Training: The (Hugh) Halligan Bar

The idea is to take the basics and train. The more we know about a tool-of-choice and understand it, the better it will serve us. Let's take a Halligan Bar which is a primitive non-powered firefighting tool and set it in front of us. In some ways, this act of training at the kitchen table or on the apparatus floor has been viewed like a scene out of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey when primates (no insinuation to firefighters) were shown cautiously touching the immanent black object from another planet.

For that matter, place this common tool in front of us and see just what we could make of this tool.

  • This tool was designed in 1945 by a New York City fire captain by the name of Hugh Halligan.

  • The bar of choice is 30-inches long, and weighs 9 pounds. It is made of steel alloy and has several "working ends".

  • The forked end is 6-inches long and 3-inches wide at its greatest span. The fork was designed to be slim with a slight curve to provide an effective prying position and leverage. The wider span at the end of the fork is to provide greater surface area for easier force to break in. The split in the fork is wide enough to break a padlock off of a hasp or many other security systems by using a "twist off method".

  • Just under the forked end, a welded link is added to allow a point for a spring hook to be attached with a "work line (rope)" for window ventilation.

  • The bar itself has been designed as an octagon. This not only provides for a better hand grip for the user, but stops some slipping and rolling when the bar is used to lift or support objects. The 30-inch length provides enough leverage in most cases, but at the same time allows the firefighter to operate in close hallways and doorways (especially with another tool such as a sledge hammer). In addition, the 30-inch length as opposed to the 36 to 40-inch bar is lighter.

  • Opposite of the forked end is the part of the tool named the adz. It is the flat curved part extending out at the a 90-degree angle. The adz is about 6