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Lets keep our tool history alive and see how much information and old pictures or ads of our tools we can find. Please include any links or history info you can find. We need to instill in our younger generation on why those before us adopted or made the tools we use today.

Halligan Tool

The Halligan Tool also known as a Halligan Bar, is a tool commonly used in the fire and rescue service for forcible entry. It was designed in the 1940’s by Hugh Halligan, a First Deputy Fire Commissioner for the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). The Halligan is a multipurpose prying tool consisting of a claw (or fork), a blade (or adze) and a pick. This heavy duty tool was designed to pound, puncture, pry, twist and cut all types of barriers, and has been given the nickname of “The Universal Key”. The Halligan tool has become so popular among the firefighting community that equipment manufacturers have developed versions of the same tool which carry the name of “PRO BAR” or “HOOLIGAN TOOL”. A Halligan tool can be joined together with an axe or TNT tool to form what is known as “a set of IRONS”.

Specifications: Manufactured of heat treated high alloy steel for maximum strength. The Halligan is available in numerous lengths ranging from 24” to 42” and weights from 8 lbs. to 12 lbs.




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Replies to This Discussion

Chief Halligan made one of the greatest contributions to the fire service with his tool. Today though the Pro Bar is hands down the best bar on the market. It was designed by Robert Farrell and William McLaughlin, both of the FDNY, back in the mid 1960's. The Pro Bar improved upon the design flaws of Chief Halligan's original design, based on their experience of operating in some of the busiest companies in the South Bronx during the "War Years".
We have a "Hugh A. Halligan autographed" bar on our Rescue Co. at work. I'll take a picture of it on Friday and post it this weekend. Most of our guys don't realize what we have and I'm trying to figure out a way I can ask the Chief if I could have it.
Jamie,

Thanks for the info on the Pro Bar!

Pro Bar

A brother posted a little plug about Bob Farrell of Fire Hooks Unlimited about when Bob bought his first Halligan out of the Chief's closet for $32! I found the above info out after reading about the IAF bar and the information about the company he got from Bob off the WA State F.O.O.L.S. page. Iowa American

I believe the IAF halligan was machined from a block of stainless steel as opposed to the drop forging method utilized for the alloy-steel Pro Bar. The Vitels (IAF) were inovators and offered truely custom options on their bars for the end user. It is too bad they are no longer in business.
Bob, told me the story sometime back. It started out because he was assigned to a ladder co. where there was a FDNY owned Halligan on the rig...and Bob decided to cut an "A" tool into the adz. Needless to say his Captain was less than impressed. Since the bar was FDNY property and not the company the Captain required him to replace the bar at his own expense. Bob traveled to Chief Halligan's home in the Bronx where he sold him the bar and knocked a few dollars off for the young FDNY member. Bob returned to his Captain with the new bar. Bob asked that since he replaced the bar with the new one, he'd like the one he cut the "A" tool into. The Captain simply told him "NO" and placed the new bar along side of the old one.
Jamie,

I read that the IAF was forged and not machined according to the post on the F.O.O.L.S. page. Thanks for the indepth history on Bob's little predicament! Sounds like something a fireman/innovator ahead of their time would do and get in trouble for. Too bad they couldn't see the future but it's awesome to relive the past with stories like this!

Stay safe Brother!
I will do some checking on the IAF. I have their company history on CD...somewhere.

Brad Hoff said:
Jamie,

I read that the IAF was forged and not machined according to the post on the F.O.O.L.S. page. Thanks for the indepth history on Bob's little predicament! Sounds like something a fireman/innovator ahead of their time would do and get in trouble for. Too bad they couldn't see the future but it's awesome to relive the past with stories like this!

Stay safe Brother!
Speaking of which, does anybody know when or why Iowa American went out of business? Seems like one day they were there and then they were gone the next...

Jamie Morelock said:
I believe the IAF halligan was machined from a block of stainless steel as opposed to the drop forging method utilized for the alloy-steel Pro Bar. The Vitels (IAF) were inovators and offered truely custom options on their bars for the end user. It is too bad they are no longer in business.

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