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    Default Rabbit tool Vs. Halligan/Irons

    Rabbit or bunny Tool Vs Halligan/Irons , also what do you prefer with your halligan a flathead axe or a sledge hammer. The flathead is good to use as a wedge and u can chop down the door on the door but a sledge gives a lot more force for heavyer doors.

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    I think the irons is the best way to go, with the flathead. Not only can the get you in, but both are good tools in search and rescue. Although the flathead axe is much easier to manuever with than the halligan, but on the other side you got more reach with the halligan. And if you need the rabbit tool, you should know before you get to the door, by a size up or just lookin at it.

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    "The Rabbit Tool is a handheld, manually operated hydraulic tool that exerts a tremendous amount of outward pressure that forces inward swinging doors.
    The tool consists of a set of jaws with opposing tips that are beveled for ease in placing them between the door and frame. The wonder bar and mallet can be used to gain a vantage point for the jaws. When the tool is pumped, the two interlocking jaws can exert a force of 10,000 lbs. per square inch, far greater than can be accomplished by muscle and leverage. Most units will feature one side of the tool moving while the base section serves
    as the anchor point. Pressure in the unit is relieved by means of a screw type relief valve on the hand pump. When unscrewed, the jaws return to the closed or neutral position.
    The stronger the door and frame, the better the tool works.(firefighterclosecalls.com)"
    If I am forcing a door, I take the irons. If they want force the door I will ussually look for a new entry point(my engine company does not have a rabbit tool; we also do not have a truck company.) i take a flatheaded axe to compliment the halligan. It is lighter and eaiser to search with than a maul in my opinion. Also, the halligan ussually gets a good bite without the extra weight of a sledge hammer. REMEMBER the number 1 rule of forced entry is try before you pry!
    FF/Paramedic

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFDFire2156 View Post
    Rabbit or bunny Tool Vs Halligan/Irons , also what do you prefer with your halligan a flathead axe or a sledge hammer. The flathead is good to use as a wedge and u can chop down the door on the door but a sledge gives a lot more force for heavyer doors.

    wow,i learnt something:i always thought that IRONS were:halligan and flat head axe but not sledge hammer.finally i learn everyday that is great.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFDFire2156 View Post
    Rabbit or bunny Tool Vs Halligan/Irons , also what do you prefer with your halligan a flathead axe or a sledge hammer. The flathead is good to use as a wedge and u can chop down the door on the door but a sledge gives a lot more force for heavyer doors.
    I prefer the flathead axe for the very reasons that you stated. As far as the Rabbit tool vs. the irons , why not take both. In my FD the guy assigned to forcible entry takes both with him. The irons are the better choice for everyday residential front doors - wood door with a wood frame. The rabbit tool / Hyrda-Ram is the better choice for metal doors with metal frames. As another poster said earlier on the thread , the rabbit tool / Hydra-Ram works better on stronger doors. Also consider this , how many doors might need to be forced. Example is at a school or office building where you you may have to force several doors as opposed to a single family home where you probably only need to force the front door. Just a thought.

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    I would say that 90% of the doors we have force are metal apt doors in metal jambs. That being said, most of these doors aren't in the best condition. Usually just the halligan will do the trick. The irons at my current station are a halligan and a sledge hammer(we had a bracket welded on top of the sledge to marry the halligan with it). I like this combination because the main purpose of latter is for use as a striking tool. The sledge carries more force behind it than an axe when used in this way. Also, some prefer using the BFH method for forcing doors. A few whacks with the sledge and most doors will open.

    I think the rabbit tool or hydra ram works better for commercial applications or in a high rise when you have multiple doors to pop. I would hope most people don't become too reliant on a rabbit tool. One should be able to use a set of irons to open just about any type of door.

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    PD's that I am familiar ith are always borrowing the rabbit tool for tactical entries. It certainly beats hammering your brains out with a battering ram.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFDFire2156 View Post
    The flathead is good to use as a wedge
    The Irons for residential. Flathead or sledge? Carry more than one Halligan, marry up one and one. Just one? Go with the 8lb flathead. If caught and need a new egress point, you can pop a hole with the flathead and then use the adze to pull the drywall out and expand. Yes a sledge can do the same, but with speed of the essence, the weight of the sledge will tire you out faster.

    However, the axe should NEVER be used to chock a door, if that is what you mean by "wedge". If not, you should be using the halligan to gain a wedge, not the axe.

    If it is a commercial structure, BOTH. Force the door with the Rabbit Tool and bring the Irons with you.

