Sometimes, moving around with hydraulic rescue tool components can be a task. Taking the generator, "Jaws," cutters and rams over any length of terrain can be burdensome. So two of the members of FDNY Squad 252 came up with an idea to make this task a little easier. The result: The "Meesos cart," a name that combines the last names of its inventors.
Firefighters Tom Meehan and Greg Patsos came up with the idea of modifying a hand truck and turning it in to an "ATV" for the rescue tool unit. They formulated a plan, took measurements, and off we went to a steel-and-iron supplier. Patsos gave the people there the specifications of what he needed to create the cart. When we returned after drill, they had what he requested.
Back at quarters, the two firefighters started on the project while other members offered their support as needed. They took the metals and started to cut and grind and modify until it took the shape they wanted. They then started on the existing cart, again cutting, grinding and drilling to get it to the size they required so it could fit in to the apparatus compartment.
After an entire day of work, the end result was a cart that can carry most of the tools necessary in one neat, mobile package. It takes two members to remove it from or replace it on the apparatus, but once it hits the ground it is a one-person operation to put it into position for operations.
We recently had a rainy night when we did a couple of pin jobs. The ease of moving the cart with the equipment around and over obstacles was apparent. We were able to maneuver into position for operations quickly and effortlessly, putting us in a prime position to put all of the tools to work right away, extricating the victims quickly and with as little discomfort as possible.
One big "atta boy" to Firefighters Patsos and Meehan for being forward thinking and coming up with yet another innovation to make the job a little more efficient.
TONY TRICARICO is a 29-year veteran of the fire service, 25 with the FDNY, and currently the captain of the Special Operations Unit, Squad Company 252 in Brooklyn. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.