1. #1
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    Default Remember the wood handle pike poles?

    I remember the wood handle pike poles. Some are still in use. I also remember notches on the end of the wood handle to indicate which side of the pole the hook was on.

    Not a thing wrong with fiberglass! Some rookies believe fiberglass has been around forever though.
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    joe joe, I remember them. I just bought an 8' and put it on our engine.
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    While we do have a whole set of fiberglass ones on our ladder, all the other trucks have wood. My favorite thing about the wood ones is that when you go to puch something they dont flex and the wood handle itself is handy in making openings
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
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    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

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    I fondly recall the wood handles. Sandpaper, keeping them up,...forget it

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    It is a maint. thing.

    I've noticed a disturbing trend coming up through the ranks. Firefighters not maintaining their tools. Wood pike poles need more care than fiberglass ones.
    I'm not sure of why, but how many rigs have you seen with tools that are rusty, dirty or just not well maintained.
    Perhaps it is a midwest thing. It may be that as I'm getting older I'm getting more critical of the little stuff, but I think that your tools could be your life. If the saw doesn't start the axe has to be well maintained to do a good job.

    I like wood poles especially for the longer ones because they flex less than fiberglass. Also easy to replace if broken.

    Saty Safe

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    Question Wood we?

    Originally posted by ADSN/WFLD
    Wood pike poles need more care than fiberglass ones.
    Do I remember correctly....we used to wipe them down with linseed oil?

    We stored them using some rudimentary clamps....right under the gold leaf that said, "RADIO EQUIPPED!"

    And do they still teach about the "Higby Notch?"
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    Wipe down with a wet towel, or clean then wipe with linseed oil. I agree it isn't much more work, but to some guys you would think you asked them to dig the panama canal with a spoon.
    Whatever you call the generation of new firefighters, a lot of them seem to be put out if you ask them to do the regular maintenance that is required in the fireservice. I think the fiberglass pike poles, axe handles, crome plated irons etc. are just a result of a lack of pride in our work.

    Just ask some of the new guys what a hone is. Does your department teach guys how to maintain the equipment or are the axes still painted red (like when they were delivered)

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    We have 1 or 2 wood ones left. They are the long ones (13ft sounds familiar, but it might be longer).

    ADSN: Wood handles need more care than fiberglass because more chemicals, etc can seep into the wood better/faster than they can fiberglass.

    NJFFS_A16: Well, at least in Connecticut's FF1 class they mention the Higby Notch. Don't know about the rest of the country. I know it is mentioned in the Essential's 4th Ed.

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    Default I got Wood!!

    We took our last wood D-handle ceiling hook(IFSTA for pike pole) off the truck last fall. It is an original from our first motorized ladder truck, a 1918 Ahrens Fox City Service Truck, serial no 696(see it here:
    http://www.cfdhistory.com/htmls/company.php?name=110
    ). We took it apart, stripped the 80 odd years of paint off the hexagon wood handle, chromed the hook and handle. Then we put it on a wood plaque and hung it in the joker room. I think it had earned a place of honor in the company. I have to believe everybody who ever worked on our truck in the last eighty years at least touched it at one point or another. Thats a lot of firemen.
    There ain't a fiberglass pole in the house that can take its place.
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    Default Takes skill

    I know I'm not "official" yet. But I've been teaching scouts how to sharpen axes knifes matix and many other tools for ten years. No matter what the tool is, taking care of it is an art. I prefer wood over any fiber shafts/handles I have used. Mostly because a good hardwood tends to flex just enough, but not too much. I feel like I have a rubber mallet sometimes with fiber. Sharpening an axe is something that took me years to get just right. Now it is no biggie and only take a few minutes if the axe was well maintained. I have been handed a new one and taken 3 hours to put a decent edge on it, but the new carbon alloys hold the edge longer.
    Just my 2 cents.

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    Default GOOD WOOD....

    I too remember w/much affection they days of wood and metal....I also remember when we used to wipe down the tools, maintain them, paint them, oil the axe's- it was a regular part of station maint/clean-up in the mornin'....Now guys just hit em once with the nozzle on the fireground and put 'em up.