    The irons make an egress tool besides a forcible entry tool in any situation. Unless you are plan on throwing the rabbit tool through a wall or something
    Last edited by DocVBFDE14; 01-09-2008 at 04:14 PM.
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    Unless you have a very paranoid citizen, the Rabbit-tool is over kill for a residence. However it is a requirement for a commercial structure.
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    Default Complacency

    I agree with those before in saying that the Rabbit Tool can be a huge effort/time saver. But I will stress that people shouldn't become complacent or reliant on the rabbit tool. Conventional Forcible Entry with hand tools should be able to open any door. Given enough time,thought, and skill. These are skills that we can't let fall by the wayside because the rabbit tool pops most of our doors.

    As for the tool choice, Residential 8lb Maul or 8lb Flathead and Halligan. Commercial 8lb Maul Halligan Some of our Industrial Areas- 12lb Sledge Halligan

    Though proper use of the Halligan can make forcing any door possible using even a 6lb axe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    The Irons for residential. Flathead or sledge? Carry more than one Halligan, marry up one and one. Just one? Go with the 8lb flathead. If caught and need a new egress point, you can pop a hole with the flathead and then use the adze to pull the drywall out and expand. Yes a sledge can do the same, but with speed of the essence, the weight of the sledge will tire you out faster.

    However, the axe should NEVER be used to chock a door, if that is what you mean by "wedge". If not, you should be using the halligan to gain a wedge, not the axe.

    If it is a commercial structure, BOTH. Force the door with the Rabbit Tool and bring the Irons with you.

    The irons make an egress tool besides a forcible entry tool in any situation. Unless you are plan on throwing the rabbit tool through a wall or something


    In regards to using the axe as a "wedge" , I can't speak for the first
    poster , however here's how we use it : Once you set the halligan and start prying it is often necessary to reposition the halligan. We then place the axe between the door and the frame so it won't close up at all , then reposition the halligan , remove the axe and continue forcing with the halligan. We do not use it as a door chock , that's what wood chocks are for.

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    . It doesn't matter if you use an axe or maul...forcible entry is a skill that must be learned and you shouldn't have to depend on a hydraulic tool. I tell new guys..Forcing a door can make you look like a champ, or a chump.

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    Talking Ladder

    i find ramming the 28 foot extension ladder into a door is the best option, it works great becuasse I am very impaient and I am on the engine and sometimes I can not wait for the Truck company

    haha, just kidding. by far the best option is to have your forcible entry guy carry the irons with a rabbit tool (if you are at a commercial building, if not, forget the rabbit tool)

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    I would carry the irons only cause the tools can be used for more than one purpose. hydra ram is an amazing tool though when required.

    Talked to a brother once that went to ground zero just after 9/11. Had to search a near by high rise. Force several hundred doors. He said he broke a couple hyda rams until he just gave up and went back the the irons. They never failed him.
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    Default Rabbit Tool is designed for INWARD doors

    The Rabbit tool is designed for inward swinging doors period.

    Yeah, I realize there are times on those doors when you can spread the jamb/door enough to possibly release a latch or bolt but that is hit or miss at best. Give me the irons. I make that door every time. Save the rabbit tool for those multiple inward swinging door FE situations such as multiple dwellings and high rise. If you are in the rear of a commercial occupancy (usually with outward swinging metal doors) and you are screwing around with a rabbit tool when the best and most versatile tool combination in the history of the fire service (i.e. the irons) is available, your nuts...

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    I'm surprised by how many people are saying to not take the rabbit tool with them into a residential building..Maybe it's the different types of buildings you have and don't have steel doors in them. I have several residential high rises(up to 40 stories) in my first due area and it's a must... Also, starting in the 1980's many property owners by me were given very low interest loans to make their buildings more energy efficient by replacing windows and doors. So now many 3-story six family wood frame buildings and brownstones have steel doors and frames for the individual apartments. When this first started many engine companies were caught off guard. (What the flock is a steel door doing in a 90 year old frame building??) I tell everyone, if you see energy efficient replacement windows as you pull up there are steel doors on the apartments inside.

