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  1. #1
    norr226 Guest

    Question what tools are a good thing to bring into a stuctre for search/ rescue

    hey i am a new fire fighter preparing to go into to structure fires soon as in like febuary and i want to know what is the best tool to make sure i broing in or anything extra that i should keep in my pockets

  2. #2
    Ed Shanks Guest


    The most important thing to bring is your common sense. That said, never get off the truck empty-handed. Grab your axe, halligan, pike pole, light, whatever you think will be useful on this particular job.

    There's been lots of discussion here and on other forums about what to bring in. Read them all, and decide what fits your department's plan of attack. Lots of people carry a short length of rope or webbing, and some carry a longer piece of rope. I have a radio pocket sewn onto the left bicep area of my turnout coat. This allows me to carry the radio where it won't interfere with the airpack straps, and where I can hear the darn thing.

    Ask the others on your department what they carry and why. Does what they do leave any gaps? Does everyone charge to the front door and stand there because nobody brought any forcible entry tools? Or is everyone prepared to deal with minor obstacles like locked doors or walls that need breached?

    IAFF 1176

  3. #3
    mfgentili Guest


    As Ed mentions in his list, a good working flashlight is a must. If I could only bring in one item, that would be my choice. I'll only add this one item to give everyone else a chance to respond. Come on guys I know there are tons of ideas out there.

    [This message has been edited by mfgentili (edited December 13, 1999).]

  4. #4
    Firebull Guest

    Thumbs up

    Good for U NORR226
    I've been doing search and rescue in structures for almost 4yrs. As for tools, I like to take an axe or 24" crow bar. I've only had to recover 3 victims. 2 alive,1 deceased. In one incident, an elder was pinned between a waterbed and the wall. I just happened to have the small pry bar. I punctured the water matress removing the bulk of the weight from the bed. Which the rush of water just happened to cool the trapped gent. I then used the bar to move the bed about a foot, enough to get the elder out. My partner and I then got him to another team on a ladder at the bedroom window.
    The axe always has a purpose as you probably already know. If you would like to email me as I am running out of space I would be happy to discuss pocket tools.

    Be safe and alert.
    Mike Conger, DFD

  5. #5
    EPFD-AL Guest

    Thumbs up


    Before you go in, look for a way to get out.

    Make sure you're wearing ALL your PPE properly; your SCBA, your PASS, tag in with the accountability officer, and then check your partner out - make sure he's done the same thing. Make sure you and he (she) agree on your moves. Take a radio if you can. Have a handlight, carry a tool (great suggestions so far), and stick together. Your partner is your valuable tool.

    Stay safe.

  6. #6
    Truckie from Missouri Guest

    Thumbs up

    The only thing I can add is to advise you to bring in the proper tool(s) to safely do the job right ... the FIRST time!

    Welcome to the Fire Service Bro!

    Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!

    Stay safe.


    All postings I have &/or will post are strictly my opinions. I am representing only myself here, not the IAFF, Local 3133, or my employer. No animals were/will be harmed from the production of this disclaimer. Thank you.

  7. #7
    fireman14us Guest


    If possible, take a flashlight, an axe (or other long tool), and a radio. A thermal imager would be nice, to!

  8. #8
    Aff Guest


    Start with the gray matter and the proper PPE as said earlier. You don't want to end up a liability. Then look around, see what is needed. FF #1- nozzle, #2-light, radio, #3-halligan (my fav), axe, or other forcable entry or breaching tool. As far as what goes in your pockets, look for that forum topic and start with the most common items, then expand or remove as you need.
    Welcome, have fun, and stay safe!

  9. #9
    Romania Guest


    Welcome. All above are good posts. Pay special attention to the little important things that we takle for granted likie Full PPE and Flashlights. Don't forget search ropes or rescue straps either.

    All that being said a search team can do a loot with three basic hand tools. (1) Haligan Bar, (2) Flathead Axe, and (3) 6' Pike pole. These are the three tools that I like for the initial attack/search team.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  10. #10
    craig7404 Guest


    As everyone has said, PPE and a partner(who you and he/she must trust in each other), always carry a good flashlight, and for me a flat head axe and a radio,(me to on the sewn in pocket, but not on the arm), and if possible a hose line or a life line in case you get turned around(which is very easy to do in a strange building filled with smoke). the main thing that I know from 22 years of interior search and rescue is be calm and try to always look for ways out of each room you enter it, as you never know when something can go wrong.

