I have read many articles lately about modifying tools by widening certain parts; flattening others; and placing marks here and there for quick reference. I even read an article that supported purchasing your own tool because it put that tool in your hand every day you were on duty.
I am not here to discourage any of the above. I have had my own 24″ pro bar and 6′ roof hook for the past 15 years. Now some of my closest friends say I bought a 24″ Halligan because I couldn’t handle a real 36″ one, but we’re not going to debate that here.
What I would like to ask is, when was the last time you went out to the rig and used the “company tools”? (I know it’s blasphemous to even look at a 3-piece halligan) When was the last time you forced a door without a wedge or without that mark on your tool to tell you the forks are in deep enough? When was the last time you had to work really hard to get those fat forks between the door and the jamb?
I encourage each of you to challenge yourself. I applaud you for making your job easier, smarter and more efficient but I don’t want you to forget the old school way of doing things.
In the fire service we preach preparedness which translates to I’ll always have my tools, gadgets, and gizmos (at least in our minds). In reality, it means we should be prepared to implement “Plan B” even if that is a 3-piece halligan.