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Curious to know if you have successfully utilized any tools for truck company specific tasks that may not be carried or utilized by others?

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For years the Boston Fire Department has used a wrecking adz successfully on their truck companies. What have you found to work well for you?
I've been using an 8lb sledge or a maul for roof work lately... The handles of both have been wrapped with a piece of wire and hockey tape for a better gripping surface….
Here is a photo of Chris & myself … you can see the sledge and the taped handle..
Photo By Brian Clark

Here is a shot of Quincy Ladder 2's crew after a fire.....Firefighter Stephen Sweet is holding the maul in the center of the photo...
Both the sledge and the maul work well...
Photo By Michael J. Worley

I assume you use the cutting edge of the maul to cut through the roof. We have a maul on our truck but have never trained or used it, except to split firewood. Is the extra weight the only advantage, or is there something else we should look at?
I hope Mike will take the time to comment further on this, and I will let him give you his own tips for which end to strike initially with, but I wanted to get you some an answer to your question.

We discovered this tool tip while watching a video of fireground operations on peaked roof structures in Detroit, Michigan. We were astounded when we first saw DFD's truckies using this tool repeatedly. So, after our intital surprise wore off, we decided to evaluate this tool for ourselves. We modified the tool grip as indicated in Michaels's post above, then waited for a job to try it out at.

We used it at the fire in the photo which was a multi-family structure in which the second floor was well possessed by visible fire auto-venting from the second floor windows on the exposure 1/A side.

Initially, I conducted VES operations over a ground ladder before joing Mike on the roof in the photo above. Mike utilized the tool with good success, and we have added it to our compliment on out truck.

Now, we utilized this on the subroof of what is typical construction in our community: peaked roof of one (1) or more courses of asphalt shingles over wide pine boards. We have had good luck with this tool, obviously then using a pike or rake to push the ceiling below.

Personally, I like the balance of the business end of the tool, find it easy to swing repeatedly, and find that its blunt striking head provides good break-through power on the type of construction we commonly encounter.

Be Safe,

I use the flat end..... The same end as if I was using an axe... If you use the wedge end you spend more time...and expend more energy trying to get it un stuck than you do actually making the h***. If you do use the "wedge" end of a maul or axe make sure it's nice and dull.... it won't get "stuck'’ as much as a sharp one..
Your not trying to split something that is over 12” long…(Like fire wood) Your trying to basically “break” something 1”to2” think…

Here is a shot of an adz in use in Boston..not the best but I'm going threw my stuff to see if I can find a better shot
Photo By Michael Worley

Thats the LT from L26 working with the adz. We (at the BFD) like the tool for its versitility. You have to have some experience and or training with it before you become really good with it. I personally don't use it, but its great for moldings, window frames ect.
Pat, I understand that Boston has been using a combination of the Halligan with a smaller maul. Would you know how that is working out?

It's the best thing for forcing doors I've seen. Does it work a 100%; no. That's why I, as the Officer carry the flat ax. If you have a tough door, I will hand off the ax the the open-up guy, more likely the case- I'll do hitting.
I agree with you 100% Mike. Even with the axe, you are really smashing a h*** in the roof, not cutting one. Most new axes come with a painted head on them. You are better off taking it to a wire brush and cleaning the paint off, it also prevents binding.
Just my two cent's, but I agree striking the roof decking / boards with the blunt end is the most effective method we are not chopping wood we are breaking it. And with a little practice this works well.

And on the subject of tools, I agree remove the paint, and then keep your tools clean and coated with some type of oil / silicone ( the striking end not the handle )


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