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  1. #41
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    I would say no never drop you tools. you might need it to get out. Also just because the evacuation signal has sounded does not mean you drop everything and run around like a chicken with your head cut off. if anything when the evac tones sound you need to think and use your head even more. Time to leave yes. however think of what you are doing. Are you on a hoseline protecting the stairs with guys searching above the fire. Are you attcking the fire with guys searching past the fire room.


  2. #42
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    Im going to say no. I have been to quite a few of these "trainings." It ends up being someone looking in the book as much as the students. Then, they put their spin on it, which always ends up being wrong or just plain stupid.

    The wildland thing makes sense because you won't need them for egress.
    Well, actually.. You do need your tool to create a deployment area for your shelter. But if it's slowing you down, drop it.

    However, too often they find guys within a few feet of a chainsaw.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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  3. #43
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    I have come back to this topic several times and started to post another response and each time thought better about it. But now I am ready to say what I have to say, so here goes.

    1) I think this instructor/Lieutenant acted incredibly unprofessional. I believe he chose anger over being questioned or challenged versus an opportunity to explain why he believed dropping the tools was the right choice.

    2) There were 2 tacts the firefighter could have taken one of compliance. Yes sir, I will drop my tools because you say so. (whether, you plan to actually comply or not.) Or the other of questioning why and without a good solid explanation, defiance of that order.

    Frankly, if I couldn't get a valid explanation for his viewpoint I would ignore his order and keep my tools with me. Insubordination? Perhaps. But just because someone is an officer doesn't mean they know a damn thing other than how to get to be an officer. The anger at being questioned seems to indicate that the officer has no solid reasoning for his point of view.
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  4. #44
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    Fyred: I agree completely, especially since the officer or person in question was an instructor. Any decent instructor would have said drop the tools because....insert reasoning here.

    Good instructors welcome discussion in the classroom or in an after drill critique. You can learn more from those discussions than from the drill or training evolution itself.

    It doesn't appear the the original poster has come back. I would be interested to see if the OP ever got a reason.

  5. #45
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Yep. We punch a hole in the wall with the handle of the axe, slide our bail out rope over the handle and then slide the axe handle into the hole and wedge it between the inside wall and the sheathing. I would have never believed that would hold if I hadn't seen it for myself.
    Do you have a picture of this? I'm having a hard time visualizing it.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Do you have a picture of this? I'm having a hard time visualizing it.
    Try picturing the studs and the axe making an H-shape. The studs being the I I parts and the axe being the - part.

    Unless Fyred is talking about a different way.
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  7. #47
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Do you have a picture of this? I'm having a hard time visualizing it.
    This YouTube video explains it and shows the technique.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZoXFsqk_uM

    By the way, NO, that is not me.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 12-25-2009 at 11:57 AM.
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    This YouTube video explains it and shows the technique.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZoXFsqk_uM

    By the way, NO, that is not me.
    Great video. Thanks for the link.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cb1221 View Post
    During a training exercise my partner and I where doing a primary search in a multi room burn building. We where located in a back room at the charley / delta side, at which time the emergency evacuation signal sounded. Both my partner and I began immediate evacuation, just 10 feet in front of us was a Lt., acting as operations. He saw we had a set of irons, he yelled out to us “Don’t worry about those **** tools, drop them and get the *&@ out of here!” I informed him I wasn’t doing that, I looked at my partner and told him not to drop his tool. We continued out of the building. During our critiquing he brought this up with anger, he didn’t understand why we where so concerned about these tools valued at less then $500.00? Your thoughts?...
    I'd have to say you did the right thing, i mean what if the closest exit is a window and you just dropped your tool..... I'm still a probie on my department but IMO my tool is my best friend and my second life line....

    At the same time saying this I realized that if you were using a halagen bar or axe which is heavier u might want to leave it, i always go in with a 5-6'closet hook as my tool, light weight, highly versitile and and extended reach in searches too IMO THE BEST tool ever.
    Last edited by FireEMT712; 01-05-2010 at 05:00 PM.

  10. #50
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    not to pick on you, but if you are dropping a halligan or axe because it is "heavy" you may have picked the wrong profession.

    I could see if I have a hook and an axe, I might just ditch the hook. I've never seen a 6ft closet hook, thats just a plain old hook. A closet hook is only 3ft, about the length of an axe.
    Last edited by nameless; 01-05-2010 at 11:17 PM.

  11. #51
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    i always go in with a 5-6'closet hook as my tool, light weight, highly versitile and and extended reach in searches too IMO THE BEST tool ever.
    hmmmmm. Let me think for a minute about this.

    Nope... I'm not going to pick on you either.

    I'm just going to say that in about 30 years of interior work I can't recall ever using a hook for my tool of choice. I used them, but it was after we had stabilized the situation and began the ferret work; you know the drill, pull the ceilings, tiles, etc...

    I do want to ask a question of you however. If you have a hook, can you break through brick or concrete block? And if so, how long does it take?

    I personally like the irons.

    Like I said, I won't pick on you because it is your preference and it may actually be useful in some situations. I just hope you can kick like a mule if you find yourself in close quarters with the demon.
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireEMT712 View Post

    At the same time saying this I realized that if you were using a halagen bar or axe which is heavier u might want to leave it, i always go in with a 5-6'closet hook as my tool, light weight, highly versitile and and extended reach in searches too IMO THE BEST tool ever.

