Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fire Training Update

I found a picture of the firefighters' halligan. This versatile tool is a combination pry-bar, adze, hook, ax, and reach-extender and was invented by (you guessed it) Hugh Halligan of the NYFD, and is now used by firefighters worldwide. It is also useful because when crawling along the floor on hands and knees it the two prongs on the end form a raised triangle that keeps the fire-fighter's hand off the floor. If the hand holding the halligan ever touches the floor the firefighter knows there is no floor ahead. Very useful knowledge to keep from going headfirst into a hole or stairway in pitch black conditions. As I found out, this thing is heavy steel and weighs about 10-15 lbs. - much heavier than an ax. Using one increases equipment weight for the average firefighter to about 70 lbs!


Rob Stowell said...

Chuck... I'm sorry I haven't checked out your blog very often but this sounds like you're having too much fun. How are the old bones holding out?


J. Reaves said...

The old bones are doing fine, Rob - thanks for asking! Crawling through an attic maze in pitch black with full gear and SCBA, and around the perimeter of a smoke-filled room on hands and knees, and up the five-storey tower with 45 pounds of gear at 5,200 feet altitude is pretty much the definitive standard I think! :)

Seriously, I don't feel my age and can keep up with the 20 year olds (well, maybe the 30 year olds) without to much trouble. Who'd a thunk?

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