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Thread: Tools of Choice

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    Default Tools of Choice

    Our depatment doesn't have tool assignments for riding postions for truck or engine operations. How does it work at your departments. Also, what are your tools of choice, and why?

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    Same with our department unfortunately. As for tool of choice, When I get off the rig for an alarm activation/structure fire etc, I stick a pickhead axe in my belt, grab the can, and most of the time I grab the irons too. Ive started carrying the axe all the time because I'm beginning to set up a bailout kit where the axe acts as the anchor. I dont have the kit altogether yet, but it sure wont hurt to have an axe/get into the habit of grabbing an axe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower121 View Post
    Our depatment doesn't have tool assignments for riding postions for truck or engine operations. How does it work at your departments. Also, what are your tools of choice, and why?
    Our tools are assigned to the seating position based on the seats assignment. This means if you are riding in a seat, it has pre-assigned duties depending on the call. We break this into investigations, fires and rescue calls. This way we field a range of tools and capabilities and we can be more efficient knowing the right tools are assigned to the member based on his/her job.

    For Example:
    If you ride in the rear seat behind the driver on our Tower, you carry the hook, halligan and a can and team up with the driver (OVM, ladders, rescue)

    If you ride behind the Officer in the First Due Engine, your the nozzleman on fires and carry the hook and can on investigations teamed with the officer and are responsible the stabilization tools/equipment on MVA's.

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    We do not have assigned seat in the trucks. who ever gets there first grabs the truck needed first and waits for a crew, when both trucks are enroute everyone else goes POV. But everyone pretty much knows what everyone else will do on scene. Anything structure related i put on a pack and carry an axe and a haligan. No one else around here really likes to go into structures so i make one of them put on gear and follow me in. When we mutual aid with other departments im either in the structure or on the RIT team, either way i get my tools. Everyone else gets assigned tasks by incident command and goes to work.

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    We're a larger city department and are in the process of switching to tool assignments (this month actually). Speaking for the ladder companies, things will go like this;

    "Officer" = Hook, TIC
    "Irons" = Irons, Hook (rabbit tool if needed)

    "Driver" = Hook, saw if needed
    "O.V." = Hook and Halligan

    Single family fires; Officer and Irons will go interior for entry, search, opening up and interior utilities. The driver and O.V. will vent, throw ladders, hit utilities.

    Multi families; Officer and Irons same as above, Driver and O.V. might go to floor above to search, or for a top floor fire go to the roof to open up.

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    No assignments here. We do discuss it in the back on the way to the call to decide who will take what. If I'm the officer and want to make sure something special gets taken, I just tell whoever is in back to grab that tool. As for myself, I keep it simple if I'm in the back and grab the irons.

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    Yeah I'm a dumbass.... But what is a iron?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Itshotinhere View Post
    Yeah I'm a dumbass.... But what is a iron?
    That thing your wife uses to make your shirts flat! Sorry couldn't resist. The "Irons" is the carrying combination of a halligan and a flat head axe (sometimes a sledgehammer). In our FD, neither of these tools are carried alone. Either you have the "Irons" or a hook and a halligan.

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    If I was coming off the truck with only two hand tools (not including a TIC) I would grab a roof hook and a TNT tool.
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    I am the can man. This means I carry my pickhead axe stuffed in my gut belt, the 6 foot Haligan Hook, and the 2 1/2 gallon pressurized water extinguisher.

    The Captain carrys the irons, the TIC and the search rope.

    If we are lucky enough to have a fourth guy he carries the irons instead of the Captain.

    I am on a quint and if we are the attack team I only have my axe and the hoseline.
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    With us it all depends on staffing, and what truck your coming in on. If I'm on the first in Engine with just an officer, I grab the can and the irons. While the officer grabs the TIC. If we have the fourth guy, the guy on the drivers side grabs the can since he's closest.

    When it comes to second and third due rigs, its really up to the individual. I always grab a Halligan coming off either the second or third due rigs. If I come in on the Ladder I grab a closet hook, or the K12 if I'm heading to the roof, and I'll stick an axe in my belt. I try to be prepared for as many situations as I can be without over loading myself with tools and equipment.

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    Like most engines ours have 2 sets of irons and 2 6 foot pike poles inside the cab. On the back of the cab, we have mounted pick-axes. The rest of the tools are in compartments elsewhere, with more specialized stuff on the Rescue, which runs on smoke/fire showing or when an incident is marked working.

    Officer deals out assignments en route to the call based upon size-up and task. Generally, we'll take the irons for searching and interior work and might add a sledge hammer for forcible entry or if we believe we'll have difficulty moving through the building (locked doors, etc.).

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    I'm an Engine Co. guy. Most often my automatic reflex is to pick a maul. Isn't much that stands up to a maul, and it has a cutting edge. If we are assigned fire attack, I'll slide it into my SCBA's belt. Of course, assigned another specific task the tool will fit the task (pike pole, irons, hook...)

