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Take your tools and be prepared for the fight!

Take your tools and be prepared for the fight!

When going in to do battle you must be prepared.  So many times I see crews going in to make an interior attack with just the hose line and now a TIC.

These firefighters look prepared for the fight. The hose is flaked up the stairs and waiting for water.  The crew is masked up and ready to go.

If you look hard,  you can see that two of them have tools in hand or on their belt.  And, look at the firefighter on the right, he has his hood on.

Taking a tool could mean the difference in you making it out of a bad place or not.  Not to mention it gives you additional reach while doing a search.

The uses are endless and important to you and your crew.  You may need to breach a wall, open a ceiling, force a door or two, just to mention  few.  How about a purchase point or anchor point to get yourself out of a basement??

Get with your officer and find out what each of you prefers to use and how you can compliment each other with bringing different tools.  But, hey, if you all want to bring the same tool, just bring it!

Remember, doing the little things keeps us out of trouble and gets the job done right.

Take care and stay safe.

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-A firefighter without hand tools is nothing more than a well dressed spectator!!!!!!!!
Brick, you beat me to it! Without a tool, not even well dressed
It amazes me how many times I show up on the 2nd or 3rd in truck or 5-10 minutes after the first units were on scene ( all volunteer fire departments) and I still get to go in and "do something" because I get packed up and grab my tools therefore I normally get to walk to right past crews that have been standing at the door empty handed to go in and finish putting out their fire. Since we stressed this is meetings and trainings most of my department is really good at getting some type of tool to the front door. I sometimes wonder if the lack of tools have helped to lead us to more close calls because FF's do not have the correct equipment ready to complete extinguishment instead they are making a good knock down but are not able to follow up by checking for extension until the attic has flashed over.
When our department initiated the two tag accountability system (10 years back?) we noticed that the only guys using it consistently and correctly were the new members who used it during FF1. As the years passed we had more and more guys using it consistently because A) they have always done it this way and B) the older guys are reminded by the younger guys (words or actions) to do it. We're not perfect but now we use the accountability tags on almost every call.
A couple years back we noticed that our department did not have the habit of grabbing a tool before going in. Some did consistently, some didn't consistently. We looked at our experience with the accountability tags and started with FF1 training. If they got to the door without a tool they were sent back. It started by reviewing if they had everything needed and if they overlooked the tools we brought that up. Along with potential uses and need for assorted tools. As they progressed through training it was a simple "Hey, don't you need a tool?" Now we see the younger guys helping to increase the number of members that take a tool in.
Only other way to make the change is as the officer or senior fire fighter to make a stand at the door, every time, that if you don't have a tool we don't enter until you go and get one. You'll piss guys off but after one or two times of seeing you are serious they'll do it.
This is especially true for company officers. In these days of understaffing it takes everyone in the company to contribute to a safe and effective operation. I have seen on more than a few occasions an engine officer standing at a locked front door empty handed (or at best a portable radio in one hand and a cheap flashlight in the other) odering his fire fighter, who just stretched a handline to the door by himself, back to the engine to get the irons.
I get questioned still as to why I carry two tools and carry a tool at all. The mindset I've run into is the guys want to have their hands "free" to use them, they don't want to have to keep up with a tool. They can do more with their "free hands". Not having your tools is like a shortstop not having his glove or a catcher not wearing his gear and his mitt. Doesn't make much sense does it?? Carry your tools, take pride in your tools, know your job, DO YOUR JOB!! Great topic Brothers!

I try to teach the new hires that one tool is nice but two tools are better. I also try to stress to them that our tools are designed for forcible entry and overhaul, but more importantly FORCIBLE EXIT. Our tools are there to get us out of situations that go really bad really fast.
Even when we are assigned to an Engine Co and we pull up to smoke showing, before we grab that nozzle and make an agressive interior attack, we should grab a tool as well and slide it into the waist strap of out SCBA or our tool belt.

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