    I have to go with nameless here. If a haligan or axe it too heavy, maybe there is an issue.

    I won't argue that the 6' hook isn't a good tool, good for pulling ceilings ect. For initial entry and search and rescue though, I prefer something a little shorter. To me, a 6' hook for searching gets caught up in furniture, corners, closets, ect.

  13. #53
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    My personal choice would be the irons as well. Like you guys said, the 6' hook is good for overhaul type work later on but I would rather have the irons in my hands when poop hits the fan. And, I would be taking them with me too. Like it has been said on here, they will be of more benefit to have them helping you to get out than it would to drop them. My .02.

  14. #54
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    How much harder is it to get out together with the irons vs without? I think the difference is minimal. There is no point in wasting tools just because...[insert words here here] + as already mentioned several times, they might just come in handy.

    The principle itself is good, lifes are worth more than the tools and I wouldn't let the tools prevent me from getting out.

  15. #55
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    Maybe it is just me, but being inside a fire building without a tool seems unatural to me.

    I would rather be inside a burning building without my helmet than to be inside without a tool in my hand.

    I think much of this comes from the culture of ones department. If you are in a department that doesnt have tool assignments, then it probably seems more natural to be without.

    That being said, it would be hard to justify the position of forcing someone to abandon a tool they already have in an effort to evacuate a building.

    I defy anyone to make a solid case for the position the Lt. took in the original post.

    Orders being reinforced only by anger are generally without real merit.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    I think much of this comes from the culture of ones department. If you are in a department that doesnt have tool assignments, then it probably seems more natural to be without.

    I think thats an ignorant statement. Just because you don't have a tool assignment doesn't mean you go walking about without a tool. We don't assign tools. We assign tasks and the firefighter takes the tools they feel they need to complete the task.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I think thats an ignorant statement. Just because you don't have a tool assignment doesn't mean you go walking about without a tool. We don't assign tools. We assign tasks and the firefighter takes the tools they feel they need to complete the task.
    The statement is not ignorant.

    The fact that departments allow members to operate inside of buildings without tools IS what is ignorant.

    If your department doesnt have tool assignments and you still manage to have your people be equipped then job well done. I would say that your department is an exception rather than the rule.

    But you have been on these forums long enough to read about what goes on in many places.

    Pointing out the sad truth doesnt make it ignorant.

  18. #58
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    Lumping fire depts. that don't assign tools into the same category as ones who allow members to operate without tools is ignorant. Just because we don't spoon feed firefighters what tool to grab doesn't make having a tool optional.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Lumping fire depts. that don't assign tools into the same category as ones who allow members to operate without tools is ignorant. Just because we don't spoon feed firefighters what tool to grab doesn't make having a tool optional.
    I didnt lump anyone together. I merely stated that the culture of many departments allows for members to often times operate inside of buildings without tools. Having a tool assignment can help to eliminate that problem. I never stated that departments that don't have tool assignments are not equipped. But in my experience, when a tool isnt specifially assigned, it is often times not carried. Not always....just often.

    If your department has managed to overcome that obstacle, then good for you and your members.

    But are you honestly trying to say that in your experience in dealing with people from various departments that members being properly equipped at all times in a fire building is the rule?

    Would be be acceptable for the members in your department to all grab just an axe on the way into the same fire? What happens when you need a hallligan or a hook and nobody decided to make that their choice?

    Does having a specific tool assignment related to your specific duties imply being spoon fed? I dont believe it does.

  20. #60
    Forum Member TruckSixFF's Avatar
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    I agree 100% with you Jakes. My dept runs 9 truck companies out of 23 firehouses. We now run four members to a truck. We have tool assignments depending on where you sit on the rig. The officer (Lt. or Capt.) carries the camera, portable radio, and a halligan (some prefer to also carry a flathead, sledge, or maul). The engineerís job is to get the crew safely to the call. The Driver is assigned to Outside vent, so he will either be doing horizontal/vertical ventilation. He is assigned to carry a portable radio, saw (either a K-12 or Vent-Master chainsaw), pick head axe, and a 6 ft. hook. The firefighter who sits behind the engineer is carries a portable radio, the irons, and the rabbit tool for commercial buildings. The firefighter behind the officer is the can man, who carries a 6ft. hook, and a 2.5 PW can. If we are coming in 2nd or 3rd due truck, the can man goes to the roof. If we allowed guys to grab what ever they wanted no one would ever grab the can, which has be extremely useful on many fires. I also believe in taking two tools, not just one. If you have two hands take two tools, itís that simple. There is smaller dept near us who we run mutual aid to every so often, their SOPs say itís up the officerís discretion on what tools to take. I have been on some of their fires where their truck crew of three guys has 2 tools between them. Just plain stupidity if you ask me! On the wall at each firehouse we have a white erase board where we right down the names of the crew for each assignment on the truck, engine, and battalion chief. All 22 other houses have it set up the same way. For the house with the squad and hazmat unit their positions go on the board also, same goes for the ALS ambulances, which staff 2 FF/medics who are assigned to interior ops on fires. Even the ambulance crews has assigned tools on what to take in on fires.
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