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Fireground Tricks of the Trade.....

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  • MemphisE34a
    replied
    Who needs a stinkin "lil" ladder??

    If you need in the attic and either can't or don't want to wait on the truck guy with the attic ladder and there is no interior pull down stairs or they are damaged, pull the ceiling in the hall. Proceed to the end of the hall. Kick about half of your steel toed boot (toe first) through the sheet rock. Use the narrow space in the hall to stabilize yourself left to right with your arms and step up. Kick through the sheetrock again with the other foot up a little higher from the first, and keep repeating until you are at the ceiling joists and can lift yourself through.

    With a little practice, you can do it with 3 steps in about 5-10 seconds. No one will be able to beat you to the attic!

    Leave a comment:


  • Halligan84
    replied
    For wrecks we carry a canvas bag with everything for glass management, (saw, can opener, punches, adhesive spray) battery cable cutters and pullers, some small prying tools, seat belt cutters and a large towel to quickly shield a victim. The first guy to the car uses that to take care of initial access and inside work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Halligan84
    replied
    We're spending alot of time on getting a hood open! Some Texas departments just cut the hood off with the K-12, in our case we carry some small porto power spreaders on the engines and just pop the hood.

    Leave a comment:


  • doughesson
    replied
    I always grab the longest halligan on the engine to open up a hood,then go to the engineer's compartment if I don't already have a crescent wrench and wire cutters to disable the battery.Then I head over to the wreck and start sizing up and opening the hood to see which tool would be best.
    Not every job calls for cutting the cables but when you do,it's nice to have it and not need to go back and waste time in the process.

    Originally posted by FFTrainer
    Actually that's possibly a tie!! I am by no means anti-pickhead axe, but I use the halligan for hood access with no problems because it gives me options with one tool. I can put the point through the sheet metal and fold it back or I can use the forks through the grill to grab the cable and twist so technically I win because I can do 2 different things with my halligan (of course as a PH Axe lover you may have some more tricks than I am thinking of so let's have 'em.

    Leave a comment:


  • Resq14
    replied
    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    Carry a disposable flashlight, like the Garrity LifeLight in your turnouts, as handlights also go dead at the worst possible moment!
    2 is 1, and 1 is none.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptainGonzo
    replied
    For additional leverage in forcing doors....

    Take two halligans, put the forked ends together. The increased length of the mated tools gives you more prying power! To release the tools, just drop them onto the floor or ground.

    If you can, carry a spare battery for your portable radio and thermal imagers. Batteries go dead at the worst possible moment....

    Carry a disposable flashlight, like the Garrity LifeLight in your turnouts, as handlights also go dead at the worst possible moment!

    Leave a comment:


  • Squad1LT
    replied
    ChicagoFF,
    "As for the guy that makes peaked roofs with the roof saw - I'd like to watch that!"

    We use a vent saw on peak roofs all the time here. A benefit to having a pick head on the roof is a pick head will always start, plus you can drive the pick into the roof for a support to put your foot while using your saw to cut a roof open.

    I have two quick halligan tricks that havent been mentioned.
    For inward swining doors set in woodframing if you are by yourself you can force the foor using the baseball swing. Swing and drive the pick into the door frame and then push down on the bar and that should force the door.

    Also if you are forcing a door with the irons in zero visibilty you can turn your axe or sledge head sideways in order to give yourself more surface area to hit the halligan with.

    Leave a comment:


  • CAPPYY
    replied
    Maybe we should weld a pickhead axe head onto a halligan.

    Seriously though...when on a porch roof and ordered to take the windows of the second floor, always take the window fartherest from the ladder and work your way back to the ladder. If she blows out a window, you wont be cut off from your ladder.

    God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChicagoFF
    replied
    Originally posted by NDeMarse
    Hardwood floors are easy enough. Pike through the floor then pry backwards on the adz (it is it's own fulcrum) to rip up a board. Move to a joist and slide the pike under the floor and pull towards the adz using the joist as a fulcrum. I have never really found a need to rip up a hardwood floor at a fire. The drills that I have attended in case it was needed, the halligan works great. I have used both tools though

    Chopping a windshild can be done with the short strokes using the forked end. I guess it would be faster to do with an axe, so you might have me here. Then again, we have to get the posts cut, so we might have some time to do it with the forks or go get the windshield saw or saw-zall.

