Unique Tools of the Trade Part II

The sign above Pete's gear locker at Rescue 2, the true Vulcan God of Fire Lt. Pete Lund

The sign above Pete’s gear locker at Rescue 2, the true Vulcan God of Fire Lt. Pete Lund

To follow up on the previous article, there are two more tools that I wanted to share with all of you. I personally loved carrying these two tools with me when I was assigned to be the driver of the truck at Bailey’s Crosssroads. I currently still carry both of these in my Buggy in Clearwater. But enough from me I will let Pete tell you the story behind these tools and their uses…


vulcan21You think it is easy coming up with names for these tools? Well, the Vulcan Tool was a true test of originality!!! Once again, the “Boys of JAF” outdid themselves. The original design came from an idea created by Mark Gregory of Rescue 2. He was looking for a better tool for the Roofman to take to the roof and he came up with the idea of cutting the adz and fork ends of the Halligan tool and putting them on about a 5′ piece of steel rebar. Well, it didn’t take long for us to come up with something a little better.

The present day Vulcan Tool consists of a 5′ steel New York Roof hook with a chisel end (which we have removed) and the fork end of the Halligan bar. Our first attempts to make the tool a little stronger included a steel sleeve that was placed over the weld and then pinned and welded in place. The problem was that it a considerable amount of weight to the tool. So we went back to the drawing board and came up with the present design and it seems to be working quite satisfactorily. We have taken the chisel end off the roof hook and drilled two holes in the handle of the hook. We have taken the adz end off the Halligan bar and ground it down slightly so that it fits neatly inside the handle of the steel shaft of the hook. We tack weld the handle of the adz end in place through the two holes we drilled in the handle and then put a bead of weld around the entire “joint” to strengthen the point of connection up. It has lightened the tool up considerably and made the tool a fine addition to the tool inventory of Tower 33.

So who is “Vulcan”? Any good, self-respecting mythology student knows the answer to that one – Vulcan is the God of Fire and Volcanoes!!!!!



Melisi Bar on the left, Standard halligan on the right. What a difference that extra bite makes when forcing doors.

Melisi Bar on the left, Standard halligan on the right. What a difference that extra bite makes when forcing doors.

So what do we do with the “leftover” adz end of the Halligan bar after we make the “Vulcan Tool” you ask? Well, it is simple – we take it to the resident expert welder at Rescue 2, none other than Sam Melisi, and have his work some of his magic. Sammy is not only one of the most talented people that I had been fortunate enough to work with in my career but he is also one of the most creative! When posed with the dilemma of having all these extra parts of the Halligan bars after we made all of the Vulcan Tools, we took the problem to Sammy for some fast thinking. Lo and behold, Sammy came up with a way to “fatten” the adz end of a Halligan bar up and give it considerably more leverage when used to exert downward pressure while forcing an inward opening door. Not only will it do that, but it also gives more “bite” on the bar when forcing an outward opening door also.

So how did Sammy accomplish this? Not a big problem for him at all. He merely took a portable band saw and cut the adz end off the parts left. Then, he put the adz in the vise at “JAF” (Jackass Fabrications) and cut the adz two more times lengthwise, thus yielding three separate pieces, each about ¾” wide. Then, he worked his magic with the arc welder and added a ¾” piece on to the adz end of one of our existing Halligan bars.

He then put his talents to work with his 4” grinder and came up with what you see here. A modified and much improved version of our original Halligan bar; as you can see from the attached pictures, it is quite apparent that Sammy is excellent with his grinder also! There is barely any evidence at all that the tool was modified with the additional piece. The man is a genius! And now we have another “unique” tool to add to our repertoire on Tower 33. I am sure it is going to get much good use within the bounds of the Tower 33’s response district!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: