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Since the the question of “What’s on Your Stick” was so popular, I decided to follow it up with another on. What’s in your cab?





I have seen and talked to many who do things a differently in regards to tools and implements of destruction in the cab of the truck. As we all know all tools and items are supposed to be secured if it is to ride with us in the cab. (There is my disclaimer, so please don’t point out the obvious.) However, we know this is not always practical and so that is not what this post is about.


Rather, I want to know what tools or items you just can’t live without having close to you whether you are in the “seat” or riding backwards.

So, what is your weapon of choice and why?

What would you like to have that you don’t?

Do you get to pick what you take or do you have specifically assigned tools?

Let us know how you work and any great tips for keeping tools in the cab.

Stay safe and train hard.

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-Wow, I never realized FD's still mount tools inside the passenger cab. I thought this practice went out with open jump seats. I was sure this was contrary to the latest revision of NFPA 1901 standards for fire apparatus though I may very well be mistaken in that this outmoded practice may still be tolerated.
-Interestingly enough, mounting tools in this way was done in the old days because of the lack of available compartment space on the older fire apparatus... not really an issue today is it?
-I do know that the NFPA version I found states all tools inside the cab must be properly secured, meaning the tools inside the cab will remain secured during a collision. This includes closing interior cabinet doors.
-I'm not even sure why anyone would want to mount dangerous, sharp, pointy, snag creating, dirty tools inside the passenger cab. Is it to far of a walk from the cab to the outside compartment? Please don't tell me about the time it saves by having firefighting tools inside the cab because I just won't buy that excuse. Nor will I listen to how safe this condition is because it is emphatically not when compared to mounting tools in the more appropriate outside compartments.
-What's more, any serious Tom Brennen student will immediately recognize one of Tom's biggest pet peeves in the first photo. Who is the lazy bonehead that put the dirty closet hook back in the truck?!?! Where the firefighters just to busy or to tired to accomplish the bare minimum of mediocrity here and clean the hook for the next call? Or is this so the other shifts will know someone was "battling it out with the dragon"? Common!!! There is no excuse at all for dirty tools. This is just nothing more than plain old lazy, sloppy firefighting.
-ALL tools should be cleaned before they are returned to the apparatus.... that means right away, on scene. Hose it off and wipe it down with a rag before returning it to the compartment. The next call may be just minutes away.
-Tom was fond of saying, "clean tools are the mark of professionals". And, "all I need to know about a fire company can be learned by opening a compartment and looking at their hand tools. Are the tools clean, properly stored? Are like tools together? Are the Irons married together? Or are the tools dirty and rusty from a fire no one on duty can remember?"
-Additionally, all compartments and cabinets inside the crew space, like in the first photo, should be closed and properly secured as well. There is a reason the roll down door is on the front of the cabinet. Or are the crews to busy and tired to do that too?
-And as long as I'm p****** people off while on my soap box here, just for the record, I think all Closet Hooks should all be melted down and used to make 6' Roof Hooks. Or maybe they are just the right size for these obviously exhausted firefighters.
Jason,

First and foremost, great thread! I won't state the obvious but as previously mentioned there are some things that don't meet NFPA standards in the photos...as with any fire truck in this country.

I am a firm believer that anything in the cab should be a benefit to us in accomplishing our goal. Recently I read that some departments are moving their SCBAs to an outside compartment to help firefighters focus on safety and putting on their seat belts. I believe that we are smart enough as firefighters to figure out a way to safely put on our packs while having our seat belts on but I do applaud these departments for thinking outside the box!

On a recent flight out of state I was sitting on a commercial aircraft and it struck me that everything on the plane has its place, the coffee maker is secured along with all of the beverage and food carts. I believe fire apparatus should be no different. Everything has its place and it should be stowed and secured for departure!

Ok enough beating that horse. On to you question about tools: I prefer a halligan tool and I would love to have a 6' roof hook. I feel that these two tools can do just about anything on fireground shy of venting a roof. In my opinion the more versatile the tool the more beneficial it will be to me as a firefighter. Now I'm not saying that I want a manufacturer to come out with a halligan sized multi-tool (I'm sure someone will someday and throw a $3000 price tag on it) but I have found that almost any situation can be handled with a halligan or roof hook. I feel that these tools are well designed (depending on the manufacturer) and will help us accomplish our mission if used correctly.

On my department we are free to choose whatever tool we want to take in but there is a stipulation that anyone that goes interior must have some sort of tool with them (and no, a probationary firefighter does not qualify, I've asked). I am attempting to try and transition our department to assigned job functions because I believe that knowing what your assigned function is going to be and what tools you will need eliminates the need for "tool compartment playtime" as I like to refer to it where you will see several firefighter rummaging around the apparatus and hearing "I'll trade you that halligan for a dry wall hook"....those make for some interesting remarks.

All in all, I feel very fortunate that our apparatus have an overabundance of equipment and very little of it is actually in the cab. As far as equipment needed in the cab, I will take a good headset, a mobile data terminal, and a foot pedal hooked to a Q siren any day of the week!

Keep up the traditions,

David Mellen
Mounted in our cab is the usual, TIC, handlights, radios, multi-gas detector, survivor lights, traffic vests, SCBA, map book, report book and coming soon a Toughbook. For the most part I would have to say that we are much better about limiting equipment in the cab now then we were on our C-8000. The back dash of that thing was horrible ( still is pretty bad). As for tools I would like to have: there isn't really any that I would want in the cab. I prefer that our members have to make a conscious decision about what tool they need based on building construction, conditions and the task at hand. This way they do not show up with a pike pole to do forcible entry. There are some disadvantages of things being too simple, we cannot do everything as "second nature" it should be calculated. The tools that I prefer to use are the TNT and the Roof Hook. Once you go to a roof hook you will not go back to a pike pole.

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