Archive for July, 2009

Identify and Visualize

Click here to see whats on the inside.


Free Hand

Paul Ashton from Winter Park (FL) Truck 61 came up with this tool carrying method. This particular method allows for two tools (halligan and rotary saw) to be carried with only one hand. The halligan is put in place by simply placing the adz on top of the blade guard with the pike along the side of the guard. The handle of the halligan then rests on top of the saw motor housing. The vibration springs on the handle hold enough downward pressure on the halligan to hold it in place. As mentioned earlier this method works well when carrying the saw by hand and will not work with a saw slung over the shoulder. There are many situations when a rotary saw and a halligan are needed together, this method frees up a hand to carry other tools. It may not work with different brands of saws, but works well with the Partner 950/960 series as shown in the photos.


Another Reason

Jamie Morelock from Toledo (OH) sent in these follow up pictures to accompany our most recent post titled “This is Why.” Toledo has over 15,000 vacant residential structures in the city, and averages two working fires in vacants every day. On this particular structure the gas is disconnected, the electrical drop cut, and the meter has been pulled. (See even I can get that into a post every now and then…Jimm)

Despite all of the utilities being disconnected the window mount AC units were running when these photos were taken. No generator was present, so some sort of illegal power tap operation was more than likely being utilized. Ironically they had a previous fire in the rear of this structure. Structures like this are going to become more and more common due to the current economic situation. When returning from a run, take a different route (or the long way) back to the firehouse, this will ensure that you stay dialed in to what’s happening in your first due area,


This is Why

Lt Dan Harris from Memphis (TN) Rescue 3 sent in these pictures with an interesting description. Apparently Memphis Engine 27 ran a medical call to this address. This is in fact an occupied dwelling; the home owner simply did not have blinds for the windows. A couple scrap pieces of plywood will do the trick every time.

One of the many subjects that has a clear difference of opinion across the fire service is about when and when not to search. Many people would search this structure, while many others would not. This example should at least make those who normally would have not performed the search to think twice when making that decision. Every fire is different, and decisions on the fireground need to made with all situational awareness factors in mind. Having said that, the building is not clear until we say it’s clear.

A closing thought… We are the fire department, if we don’t search it, who will?


Saving Space

John Simpson from Osceola County (FL) Truck 72 sent in this simple space saving tip. On most rigs storage space is a major concern. It’s extremely important that we utilize all storage space in the most efficient and effective manner. Truck companies in particular must carry a wide range of equipment, and often run out of room for it all. The picture above demonstrates a simple idea of mating two chain saws together to minimize the space taken up by both saws. A simple chain cover made from some hose protects everything from damage.

The picture below shows the mated saws stored on the compartment shelf. Below the shelf is another great space saving tip. Truck 72 had a bracket made up to store the rotary saw at an angle. This bracket decreases the footprint of the saw in the compartment and maximizes the use of the dead space above the saw. The saw would not have otherwise fit in that particular space.

…Of course ditching that gasoline powered fan would open up that compartment nicely. 🙂 Seriously though, it is extremely important to set the rig up the way that works best for us, not the way someone who sits behind a desk thinks it should be. (The last paragraph was the editorial opinion of Jimm Walsh, not John Simpson.)


Fire Axe Inc.

We recently had the opportunity to do a product review on two different axes from Fire Axe, Inc. The two axes we reviewed were the 8lb flat head axe with 36” fiberglass handle, and the 6lb pick head axe with 32” hickory handle. At first glance it may appear that these are presentation axes, but nothing can be farther from the truth… These axes are made to be abused! The axe heads are made from high grade tool steel, heat treated and polished (not chrome plated.) If we had to sum up their performance in one sentence, we would simply say: These axes held up better than any other axe we have ever used. Click here for the full review.


Blocked Windows

Brian Spina from Baltimore City Truck 18 sent in these pictures of a structure in East Baltimore. The structure is a 3 story building at the end of a block of structures. Click here to see the supplemental page with some close up pictures of whats behind those windows.