using an axe. Many people will attempt to use the center of the blade to do the work. The job gets much easier if you use the top tip of the blade.
      We also run a drill called the chop and puke. Run 50 yards in full gear with a pack on and then chop on a telephone pole or large chunk of box elder for 2 minutes. People are really tired by the end and ready to toss their cookies, hence the name.
      Something I think we dont get enough training and practice on is forcible entry, Not too many training departments look to kindly on forcing the tower doors open. I am working on that though. Hope to be able to get a house scheduled for demolition and someone with a good bit of experience in FE and beat the hell out of the house for a few hours/days.
      Rabbit tool? TIC? Dont have 'em. As far as the hurst tools, guys hate my extrication drills because I end up shutting down the tools on them and making them do it the hard way! The plan C,D, and E kind of stuff.
      Shawn M. Cecula
      IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS


      • #18
        Loo, this topic is close to my heart for I've literally been there and done that. We have a lot of garden apartments with doors like hwoods describes in his post. Some quick background. Our company runs a split district from a suburban/industrial area to farmland. We have one engine set up to be first out in the developed area (carries a rabbit tool) and the other is set up to run the rural boxes (no rabbit tool). Murphy's law being what it is, we were dispatched for an apartment fire when the "city" was OOS for maintenance. Add the fact that the first due truck was out of district training so they had a delayed response. Bottom line, our engine crew was assigned truck work. We had to force a steel door in a steel frame without the rabbit tool. Took about 10 minutes of banging and prying with the irons and a size 12 boot (not mine) to get the door open. Some training on through the lock methods would have been helpful.
        Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
        Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

        These statements are mine and mine alone
        I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it


        • #19
          Sometimes when I read postings here I wonder how other departments could operate the way they do and I guess this is another example. My department tries hard to teach and use the “basics”.

          I’ve only been on the department 4 years and :

          If I’m venting a roof I have the vent saw, a set of irons and a pike pole, minimum. I can get a second saw (and even a third) in seconds. I use every tool available to open up the roof and get off, ASAP. Learned that in FF1 and by getting my butt kicked by my captain.

          I always do a primary search without a hose line. That’s what a truck company does (and no, it isn’t always fun). TICs are the last thing we use, not the first. Learned how to do that in FF1.

          I’ll admit that I’m not very efficient on forcible entry. We get very little practice. Learned most of the methods though in FF1 including opening commercial metal doors when the rabbit tool is DOA.

          I don’t do many extrications (we have a rescue company) but I help. First thing after stabilizing the vehicle is to lay out a tarp and start unloading the rescue truck until its empty or an officer says stop. We have air bags, chocks, two hydraulic tools, an air powered chisel, a recip saw (battery and AC), a jig saw plus all of the hand tools and of coarse several sets of irons. The extrication crew uses every tool available (sometimes, if there’s enough man power, all of the tools are in use) and I’ve seen them stabilize and extricate the victim in a flash. Learned all that from drills.

          I’m not often on fire attack but the few times I have been I think I did the job right.

          And so on……….

          I’m not bragging. I assumed that FF1 was the minimum requirement to be a firemen; it is in our department. Everything I have read here was in our FF1 course (including folding tarps that special way, which is kind of silly). A high percentage of our fire fighters are FF2.

          I thought every department ran like ours (or better). I’m starting to see just how spoiled I really am


          • #20
            Actually, you're not spoiled.........

            Whflhff, You do not sound like you're spoiled, good news is you have decent tools available and the training to use them (I think I smell a good measure of common sense also) Bad (for you) news is a limited chance to use the tools and training that you have. I have to ask about emptying all the tools from the Rescue onto a tarp, that just doesn't happen here. Yes we have a lot of very good tools, and yes, we use them a lot (see www.gdvfd18.com ) but a lot of things that are taught elsewhere just take too long for us. For instance, there is an extrication instructor that wants everyone to go around the car in circles inspecting everything. In the time it takes to do that, we've already taken the doors and roof off. We come off the Squad (Rescue) knowing who will use what tool to do what, and when to do it. We take tools off as we need them, and then try to put them back as quickly as possible, so no tools are laying around in the way. Packing up fast is important when your next call may be on the line in a few seconds. I absolutely will not knock anyone's system for doing something, just that someone else's system may not work for us (If it does work, we'll steal it) And, of course, we realize that our way of doing things might not work for someone else's situations. We are happy to share any ideas, tricks of the trade, experiences, with anyone. Visitors are always welcome too. We're about 10 miles Northeast of Washington DC, in P.G.County Md. 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.



