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Thread: Fireground Tricks of the Trade.....

  1. #21
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    I always grab the longest halligan on the engine to open up a hood,then go to the engineer's compartment if I don't already have a crescent wrench and wire cutters to disable the battery.Then I head over to the wreck and start sizing up and opening the hood to see which tool would be best.
    Not every job calls for cutting the cables but when you do,it's nice to have it and not need to go back and waste time in the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by FFTrainer
    Actually that's possibly a tie!! I am by no means anti-pickhead axe, but I use the halligan for hood access with no problems because it gives me options with one tool. I can put the point through the sheet metal and fold it back or I can use the forks through the grill to grab the cable and twist so technically I win because I can do 2 different things with my halligan (of course as a PH Axe lover you may have some more tricks than I am thinking of so let's have 'em.


  2. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    We're spending alot of time on getting a hood open! Some Texas departments just cut the hood off with the K-12, in our case we carry some small porto power spreaders on the engines and just pop the hood.

  3. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    For wrecks we carry a canvas bag with everything for glass management, (saw, can opener, punches, adhesive spray) battery cable cutters and pullers, some small prying tools, seat belt cutters and a large towel to quickly shield a victim. The first guy to the car uses that to take care of initial access and inside work.

  4. #24
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Default Who needs a stinkin "lil" ladder??

    If you need in the attic and either can't or don't want to wait on the truck guy with the attic ladder and there is no interior pull down stairs or they are damaged, pull the ceiling in the hall. Proceed to the end of the hall. Kick about half of your steel toed boot (toe first) through the sheet rock. Use the narrow space in the hall to stabilize yourself left to right with your arms and step up. Kick through the sheetrock again with the other foot up a little higher from the first, and keep repeating until you are at the ceiling joists and can lift yourself through.

    With a little practice, you can do it with 3 steps in about 5-10 seconds. No one will be able to beat you to the attic!
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  5. #25
    Forum Member IGotTheJumpSeat's Avatar
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    And if it's an old house with plaster and Laff you'd better kick real hard...lol

  6. #26
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    And make damn sure it aint a brick firewall!!!

  7. #27
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IGotTheJumpSeat
    And if it's an old house with plaster and Laff you'd better kick real hard...lol
    And Cappy: "And make damn sure it aint a brick firewall!!!"


    C'mon guys. I stated sheetrock.

    But for the mentally challenged, here is the disclaimer. This will not work on brick, concrete, tongue & groove, stucco, plaster, plywood, hardwood, or any other type solid wall assemblies.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  8. #28
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    LT, this may seem like a question with an obvious answer, but the second kicks on the same wall, or opposite one of the first kick?

  9. #29
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    Memphis, just foolin with ya. The truth is I never heard of this stunt before and cant wait to try it. The sight of me walkin up a wall will be talked about for years at the station. We have some houses we use for practice and I will try it out there.

    God bless and pull the ceiling as you go.

  10. #30
    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabas
    LT, this may seem like a question with an obvious answer, but the second kicks on the same wall, or opposite one of the first kick?
    I learned it as the 2nd step on the opposite wall.

    This technique is a big hit in Chicago as well. It works pretty good for plaster lathe too!

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    For additional leverage in forcing doors....

    Take two halligans, put the forked ends together. The increased length of the mated tools gives you more prying power! To release the tools, just drop them onto the floor or ground.
    Great trick!!! I forgot about that one!
    Last edited by NDeMarse; 10-10-2005 at 05:00 PM.
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

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  11. #31
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabas
    LT, this may seem like a question with an obvious answer, but the second kicks on the same wall, or opposite one of the first kick?

    Well its easiest for if its on the same wall. This works especially well at the dead end of a hall, where the wall terminating the hall is sheetrocked. Basically you just kick through the sheetrock on the end wall and make steps as you go. Just kick your toes through about knee high, step up, and do the same thing again with the opposite leg in the same wall.

    Remeber the ceiling above you needs to be pulled. After about 3 steps, you'll be high enough to grab the ceiling joists and pull yourself up.

    It sounds much more complicated than it is.

    You can't use it all the time, but when you can, people will like it! The fisrt guy that saw me do this 6 or 7 years ago still tells the story.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFTrainer
    Actually that's possibly a tie!! I am by no means anti-pickhead axe, but I use the halligan for hood access with no problems because it gives me options with one tool. I can put the point through the sheet metal and fold it back or I can use the forks through the grill to grab the cable and twist so technically I win because I can do 2 different things with my halligan (of course as a PH Axe lover you may have some more tricks than I am thinking of so let's have 'em.

    this may seem like a given, but nobody has mentioned this step, for anyone who hasnt done this before. I found it makes life a TON more easy to do a maul-axe style swing with the striking point of the adze/pick corner at the corner about to be abused...a good 12" or so above the pick's entry point BEFORE you put the point in the metal. then it just folds back like a soda can. The difference in ease may not be apparent in newer models due to ltweight construction and thinned out undersides, but in those older boats...its nice. Simple, easy, quick effect step that lets you save some energy for the real work. like the next BLS knee pain .

  13. #33
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    LT and Nate:

    thanks for the clarification...I'm relatively short, 5'9", and kinda clumsy. think bull in china shop. So I'm not sure if same wall-steps in full gear would make for an.....eloquent ascent.

    I am employed in a relatively modern community, (incorporated early '60s), whos is just now having a population explosion...roughly 10,000 or so in the past 2 years. This year alone, we've got 12 new guys, with potential for 6 more by the end of the year! We only have 80 paid guys (including the 12), and talk of up to 20 next year are pretty prominent, coming from our brass. Fire response is picking up, with a lot of cheap new houses, and older houses finally being...well, old. So our tried-and-true tricks of the trade department....well, kinda non existent. We learn as we go it seems. Any C.O.J. tricks that were passed to you guys when you started, or anything people wanna throw my way, howerver basic it may seem to you, might help me out a great deal. much appreciated!

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltmdepas3280
    When sitting on a 2.5 at a large and prolonged job...find an old tire and 3 cinder blocks. Place the 1 block on the ground and the tire on top of the block...loop the line and place the nozzle on top of the tire with approx 2 feet hanging over the tire...place the other two blocks on each side of the line ( together) a few of feet back from the tire this will allow you a dry place to sit while you play the line. Make sure the loop is on top of and in front of the blocks. ...Work smarter not harder
    Sounds like you have been to one too many surround and drown fires to come up with that idea! I'll send the probie out in search of a tire and cinder blocks at our next fire

  15. #35
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    I am going to try that at our next aquired structure drill. Sounds like fun...

  16. #36
    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    Default A Few More Engine Tricks

    - Pumping: We had 4" front suction with the gate operated on an air valve at the pump panel. Whenever I received water from LDH I would turn the swivel, run the 50' of 4" to the rear and connect the incoming supply line in the street. You can then operate the gate from the pump panel, eliminating running around the rig to the intake gate to open & close it.

    - Defensive operations: Wrap the hose with a rope hose tool once, send the hook through the loop on the rope hose tool and hook it to a parked car or parking meter. One person will be able to aim the line. There will be no nozzle reaction since the object will absorb it all

    - Defensive Operations: In old taxpayers (strip stores) the metal flashing on the front is a direct avenue to the cockloft. Have a tower ladder pull that off when you go defensive so lines can be operated into the cockloft to darken the fire

    - Estimating Stretches: For cellar fires, take the number of lengths needed on the 1st floor and multiply by two. Many times the stairs will be located in the rear. If the fire is in the front of the cellar and the stairs in the rear, you might not have enough hose to make the seat of the fire if you don't do this.

    - Balloon Frames: If fire is in the basement, it is also in all the exterior walls and the attic. Lots of work ahead!

    - Balloon Frames: If checking for extension and fire is noted in the walls low on the 1st floor, immediately procede to the 2nd floor, and pull the wall at the ceiling level. Get ahead of it, don't play "catch-up"

    - Balloon Frames: Have a line on each floor. Have the truck make small holes in each "stud bay" on ALL of the EXTERIOR walls. The size of the opening should be just enough to get water into the wall to slow the fire down. You can skip the "stud bays" directly below windows since the window sill should act as a fire stop. Once each "stud bay" has a hole in it, the entire bay can be opened up for extinguishment.

    - Sheetrock Overhaul: To make it easier for Truck FFs, have them put a small hole in the ceiling near the doorway. Operate the line into the hole for about 5-10 seconds. If it is an open unfinished attic, the water will accumulate on top of the sheetrock over the entire room. In many cases the weight of the water will bring the entire ceiling down. If not, a couple of pokes with the hook will bring down large sections of the ceilings at once. If it is not on the top floor, small holes in each "ceiling joist bay" with water in each will work the same.

    That's it for now! More Truck tricks coming soon!
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
    Facebook Users: Join us here
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    GET IN THE JOB, BE A STUDENT OF THE JOB!

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDeMarse
    - Pumping: We had 4" front suction with the gate operated on an air valve at the pump panel. Whenever I received water from LDH I would turn the swivel, run the 50' of 4" to the rear and connect the incoming supply line in the street. You can then operate the gate from the pump panel, eliminating running around the rig to the intake gate to open & close it.