    I'll either grab the TIC and hang it from my SCBA's clip, or hand it to my officer.

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    We only have the irons specified for the forcible entry seat. Other then that, it's dealer's choice!

    Edit:
    My comment was about our engines. Just realized that you were asking about truck companies. Our ladder may not get on scene until after the second or third due engine. So frequently the engine companies are doing forcible entry and ventilation.
    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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    We have no tool assignments. We have no true seating assignments, but if you've got three or four guys on the apparatus, it's not hard to figure out who's doing what.

    I take my Talon Hook and a flathead. I can get most everything done with that. I can force most doors, vent, take utilities, and then overhaul later on. If a 6-foot long ProBar wouldn't wear me out, I'd carry that instead. It'd just be too darned heavy.

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    tasks are designated by riding position. Obviously task designates what tools will be taken, but we never "assign tools". If someone can get their tasks done with tools different than I would take or the norm, who am I to judge?

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    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    We have no tool assignments. We have no true seating assignments, but if you've got three or four guys on the apparatus, it's not hard to figure out who's doing what.

    I take my Talon Hook and a flathead. I can get most everything done with that. I can force most doors, vent, take utilities, and then overhaul later on. If a 6-foot long ProBar wouldn't wear me out, I'd carry that instead. It'd just be too darned heavy.
    How about a 3.5' Pro-Bar?
    http://firehooksunlimited.net/probars.html

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    Yes genius, I think you are. The quote was made that a "6' Pro-Bar would be too darn heavy". A comical reply was made by myself, instead of 6' how about a 3.5' Pro-bar?

    Typically, when you reply to a quote made by someone, you're replying to the person who made the quote. This was the case here....not trying to be a smartass though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    It is a halligan. Not trying to be a smartass, but what about it?

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    He was asking, "what about a 3.5' Halligan instead of a 6' one", like mentioned in my post.

    It wouldn't work for me, though, because I need the length to use it like a hook. Which is why I have a 6' Talon Hook.

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    At the dpet. I was with we had pre-assigned tasks with the seat we were assigned to for that shift. My preferred tools if not assigned them already are the irons. I prefer truck ops, I like the search part of the fire more than the suppression, guess I'm weird like that.

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    In our rural volunteer dept, no seats are assigned a specific tool or task. Each truck officer assigns tools/tasks to each rider en route or on scene.

    I do two questions though. How many of you guys have either water cans or extinguishers on your trucks? We have neither, but are looking into changing this. Also, do you regularly take a can/extinguisher off the truck with you, to be used as a tool?

    Typically for us, if there are flames at an incident, we break out a hose (either 1.75" or 2.5"). But, I can definitely see the case where just a can/extinguisher would do the trick instead of the hose.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    ~Skojo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skojo View Post
    In our rural volunteer dept, no seats are assigned a specific tool or task. Each truck officer assigns tools/tasks to each rider en route or on scene.

    I do two questions though. How many of you guys have either water cans or extinguishers on your trucks? We have neither, but are looking into changing this. Also, do you regularly take a can/extinguisher off the truck with you, to be used as a tool?

    Typically for us, if there are flames at an incident, we break out a hose (either 1.75" or 2.5"). But, I can definitely see the case where just a can/extinguisher would do the trick instead of the hose.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    ~Skojo
    Each of our apparatus carries at least one 2.5 gal. PW, a dry chemical extinguisher and a CO2 type. Unless a line is pulled initially at least one firefighter on every run carries the can (PW) or another extinguisher (electrical odors, FOTS) depending on the information given. The position of "can man" is assigned on every tour and takes an extinguisher and a 6 foot hook.

    In the course of a year we will use an extinguisher on more runs than hoselines. Between wastepaper baskets, stove fires, electrical issues, small debris fires, etc., there are many times when a hose stream is not the best extinguishing tool.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 06-11-2010 at 04:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skojo View Post
    In our rural volunteer dept, no seats are assigned a specific tool or task. Each truck officer assigns tools/tasks to each rider en route or on scene.

    I do two questions though. How many of you guys have either water cans or extinguishers on your trucks? We have neither, but are looking into changing this. Also, do you regularly take a can/extinguisher off the truck with you, to be used as a tool?

    Typically for us, if there are flames at an incident, we break out a hose (either 1.75" or 2.5"). But, I can definitely see the case where just a can/extinguisher would do the trick instead of the hose.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    ~Skojo
    Our engines, and trucks, carried 1 pressurized water ext., 1 press. water w/ foam for class B, one dry chem ext., and a CO ext. Usually we would pull a water can (press. water ext.) for small fires such as waste baskets, small back yard (illegal) trash fires, dryers, etc. Actual fire with any kind of extention, we pulled a line.

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    The officer grabs the small crowbar and the firefighter grabs the really big crowbar.

    Seriously, we don't have tool assignments. It's situational as each company does not have pre-assigned tasks due to manpower levels, response time and differing experience/training levels.

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