            • #21

              We’re a volunteer company in a midsize town and although we too would like more members we don’t have any where near the recruitment/retention problem that I have read about here on the forum. Figure we can turn out 15 fire fighters for a call (for a real call, we have the same problem as everyone else getting people up at 0dark30 for an automatic). Any confirmed structure fire is an automatic mutual aid so we get another 15 or 20 plus RIT.
              Now I didn’t have anything to do with setting this up so I took for granted that everyone had plenty of man power, I sure am finding out different (the night club fire in Providence for example). No doubt, career departments are running rigs with fewer and fewer fire fighters too. I wonder if this is some of what E229Lt is noticing, reduced manpower almost always results in shortcuts. But that can’t be the whole answer either can it, some of the best fire companies are our city fire fighters and they are have personal shortages too.
              Anyway, my main point was that I still find it difficult to except that a fire company can operate any way but to their best. Laidsville just doesn’t seem possible.

              I’m not the best one to talk about our extrication procedures because as a truck company man I generally end up as a gofer but here’s a few comments:

              1). Of course you’re right, we don’t always have the luxury of hauling out every available tool and placing it on a tarp near the work. But, if we have the man power, we try to whenever possible.

              2). Doesn’t sound like we have the call volume that you have. It would be highly unlikely that we would have two extrications in the same week much less in the same day. In addition, the town has two other rescue trucks so we are usually covered (and of course there’s always mutual aid) so we don’t have the pressure you have to clean up and be ready for the next call.


              • #22
                Whats an Eng. officer doing with the rabbit anyway?
                Years ago, we would be ascending a 10-12 story stairwell and heard the distant banging of the truckies making entry. When the banging stopped we knew they were in and got on our horses to get to the fire floor.
                Now the sound is "squish, squish, squish, pop! and they're in. They're in way before the line is in place with three men and the once telegraphed sign of entry was known to all.

                I'm not knocking inovation, I don't stand in the way of progress. I just miss the days when the fires waved to you out the single pane windows and the lines were in place and charged just as the door came down.

                Okay, I'm an old fart (no asterisk used) but I feel like we lost something along the way over the past ten or twenty years.

                Someone smack me back into reality.


                • #23
                  Hand me that axe!

                  When we do extrication drills we try to get four cars, one for each shift, and try to get four door cars. Each of the four doors is then removed using four different techniques and tools from the Hurst to a Haligan. It keeps us relitively sharp at the different styles and tools.
                  "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith



                  • #24
                    Hey Loo, get the other FE guy to bang on the floor while the Rabbit tool is working.... might have the same effect.

                    I see what your saying LT and it is like many of the "tried and true" tactics and methods we use. Somewhere along the line they get forgotten. Not because we don't need them, but because we done use them often enough.

                    I seem to remember a post in a thread where (Officer shall remain nameless) stated he was at the door, waiting for the truck to force it with the rabbit tool. Seems there was a little delay, and the haligan carrying officer popped the door so fire attack could be made.
                    What does that say to me...size up. Just because you have the rabbit, is it always the best choice. Wood door in a wood frame is a fairly easy task for a haligan as well.

                    What about the boot tip to boot tip stance of the FE team. One with haligan, one with ax. Working in a smoke condition, driving the haligan in for a purchase. Anybody practice that anymore? Anyone ever done it for real if they have practiced it?

                    We just got new masks...the latest and greatest from Scott, with all these little lites in the facepiece. Now...I am not knocking em, but I can see the problems already. Guys will be looking at the air supply and trip or slip or fall. Either that or they'll be standing there trying to remember which color means what....