    - Defensive operations: Wrap the hose with a rope hose tool once, send the hook through the loop on the rope hose tool and hook it to a parked car or parking meter. One person will be able to aim the line. There will be no nozzle reaction since the object will absorb it all

    - Defensive Operations: In old taxpayers (strip stores) the metal flashing on the front is a direct avenue to the cockloft. Have a tower ladder pull that off when you go defensive so lines can be operated into the cockloft to darken the fire

    - Estimating Stretches: For cellar fires, take the number of lengths needed on the 1st floor and multiply by two. Many times the stairs will be located in the rear. If the fire is in the front of the cellar and the stairs in the rear, you might not have enough hose to make the seat of the fire if you don't do this.

    - Balloon Frames: If fire is in the basement, it is also in all the exterior walls and the attic. Lots of work ahead!

    - Balloon Frames: If checking for extension and fire is noted in the walls low on the 1st floor, immediately procede to the 2nd floor, and pull the wall at the ceiling level. Get ahead of it, don't play "catch-up"

    - Balloon Frames: Have a line on each floor. Have the truck make small holes in each "stud bay" on ALL of the EXTERIOR walls. The size of the opening should be just enough to get water into the wall to slow the fire down. You can skip the "stud bays" directly below windows since the window sill should act as a fire stop. Once each "stud bay" has a hole in it, the entire bay can be opened up for extinguishment.

    - Sheetrock Overhaul: To make it easier for Truck FFs, have them put a small hole in the ceiling near the doorway. Operate the line into the hole for about 5-10 seconds. If it is an open unfinished attic, the water will accumulate on top of the sheetrock over the entire room. In many cases the weight of the water will bring the entire ceiling down. If not, a couple of pokes with the hook will bring down large sections of the ceilings at once. If it is not on the top floor, small holes in each "ceiling joist bay" with water in each will work the same.

    That's it for now! More Truck tricks coming soon!
    After all my typing (and I hate typing!), you don't have any thoughts on my axe response?!?!?!?!? I'm hurt!

  18. #38
    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    Sorry brother! I forgot all about this post!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    hardwood floors I would use a saw! I have never tried your method but it seems like it would be pretty tough getting a halligan through 3/4" tongue and groove flooring and the subflooring. Even with the longer, heavier axe it can be tough. At one job at an old commercial building I had to chop through 3/4" Maple flooring, subflooring, the original hardwood flooring, and another subfloor. I'm not quite sure how you manage that with a halligan. I'll have to find a vacant building and try it.
    A saw would probably be your best option. On the floor you describe, that is going to be hard work even for a saw, and you are correct it would be VERY hard with a halligan. The halligan works, but the axe might be better at floors. I did have ok results by using the pike end of the halligan (just like the pike end of the axe) on the floor and ripping it up by pulling back over the adz. Give it a shot. It is probably more work, but it's another way to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    I still think I win the windshield argument.
    I'll give you the windshield. With the axe, descent reach, large blade. It does make quick work of the windshield.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    I'm not a truckman so take this for what it's worth, but I still think the axe works the best on a peaked roof. Sure you could do it with a halligan, you could also do it with a butter knife if you had too, but that doesn't mean it's the right tool. As for the guy that makes peaked roofs with the roof saw - I'd like to watch that!
    Your in luck! You can't watch it, but here are a couple of shots of it! Chris (nyckftbl) would have posted it, but he couldn't figure out how to do it!

    Heading Up
    Ridge Cut - 01
    Ridge Cut - 02
    Opening Roof - 01
    Opening Roof - 02
    Opening Roof - 03

    HEHE, just for the sake of breaking your balls you might also notice that there are no axes up there! LOL

    I am not an advocate for saws on peaked roofs. When I did open peaked roofs, my rule of thumb was, "if you can't walk on the roof (without a roof ladder) you shouldn't be operating a saw on the roof." You are always off balance with a saw, even on a flat roof. I've used both, but I'd rather stick to a hand tool. An easy roof vent is to move to the far edge and open up a 1' on each side of the ridge (zipper/ridge cut) back to your ladder. It is much easier and safer! It also gets the maximum ventilation since it is the highest point of the roof.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    Auto trunks - I just like the pick. I guess it's just what you are used to, but I've goten pretty god at hitting on the first or second swing.
    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    I answered the hood argument in the previous post, but I might have to give it to you because you can do the terminals and cable as well.
    Ah hah!

    The jury is still out on the winner brother!
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
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  19. #39
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    When am I more off balance on a peaked roof, staying "stationary" working a power saw, or swinging my arms over my head and back with an axe? We did some testing at a drill, we're sticking with saws.

    Question on the "fine dust" when cutting a windshield...using a sawzall sends a blade back and forth using a motor, using a hand saw sends a blade back and forth using manual power. Does one really create more dust than the other?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  20. #40
    Cpt. Common Sents nbfcfireman's Avatar
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    I believe that it does create more dust, not to mention the scare factor to the patient. A saw is cutting with back and forth motion. but a hand saw is more of a ripping, look at the blade on a hand saw, for the most part, it is not sharp and it is wider than a blade on a recipricating saw

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