    I don't cut peaked roofs, so I am not up there to use either tool. I have used a pick-axe on a peaked roof prior to my career here, and I prefer either a maul, sledge or the back of the flathead axe to bash though. A halligan can be used, use the corner of the tool between the adz and the pike end. Opens up a larger area, but it will be more work since it is lighter.

    I do think it is easier to punch out a trunk lock with a halligan. The shorter tool allows for better accuracy if you are doing a 1 man swing. If you are not doing a 1 man operation (usually there are plenty of FFs looking for work at autos) you have a strike surface on the other side of the point so it can be driven through the lock.

    I think it is also easier to peel a auto hood back. Drive the pike into the hood and pry backwards over the adz (just like on the wood floor) and it will open up a large corner of the hood.

    However, my choice for getting under the hood at an auto fire is to break out the front grill (obviously after the main body of fire is knocked down), find the hood release cord, put the wire between the forks and twist several times to the right. This will operate the hood release just like if you pulled it from the interior. Open the hood and chock it open. After that, I have heard differing opinions, but I've always used the fork end to pry the terminals off of the battery. I have never heard of anyone being zapped, but I suppose it could happen.

    I've been arguing pickhead vs halligan for awhile brother! Don't get me wrong, I love tradition. If I had to chose 1 tool to bring in to a burning building for versatility it would definately be a halligan tool over a pickhead.

    Don't mistake my dislike of the pick-head axe as a bash on your department or tools. You guys work great with pickheads and there are several members that really know the capabilities of the tool. This has stirred quite a bit of discussion on the different tasks that can be accomplished with both tools. Nice job!
    Wow, I was casually arguing a minor point in my initial response and now everyone is all over me! What the..... ? Ok, I'll try (half heartedly) to defend the axe. Number one, most important - you just look cooler carrying an axe. With that said........

    hardwood floors I would use a saw! I have never tried your method but it seems like it would be pretty tough getting a halligan through 3/4" tongue and groove flooring and the subflooring. Even with the longer, heavier axe it can be tough. At one job at an old commercial building I had to chop through 3/4" Maple flooring, subflooring, the original hardwood flooring, and another subfloor. I'm not quite sure how you manage that with a halligan. I'll have to find a vacant building and try it.

    I still think I win the windshield argument.

    I'm not a truckman so take this for what it's worth, but I still think the axe works the best on a peaked roof. Sure you could do it with a halligan, you could also do it with a butter knife if you had too, but that doesn't mean it's the right tool. As for the guy that makes peaked roofs with the roof saw - I'd like to watch that!

    Auto trunks - I just like the pick. I guess it's just what you are used to, but I've goten pretty god at hitting on the first or second swing.

    I answered the hood argument in the previous post, but I might have to give it to you because you can do the terminals and cable as well.


    And the winner is............

    PICKHEAD AXE
    Like I said, it just looks cooler

    As for me being offended at your dislike of the axe - never fear, I'm unoffendable (is that even a word?). The only thing that ticks me off is that I had to type so much in this half hearted defense!!! I'll have to think more before posting against you again! Hahaha

    Leave a comment:


  • ChicagoFF
    replied
    Originally posted by FFTrainer
    Actually that's possibly a tie!! I am by no means anti-pickhead axe, but I use the halligan for hood access with no problems because it gives me options with one tool. I can put the point through the sheet metal and fold it back or I can use the forks through the grill to grab the cable and twist so technically I win because I can do 2 different things with my halligan (of course as a PH Axe lover you may have some more tricks than I am thinking of so let's have 'em.
    I just put the blade in the seam of the hood and body, in between the windshield and the front, and then rotate the axe up. I personally think this is better than the halligan in the corner method because it gives you a better shot at the entire compartment and it is very fast and easy.

    Leave a comment:


  • NDeMarse
    replied
    Originally posted by nbfcfireman
    Dont agree with thing. dont car what you use but a sawsall, sawzall will put fine particulate glass into the air. Dont want to be breathing that. Personally I like a windshield hand saw.
    You are absolutely correct! You do have to watch the fine glass dust that is created. Good call brother. The windshield saw is a great tool as an alternative.

    Stay safe brothers!