    Good Luck
    Craig Lambert

  11. #11
    Rescue15a Guest


    norr, being new to the fire service myself(3yrs experiance), I will share what I've been told. As it has already been said, the first thing I was told to have in my hands before I even thought of steping off the truck is a light and a tool, preferbly halligan or a ax. As far as pockets, personnely I keep a length of webbing, door tags, an extra smaller light, a sprinkler wedge, and a foldable spanner. These may make your pockets bulky, but those items have all come in handy on several seperate occasions, especially the sprinkler wedge believe it or not.
    Stay safe and low

  12. #12
    Captain Matt Miller Guest


    In reponse to your question I always like to take a small pry-axe with me. The thing is that you never ever want to go in to a building empty handed always take some sort of tool with you. Going in the door is easy but what happens if you can not make it back to the door sometimes you might just have to make your own door on an outside wall. But always remember the best tool you can ever take in to a building is your training and a partner.

    Good Luck,
    Capt. Matt Miller
    Brooklyn Fire Protection Dist
    Engine Co.551

  13. #13
    Batt #2 Guest


    If on the truck or just investigating off the first Engine never forget "The Can Man"

    You would be very surprise the amount of fire you could hold in check until the first line is put in operation with a pressurised can or a pump can. I like pump cans. Less to go wrong. If you have to turn it over and dump it out and you can re-fill at the tub or shower

    Keep it burning


  14. #14
    LYNNENG8 Guest

    Thumbs up

    The first and foremost thing is bring the tool your officer on sr. man tells you too,whether this be by riding assignment or fireground orders. I also agree w/ the small halligan,while not very manuverable a Boston rake is a great tool.Remember the little things, a great lite is no good not charged, and I always carry a couple of door chocks, life safety rope and webbing are also good.
    Stay Safe...
    Lynn -739
    these are only my ideas and opinions....


  15. #15
    aussie george Guest


    having responded to fires on the busiest fire engine in the land down under for over 15 years the most important tools are a good pocket light,pocket length line of rope and most important your common sense.and listen to what your company offier and senior firefighters tell you.welcome brother to the best job in the world.

  16. #16
    FIREEMT2509 Guest



    [This message has been edited by FIREEMT2509 (edited February 20, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by FIREEMT2509 (edited February 20, 2000).]

  17. #17
    Brownie Guest

    Thumbs up

    Hello all, everyone has provided you with the basic or even advanced items that should be your main luggage . If you get there and you dont need all of the items, leave them at the door and take what you can manage. I usually can handle an axe or halligan or both, and we have rope rescue bags on our scba's that assist us if we get into a bind, also the Can is always on the list, light and radio are a must. And everyone have mentioned it one way or another , your common sense. Take care and keep up the great posts.//


    Station 5
    EMT F/F Brown
    Past Captain

  18. #18
    resqb Guest

    Thumbs up

    welcome norr:
    Any tool is a good tool to take. Personally I'll take irons to most calls. On some highrise runs I'll take a 100' utility rope (so I don't have to climb down and back up the steps).
    Really in my dept. they don't care what you bring, just use common sense. Two weeks ago at a highrise fire the 3rd man on the 1st due engine didn't bring the high rise pack(an obvious oversite). He was carrying a tool, but it wasn't what was needed. Needless to say there was alot of disgusted looks when we found smoke to the floor in the hall way. Lucky for him it was easily extinguished with a dry chem.
    Oh, and remember that an activated fire alarm is not always false. My shift has been to the above bldg. 10 or more times on activated fire alarms and this one was real.

  19. #19
    21TFD Guest


    Welcome to the forums. I hope you will find information that is of value to you and your department. A good light is a must, either helmet mounted or carried in some other fashion. Depending on your SOP's & equipment - a tool of some kind. Webbing, personal rescue rope, wedges, a radio are all great to have handy. Take along another FF for safety and a thermal imaging camera if you got one. We're lucky, we have one on each frontline engine. Good Luck - Take Care & Stay Safe.

  20. #20
    Drewbo Guest


    Three things I think are REAL important.

    1. Make sure your buddy is someone you know and trust. Hopefully someone you've train with and/or worked with before. You need to be able to almost antisipate their moves and reactions to what will happen in there.

    2. The married irons. The axe and halligan are your best friends. Use them to sweep under beds, open things, heck you'll come up with more uses you never thought of before.

