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  1. #1
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Default Forceible entry tools

    We don't cary Halligan type tools on our engines at this time, and use sledgehammers/crowbars/boltcroppers to gain entry to doors etc. It seems to me that battering down a door with a large hammer is both time consuming and dangerous. (We had an instance a while back where the head of the hammer came off and flew backover, narrowly missing someone). The other side of this is the chance that the hammer will go through the door and be lost inside without the door being breached.

    I know most of your depts will use proper tools and was wondering if anyone can give the pros and cons of halligans etc, so I can put something together over here to at least get a trial of the gear going. The police use them now over here, so I thought why not us?
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.


  2. #2
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Irons (halligan and flat head axe)
    K Tool
    R Tool
    Duckbilled Lockbreaker
    Rabbit Tool
    K-12

    I have never met a door that couldn't be forced w/ these tools (fortunately, we haven't had any fires in bank vaults). These, in 99% of incidents, will be all you will need. The vast majority of which can be handled w/ the irons.

    Pros of the irons:
    Incredibly high success rate
    Relatively lightweight
    Relatively inexpensive
    Multi-functional
    Fully functional w/ one person
    Idiot Proof (well, just about)

    Cons of the irons:
    You look stupid when you miss
    They hurt when you drop them on your feet

    There is absolutely no reason not to carry a set of irons for forcible entry.

    There is only one real reason to carry them - they work.

    Stay Safe

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb here is what you do.......

    The police use them now over here, so I thought why not us?
    Go to your local bakery and buy several dozen donuts. Take them to the local police station and set them down. Be sure to stand back as the mob begins to swarm around the donuts. When they are all occupied with the donuts, steal their halligan and run like hell. If you are lucky, They won't even notice until the donuts are long gone.

    My apologies to my friends in law enforcement.

    Seriously, The halligan is only limited by the imagination of the user. Get one!!

    Stay Safe,

    Jim

  4. #4
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    Default

    A good Halligan and an 8lb flathead axe will get you in the majority of doors that you will encounter.
    Advantages to a good tool setup are speed, success rate, control of the door, and the halligan has several uses on the fireground.

    When utilizing a sledge to break down the door, often the door is thrown open leaving you exposed to whatever is inside. Loosing control of the door has caused many injuries to firefighters over the years. With the halligan, forcing the door is more controlled, you know when it is going to open. You can also use a vice grip and chain or a short rope to help with the door. If the door pops open you can pull it shut if need be.

    Their is truely no better tool for FE then the halligan. Even a poorly made halligan will work better then a claw tool or crowbar.

  5. #5
    Forum Member wellsfr's Avatar
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    I have 4 firefighters over 6'4" at least 280 to 300 lbs have never needed any thing else. seriously the haligan is a great tool.
    Last edited by wellsfr; 09-05-2002 at 02:44 PM.
    wellsfr
    We've been doing so much for so long with so little. We can do almost anything with nothing.

  6. #6
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    Just a note from my years in law enforcement: if you have a locked interior door, striking it just inside the door handle will usually cause it to pop open without damage to the door or frame. We used our boots (our hands were usually full of guns), but this could be useful during a search away from the fire seat.

    P.S. if you elect to use the donut method to obtain tools, make sure to use jelly filled, sugar coated - it takes longer to get the uniformed guys cleaned up.

  7. #7
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    yes ur department should have at least a set of irons. When we were doin an extrication drill(we cant use any power tools ) me and one other explorer managed to get the rear passanger door open faster then the firefighters with the hurst tools.

  8. #8
    Forum Member R1SmokeEater's Avatar
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    You should try contacting your local supplier and see if they can loan you a "trial" tool until it can be purchased. Not having a Halligan is unheard of. That tool is the "meat and potatoes" of the fire service. The Hydra-Ram is a great tool for forcing doors, but the BEST all around tool is the tried and true Halligan!