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    DocVBFD wrote:

    "However, the axe should NEVER be used to chock a door, if that is what you mean by "wedge". If not, you should be using the halligan to gain a wedge, not the axe. "



    The axe can serve as an excellent door chock by standing it up on its head and sliding it in just below the bottom hinge of the door. This way the door can "close" behind you without completely closing and locking. This is particularly useful in multiple dwellings where contaminating the public hallway is a concern. It allows the door to close almost all the way keeping smoke inside the fire apartment without fear of the door actually locking behind you. There is very little danger of this being knocked out by an advancing line or other firefighters and serves to mark the egress door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesdad View Post
    DocVBFD wrote:

    "However, the axe should NEVER be used to chock a door, if that is what you mean by "wedge". If not, you should be using the halligan to gain a wedge, not the axe. "



    The axe can serve as an excellent door chock by standing it up on its head and sliding it in just below the bottom hinge of the door. This way the door can "close" behind you without completely closing and locking. This is particularly useful in multiple dwellings where contaminating the public hallway is a concern. It allows the door to close almost all the way keeping smoke inside the fire apartment without fear of the door actually locking behind you. There is very little danger of this being knocked out by an advancing line or other firefighters and serves to mark the egress door.

    If you are opting for door control and smoke control, leaving it open even slightly will still allow smoke out. If you are VESing or evacuating a victim it would be better to close it completely.

    If you are using it as a door choke:

    What are you using to aid in your search to reach out slightly further?
    What are you using to sound the floor in front of you to make sure it is still there?
    What are you using as a possible egress tool if the feces hits the fan?
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    Irons in NYC always takes halligan and axe/maul and the hydra ram. Some places still have a spare rabbit tool, but its seldom taken due to its weight. If you work in an area of PD's its easier to just pop a window if its not a fire situation. But in areas where crime is an issue, its a tad bit different to take a door than it is in Podunk Iowa.

    As in Irons I meant the Forcible Entry Position, not myself. We always carry a Maul, our doors are usually practically bulletproof due to a lot of drug/crime. And when I mean a lot, i mean they just seized 10 tons of coke not to long ago.I would imagine we would have a rash of retirements if we found that! Whoa mama!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    If you are opting for door control and smoke control, leaving it open even slightly will still allow smoke out. If you are VESing or evacuating a victim it would be better to close it completely.

    If you are using it as a door choke:

    What are you using to aid in your search to reach out slightly further?
    What are you using to sound the floor in front of you to make sure it is still there?
    What are you using as a possible egress tool if the feces hits the fan?

    ok you use the halligan as a wedge when u are forcing the door. The way u use it is if your have to reposition the halligan u can stick the axe in the the door while u move the halligan so the door does not close up on you wasting time. For the record isnt it commen sence that you would take the axe out of the door while u search have u ever heard of a wooden door choke if not use one...........!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post

    What are you using to aid in your search to reach out slightly further?
    What are you using to sound the floor in front of you to make sure it is still there?
    What are you using as a possible egress tool if the feces hits the fan?
    The Halligan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BScott View Post
    The Rabbit tool is designed for inward swinging doors period.

    Yeah, I realize there are times on those doors when you can spread the jamb/door enough to possibly release a latch or bolt but that is hit or miss at best. Give me the irons. I make that door every time. Save the rabbit tool for those multiple inward swinging door FE situations such as multiple dwellings and high rise. If you are in the rear of a commercial occupancy (usually with outward swinging metal doors) and you are screwing around with a rabbit tool when the best and most versatile tool combination in the history of the fire service (i.e. the irons) is available, your nuts...
    The "rabbit tool" maybe. But I think what everyone here is referring to (atleast I hope), is the hydra-ram, and it can and will work with outward opening doors.
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    The rabbit tool does have more available distance but it will not open outward opening doors. The Hydra Ram extends 4 inches 5 tons, and the Rabbit does 6 inches and 4 tons. Logically how do you get a tool that spreads to open a outward opening door? You better talk to Nate about forcing doors, I have seen him in action!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    Irons in NYC always takes halligan and axe/maul and the hydra ram.



    As in Irons I meant the Forcible Entry Position, not myself.
    You should try referring to yourself in the third person, it's a hoot! We had a guy try to do it for one whole day but no one could stop cracking up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKDRAFT View Post
    The Halligan.
    Hey if it works for, it works for you.

    I would rather hit someone with a wooden or fiberglass handle than drop forged iron, but that is just me.

    Using tools as door chokes goes against every iota of training I have received. But hey if it floats your boat, have at it.

    I'll continue to use that door choke for what it was designed for, and use tools for what they were designed for

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    You should try referring to yourself in the third person, it's a hoot! We had a guy try to do it for one whole day but no one could stop cracking up.
    I had an XO on my first ship in late 99, early 2000 who got so hammered in Balboa Panama, that he referred to himself in the First, Second AND Third person in the same sentance. "I saw the XO take down 'name removed to protect the innocent ", he did a good job." I was stunned. Kinda hard to stand a proper watch laughing at your XO
    Last edited by DocVBFDE14; 01-13-2008 at 10:11 AM.
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