    3. Lights; carry a hand light, pierces light as advertised, can use it by leaving one in the doorway to find your way back to the hallway. Carry a disposible flashlight for back up. (heck they look good on the side of a helmet anyways)

    Good luck and be Safe

    * God Looked down and
    * saw this was bad, it
    * was bad, it was Drew

  21. #21
    FireManL1 Guest


    Whenever I am responding to a fire call, whether it is an alarm sounding or a confirmed structure fire, I do not get off the truck without full PPE including my air pack, a radio, a small flashlight, and lightbox, and an axe and the halligan bar. If you carry these items all the time, it will be instilled into your mind as to what you should take with you. Everybody always gives me a hard time, but the truth of it is that if we have an actual incident I will already be all set to go to work while everyone else is scrambling around for their equipment.

  22. #22
    Haligan125 Guest


    Your Air Pak,
    A lot of firefighters and chiefs in this area do not want you to wear your air pak unless you are going to any interior work, and it is and actual working fire. One of the things about firefighting is you don't know what you are going to find until you investigate. If you pull up to an alarm sounding, or chimney fire, you should have your airpak on and have the mindset that this is a working fire. I went away to school (to the big city) and found that this is how they operate. They also don't return 2nd due companys until they have found the problem, even if the business calls and tells them that it is a false alarm. As for tools, always have one, always. Irons are good, for search and rescue. In your gear a flashlight is the biggest thing. Also rope, you can do a lot with rope. Latex gloves, a leatherman, a pair of wire cutters, a wood chock, a rubberband, on your helmet, your nomex hood (great for shoveling hydrants in the cold, wortheless for fighting fire), a window punch maybe, a knife, and if you are superstisous a good luck charm, like a pin or a shamrock on your helmet. I guess that's it. Oh and never let anyone put you into a position where you fell unsafe, no matter who tells you to do it. (oh and get a leather helmet, those brain buckets are worthless too)

  23. #23
    Brian Wade II Guest


    The first thing you want to bring anywhere is safety. Make sure that what you are about to do is safe for you. Remember you come first before anyone else. Think of your basic size up. Is it a truss roof? (BIG ONE TO THINK OF)
    everything that you have been told is great. Take what you'll need. I suggest that you also bring in some personal equiptment. Such as some webbing some rope and a few carabiners. There is a good sight on the subjetct I am a rep and can get you a good discount. remember those door chalks and a personal axe as well. The axe can be used for many important evac situations. Remember to mark the rooms you have been in as well.
    How old are you anyway? Do you attend the fire academy or are you a volunteer?
    Brian, A student, A professional

  24. #24
    pokeyfd12 Guest


    Great postings. All are correct and a variety of tools is great to have. You should have extra tools in your pockets that deal with whatever you face most. Your positing says search and rescue. In that case, my suggestion would be a decent flashlight like everybody says, if not on your helmet or t/o coat or hand carried. I also carry a personal search rope (50ft) good enough for a floor and strong enough to bail out if necesary. I also carry a lightweight spanner wrench for prying, venting windows, tightening couplings etc. Door chocks/sprinkler wedges come in handy and if you have an inner tube around your helmet, some of those things can be placed there. I also carry some framing nails. These hold heavy doors open when you stick them between the hinge plate and the door. A radio is a must and depending on whether you have riding assignments or SOP's, axe/halligan, can, hook and maybe a leatherman or multi tool.
    Stay safe and keep learning. Throw your ideas back to us and let us know what works best for you. Who knows, you may think of something that we haven't.

    Engine/Rescue Lt. Kevin C. (Pokey)

  25. #25
    willy164 Guest



    Knowing what your capable of (as well as your partner) is the first tool you need before ANYTHING else. Without having confidence in your self....forget the tools...better yet...forget about going in.

    Know how to survive. Know how to get out before you go in. If you have confidence and survivabilty instincts...THEN...and only THEN, move on to #3

    (3) TOOLS
    Your tools will depend on the size of the stucture (life safety rope). As a general rule of thumb...halligan,axe, and flashlight will suffice for the most part......but there is one tool that I have not seen ANYONE mention that should be the very FIRST tool that should come to mind. I am a firm and strict believer in this tool and it saddens me that everytime a subject like this is tackled, this tool is too often forgotten.....Its called a PASS ALARM.......Turn it on....leave it on.....

    Stay Low...Stay Safe....and Listen!

    Willy Thompson
    Teaneck Fire Department
    Teaneck N.J.

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