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
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    Martinm, if you have situations where you have dead bolts set in metal door frames (as we do in many apartment complexes), a rabbit tool (portable hydraulic hand operated spreader) is a good complement to the irons. These doors can be forced with the irons, but the rabbit tool is quicker and less labor intensive. I speak of this from personal experience. The brand we use is "Hydra Ram" if you want to try to find something on the web. The following url has info on the tool.

    http://www.firemarktools.com/hydraram.html
    Last edited by CJMinick390; 09-05-2002 at 04:35 PM.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
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  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Get one

    A prior thread mentioned "Firemark Tools" this is a Maryland based distributor of firefighters tools, forcible entry and overhaul in particular. I know several of the staff and they are great folks. look them up on the web and get their email and ask them for advice on your situation. I am sure that they can help you. Or try the Doughnuts....Your law enforcement isn't heavily armed like ours. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  11. #11
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    The bread aint nothing without the butter.
    If you finally get a 'hooly' stick a flatheaded axe in there as well. Bread and Butter for the big time ladder squad or small town engine.
    9-11 Never Forget.
    "When you hear a 10-75 or a 10-60 you better be heading to the rig"-Von Essen

  12. #12
    Temporarily/No Longer Active dfdex1's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PA Volunteer

    I have never met a door that couldn't be forced w/ these tools (fortunately, we haven't had any fires in bank vaults).
    If some how a fire started in a bank vault and you opened it,wouldnt you cause a backdraft and let the fire spread??

    For those of you who have Rabbit tools, how do you like them?

  13. #13
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    Make sure you look for a pro-bar, which is a one-piece forged halligan, and stay away from the two-piece pinned models. The pro-bars are the closest thing currently available to the original halligans sold by Chief Halligan, FDNY.

  14. #14
    Forum Member R1SmokeEater's Avatar
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    E7/L1, Ain't that the truth (w/ flathead) I figured that went without saying

  15. #15
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Haligan and Flat Head are the way to go...

    DFDEX1....K-Tool... Well..they work well but can be time consuming. They are good to use if you have nothing showing and there is no sense of urgency. You can open the door and then re-secure it afterwards. But it the bear is growling...we are gonna knock em down.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  16. #16
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Guys, as always I know I can get a good answer to a query here. Excellent responses. I will keep you posted as to developments. (Lets see..., local cop shop, 3 officers per shift, 3 shifts a day... )
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  17. #17
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Doughnuts & Rabbits

    Well lets see....2 doughnuts per cop, 3 cops per shift, 3 shifts per day. Formula is 2DX3C/PS = 18. Figure on one and one half dozen doughnuts. On another subject, we have used the Rabbitt tool for years and it is very effective, as is the Hydra-Ram. Both have the ability to pop most doors, They are particularly good on Metal Frames With Metal Clad doors. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  18. #18
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Make sure you look for a pro-bar, which is a one-piece forged halligan, and stay away from the two-piece pinned models.
    Oh my gosh ... I can't believe I forgot to point this out!! Absolutely ... as far as many are concerned, this is the only halligan. It marries perfectly with an axe, the fork end isn't too wide (so it fits into doors nicely), it's all one piece of forged steel (no chance of tool failure) and is fairly lightweight.

    We have an imitation halligan on one of our engines that is about 500 pounds, 4 feet long, and three pieces all pinned together (and no, it is nothing like the Quappe halligan). It is impossible to fit it together w/ an axe, and would take four guys to use it to force a door. I think at our next fire I may accidently drop it in the basement.

    Stay Safe

  19. #19
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    Post The Powerhawk rescue tool

    This tool can be used for forcable entry . It is battery operated and the spreader arms can ope almost any door. You can also cut an overhead door with this tool. It is extremely versitile.




    www.powerhawk.com
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

  20. #20
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    Question hmmm....

    and no, it is nothing like the Quappe halligan
    At the risk of sounding REALLY stupid....

    Just what is a "Quappe halligan"??


    Also,

    I have read and heard of using a wood-splitting maul in place of the 8 lb. flathead axe. Anybody have experience with this??? What do you think???



    Well lets see....2 doughnuts per cop, 3 cops per shift, 3 shifts per day. Formula is 2DX3C/PS = 18. Figure on one and one half dozen doughnuts.
    You better figure on AT LEAST 3 dozen donuts...You forgot to figure in the "Cops from neighboring town heard that you had donuts" safety factor...


    Stay Safe,

    Jim

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