    Leave a comment:


  • nbfcfireman
    replied
    Originally posted by nyckftbl
    ...a Sawzall for the windshield, as for the peaked roof debate...
    Dont agree with thing. dont car what you use but a sawsall, sawzall will put fine particulate glass into the air. Dont want to be breathing that. Personally I like a windshield hand saw.

    Leave a comment:


  • NDeMarse
    replied
    Originally posted by ChicagoFF
    Easier to open a hardwood floor with a halligan? Easier to chop out a windshield with a halligan? Easier to vent a peaked roof with a halligan?Easier to swing a halligan and punch out a trunk lock than a pick axe? Easier to open auto hoods for the pipe with a halligan? A real FF's tool? Yeah, no one associates pickhead axes with the fire department! Old school!
    Other than that, some good stuff!
    Hardwood floors are easy enough. Pike through the floor then pry backwards on the adz (it is it's own fulcrum) to rip up a board. Move to a joist and slide the pike under the floor and pull towards the adz using the joist as a fulcrum. I have never really found a need to rip up a hardwood floor at a fire. The drills that I have attended in case it was needed, the halligan works great. I have used both tools though

    Chopping a windshild can be done with the short strokes using the forked end. I guess it would be faster to do with an axe, so you might have me here. Then again, we have to get the posts cut, so we might have some time to do it with the forks or go get the windshield saw or saw-zall.

    I don't cut peaked roofs, so I am not up there to use either tool. I have used a pick-axe on a peaked roof prior to my career here, and I prefer either a maul, sledge or the back of the flathead axe to bash though. A halligan can be used, use the corner of the tool between the adz and the pike end. Opens up a larger area, but it will be more work since it is lighter.

    I do think it is easier to punch out a trunk lock with a halligan. The shorter tool allows for better accuracy if you are doing a 1 man swing. If you are not doing a 1 man operation (usually there are plenty of FFs looking for work at autos) you have a strike surface on the other side of the point so it can be driven through the lock.

    I think it is also easier to peel a auto hood back. Drive the pike into the hood and pry backwards over the adz (just like on the wood floor) and it will open up a large corner of the hood.

    However, my choice for getting under the hood at an auto fire is to break out the front grill (obviously after the main body of fire is knocked down), find the hood release cord, put the wire between the forks and twist several times to the right. This will operate the hood release just like if you pulled it from the interior. Open the hood and chock it open. After that, I have heard differing opinions, but I've always used the fork end to pry the terminals off of the battery. I have never heard of anyone being zapped, but I suppose it could happen.

    I've been arguing pickhead vs halligan for awhile brother! Don't get me wrong, I love tradition. If I had to chose 1 tool to bring in to a burning building for versatility it would definately be a halligan tool over a pickhead.

    Don't mistake my dislike of the pick-head axe as a bash on your department or tools. You guys work great with pickheads and there are several members that really know the capabilities of the tool. This has stirred quite a bit of discussion on the different tasks that can be accomplished with both tools. Nice job!

    Leave a comment:


  • FFTrainer
    replied
    Easier to open auto hoods for the pipe with a halligan?
    Actually that's possibly a tie!! I am by no means anti-pickhead axe, but I use the halligan for hood access with no problems because it gives me options with one tool. I can put the point through the sheet metal and fold it back or I can use the forks through the grill to grab the cable and twist so technically I win because I can do 2 different things with my halligan (of course as a PH Axe lover you may have some more tricks than I am thinking of so let's have 'em.

    Leave a comment:


  • nyckftbl
    replied
    wow we finally got some good threads going....

    As for the pick head axe/halligan debate.....
    Easier to open a hardwood floor with a halligan? Easier to chop out a windshield with a halligan? Easier to vent a peaked roof with a halligan?Easier to swing a halligan and punch out a trunk lock than a pick axe? Easier to open auto hoods for the pipe with a halligan? A real FF's tool? Yeah, no one associates pickhead axes with the fire department! Old school!
    I kinda find a saw easier for the hardwood floor....a Sawzall for the windshield, as for the peaked roof debate....Im not going there, cuz i bring a saw.....Yes, i do find the halligan MUCH easier to ues when opening a trunk lock or prying open the corner of a hood to use the nozzle. I cant imagine why a pickhead axe would be easier in either of these two situations. The point end of the halligan is just slightly smaller than the axe, and if your cant finesse your way through the lock, you already have your tool there to force open the entire trunk. Why work harder?

    Leave a comment:

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