    Cleaning detail was also a good way to get the fellas together-always a good excercise in informal team building...

    I guess it's the Quints fault.......chuckle......
    Rob

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    Default

    YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THEY MAKE PIKE POLES OUT OF SOMETHING OTHER THAN WOOD????
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    Default

    I agree with the idea of maintaining our tools. Wood handled pike poles,axe handles, and the old wooden ladders with rungs of hickory are almost gone. I remember the red painted axe heads and varnished wood handles too. Then the switch to sharpened, unpainted axe heads, with a bare wood handle coated with linseed oil. Well that's a whole other thread topic.

    Tradition and pride maybe starting to fade away too. I for one, hope to keep it alive.
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  14. #14
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    Remember them??Sure we still use them.Our 6 footers and some 8's are fiberglass the rest are wood.We don't sand or oil the wood though,just wipe off and hit the head with some steelwool and oil.

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    I can't tell you how many handles I have replaced when I was assigned to 12 Engine and the ladder repair shop was at our station. We still have a few wooden handle poles around on the older apparatus, but all new rides have the fiberglass handles. Likewise our department use wooden ladders on the truck and engines for years. We started switching up to aluminum back in the 1980's. They member coming on the job now don't have to learn how to refinish a ladder, axe handle or hook handle. We have to make them clean the tools and appliances and apparatus now. All the real fun left when the brass sliding poles and brass couplings departed and so did the brass polish.

    Stay Safe - Stay Well

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    Remember them, we still use them. All of our rigs have wood pike poles except for our new engine, which has the first fiberglass pike poles we've ever had. Check out out new engine at http://louisafire.virtualave.net It's a 2002 Seagrave Custom pumper with a 1500 gpm Hale pump and a 1000 gallon tank. 6man cab.
    "I truly believe that tradition is important to the long-term survival of the fire service."-Lt. Andrew Fredricks, FDNY,9-11-01

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    Default

    Originally posted by ADSN/WFLD
    It is a maint. thing.

    I've noticed a disturbing trend coming up through the ranks. Firefighters not maintaining their tools. Wood pike poles need more care than fiberglass ones.
    I'm not sure of why, but how many rigs have you seen with tools that are rusty, dirty or just not well maintained.
    Perhaps it is a midwest thing. It may be that as I'm getting older I'm getting more critical of the little stuff, but I think that your tools could be your life. If the saw doesn't start the axe has to be well maintained to do a good job.

    I like wood poles especially for the longer ones because they flex less than fiberglass. Also easy to replace if broken.

    Saty Safe
    ive found that too here in NY, i see engines better taking care of their tools that they hardly use than the truck co's
    " truck till the casket drops "

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    Default Re: GOOD WOOD....

    Originally posted by RSchmidt

    I guess it's the Quints fault.......chuckle...... [/B]

    probably is
    " truck till the casket drops "

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    Exclamation

    with the exception of a couple of axes, all of our poles are ALL WOOD !.......hmm.............???
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    Lightbulb WOOD=GOOD!

    I am a fan of the wood pike poles myself. Where as the fiberglas may be lighter, I don't like the bending and flex they have.

    The wood handles seem to give me a 'hand extension' of sorts, I can really feel what I am doing, just as if you were doing it with your hand.

    I must say though, the extra 5 minutes of care that these require is a small price to pay for breakage on the fire scene.


    And~~yes NJFFS_A16, in my FF II cert. class, in IL, I learned about the Higbee (sp?) cut.


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  21. #21
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    Default Just for those too embarrassed to ask...

    Probies,

    A higbee notch is a notch cut in one "ear" of a hose coupling that shows where the threads start. Match the higbee on the male with the higbee on the female, and voila! You won't cross-thread.

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    The worst splinter that I ever got was from a FIBERGLAS pike pole. The big, nasty thing came right through my gloves. Had to lance the skin to get it out.
    Wood is good!
    EastKyFF: you're showing your age. The other nice thing about a Higbee is that you can line them up in the dark with your gloves on!
    Oh, the days of brass couplings, wooden handles, black boogers, and 15 minute slide slingers. Sniff!
    Glad I'm in the IACOJ. Whoops; wrong thread. Never mind!

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