When it comes to firefighting, certain tools haven’t changed much over the years. While firetrucks grow larger and come with more bells and whistles, it’s still the humble and basic tools that firefighters rely heavily on. Follow these clever safety tips for safely using the traditional pike poles so that you can be a more efficient fireman.
Use Both Hands
When driving the pole up through a ceiling, place both hands on the shaft. Injuries can occur if you’re just holding the handle with a single hand and accidentally strike a floor joist or another obstruction. With both hands on the shaft, you’ll just slide your hands along the pole and avoid most serious injuries. You’ll also minimize the risk that a pole will fly out of your hands when you’re trying to break out a window or other structure.
Stay Close to the Door
You need to see what’s on the other side of a wall or ceiling, but you also want to stay close to the door if possible. When you know that the door is just a few steps behind you, it’s easier to retreat if the situation takes an expected turn. As you clear sections, you can safely move further into the dwelling.
Clean tools simply work better than dirty ones. Regardless of how filthy the pike becomes on different jobs, it should still be cleaned afterwards. There won’t be any debris preventing the hook from working, and this is also a great opportunity to check for weak spots, rust, or other concerns. A light coating of oil will also help prevent debris and dirt from sticking to the pool and hook. Some departments also wrap their pole handles with rope or tape to provide firefighters with a better grip.
It’s vital that you have the right tools for the job, and some of the most basic equipment continues to serve a valuable purpose. These specialized poles require no external power source, they’re easy to carry into a building, and they come in different handle lengths to suit almost any situation. Keep them organized at the firehouse, clean, and ready to go so that you can quickly grab one for the next emergency situation.