                    Tools and technology; interspersed with training, reality, and a good dose of common sense. That’s what we need and what works. Oh yeah and because I can't resist, just because we did it that way for 20 years...doesn't make it wrong! For the Anti-traditional guys, who feel that tradition is the boat anchor of the Fire Service..... Remember one thing. They were putting out fires long before we got here, and they'll be doing it long after we are gone. Some things need improving; others need to be left alone.



                    • #25
                      Originally posted by hfd66truck

                      What about the boot tip to boot tip stance of the FE team. One with haligan, one with ax. Working in a smoke condition, driving the haligan in for a purchase. Anybody practice that anymore? Anyone ever done it for real if they have practiced it?

                      Dave [/B]
                      Does anyone in house modify their haligan bars? We filed down one side of the fork end to make another striking surface. (do not use a grinder its alot faster but you loose the temper on the tool) In low visibility the axe ff places the axe on the bar and slides it on the bar into the flat part on the fork end. A little slower but it works, you also have to use on of the "real" haligans one peice forged, not the paratech junk you get from galls.


                      • #26
                        Most Truck companies I run with seem to have a dedicated person for the traditional "Irons." We actually have these straps that "mate" the Halligan and the Flat Head Axe. The Rabbit tool was a good invention for its time, but it is pretty cumbersome considering the tolls they have today. We carry a Rabbit Tool on the Truck Co., but each Engine has a "Hydra-Ram" which is a smaller, more compact version of the Rabbit. The Officer has the responsibility for carrying this tool.

                        Woods, it's hard to believe after all the Negative crap about our great county, that so much that is helpful to the Fire Service was developed by our own people.

                        Rabbit Tool
                        Clemens Hook
                        Junk Lights and countless other inventions..
                        Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

                        "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage


                        • #27
                          How true

                          Artie,I just posted to see if I could get a rise outta you.You are 100% correct that we've lost something(or things)in recent years.I have watched for some time now the recent graduates from the academy,and they are overconfident and underskilled.I like to be the one to go out on orientation night,to get in on the ground floor and tell the students that while this line of work is extremely rewarding it is not user friendly and can be hazardous to your well being.Against some of my modern counterparts I like to train as I was trained.Use your tools,particularly your mind,to best advantage and know which tool will do the best job in your assigned task.Be smart and NEVER let your guard down.T.C.


                          • #28
                            I am psyched hearing other guys preaching the same stuff I get on our younger guys about.
                            I feel the basics starts on the way to the call. I really frustrates me to see guys not putting on hoods during alarm drops, or not grabbing a tool on smoke smells.We have 1-5 fire calls a shift, we are hardly overworked, I tell these guys if nothing else,it's good practice. All anyone has to do is read about the accounts of the calls that didn't go as expected.
                            The way I see it, if you don't do those things on the "smells and bells" how are you ever going to remember when it meets you in the front yard????
                            In our state FFI is 36 hours, when I teach if they get nothing else out of the training, I hope that the guys and gals can put on their SCBA in their sleep and pull a line effectively, that is not to down play the other skills,but I feel this is where it starts.

                            Stay Safe


                            • #29
                              "The aerial is blocked out- how do I get to the roof"?

                              ...using an adjoining building is the best way...if not, use the rear fire escape, but watch for the obvious hazards of venting fire and broken rungs...

                              ...don't use the interior stairs!

                              Another important basic- the coordination of lateral ventilation between the vent man and the guys on the hose.

                              A firefighter can take no greater safety measure than to master the "basics". There is nothing else out there that will impact firefighter safety like the "basics" will...not gear, not high-tech equipment or anything else. But, this is what we focus on and this is why we die at the same rate we used to.

                              ...The Job Is Bigger Than All Of Us



                              • #30
                                In our state FFI is 36 hours

                                Actually, FF-I is 120 hours. To have the basic training for a volunteer, it is 36 hours (FF-IA). To get your FF-I, you have to take the IB class, which is another 84 hours after your initial 36.

                                See the OH training requirements in the Ohio forums
                                The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                                We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........


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