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    Default Looking for info on the origin of Hook & Ladder term

    Giving a talk to the high schoolers and they want to know about where the term hhok and ladder derived. I believe it was from the old days when the trucks were equipped with hooks and they hooked onto a building which had large loops and simply pulled the building down if it was on fire. I believe it originated here in Chicago but I'm not positive. Anyone have any insight I can pass along?

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    Sorry, I should spell check. The term of Hook & Ladder!

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    I think your right. If I remeber correctly the hooks were used to pull down burning thatched roofs so fire fighters could put them out easier.

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    I had heard that it was the long pike poles "hooks" carried with the ground ladders on the first trucks. Saw a great old "hook and ladder" truck at a convention last year, all it carried were about a dozen ladders ground ladders, a pair of scaling ladders, and another dozen pike poles along with a folding safety trampolene and a few extinguishers.
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    Default Hook ladder?

    Maybe a connection with "Hook ladder" as carried by LFB until 1980ish? If memory serves me 13ft long-8 jagged teeth/6inch bill reinforced with piano wire-- round ring at the top to receive hook on belt worn by operator.
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    Hook is synonymous with pike pole or plaster hook, etc. So Hook and Ladder is just an old term for a ladder company. They preformed truck work at fires. An old tactic was to tear down an exposure to prevent fire spread. That era also had the bed key which was used to take apart a bed, because for many it was the most valued possession a person had.

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    Like elswappo said, hooks were used to pull down thatching (thatched grass/straw roofs). Being that the neighbors house usually had thatched roofs too, this was a general form of exposure protection. It was proabably the best method that early fire companies could utilize, to prevent fire spread. Instead of wasting time trying to put it out, efforts were aimed at getting it off the house, and then getting it out. Remember that early fire protection usually meant writting off the house that was burning, and efforts were geared towards the control of fire spread, and not so much extinguishment in the early stages of fire attack. Fire spread was a much bigger factor in those days than it is now... whole towns or cities could be lost very quickly, so that is why they primarly worked to prevent fire spread.
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    Originally posted by ADSNWFLD
    An old tactic was to tear down an exposure to prevent fire spread.
    Somehow, I get the feeling that tactic might be somewhat frowned upon as far as PR goes today

    Command to Engine 6 and Rescue 2, commence operations on the second floor. Truck 3, when you arrive, vent the roof over hear then knock down the neighbors house."
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I can see it now... We'll all be responding in Bulldozers!

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    If you have not seen it yet, rent Gangs of New York. There is a scene where the local VFD shows up to a fully involved structure (takes place about 1860). The chief looks at the house and sees its really cooking, looks for the hydrant (which was hidden by some thugs from another VFD) and says "This one's a lost, take that one!" pointing to the house next door. The owner runs up to the chief screaming "But its not on fire!" Just then a rival VFD shows up and the two chiefs start going at each other, before you know it there is a huge brawl in the middle of the street w/o a single firefighter fighting the fire!
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    Main Entry: hook and ladder truck
    Function: noun
    Date: 1865
    : a piece of mobile fire apparatus carrying ladders and usually other fire-fighting and rescue equipment; called also hook and ladder, ladder truck

    Organized fire fighting began in New York in 1648 when the first Fire Ordinance was adopted by the Dutch Settlement of New Amsterdam. Fines levied for dirty chimneys provided funds for the maintenance of buckets, hooks and ladders. It also established a fire fighter watch of eight Wardens and required that each male citizen stand his turn on watch.
    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 10-18-2003 at 08:47 AM.
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    Originally posted by E40FDNYL35
    Main Entry: hook and ladder truck
    Function: noun
    Date: 1865
    : a piece of mobile fire apparatus carrying ladders and usually other fire-fighting and rescue equipment; called also hook and ladder, ladder truck

    Organized fire fighting began in New York in 1648 when the first Fire Ordinance was adopted by the Dutch Settlement of New Amsterdam. Fines levied for dirty chimneys provided funds for the maintenance of buckets, hooks and ladders. It also established a fire fighter watch of eight Wardens and required that each male citizen stand his turn on watch.
    That's sooooooooo cool, Ray! Knew you'd come up with something official LOL. Oh yeah, been meaning to tell you I love all those old pics you've been posting
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    .
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    ,
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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