JASON ANDERSON, a Captain with the Pinch Volunteer Fire Department, Pinch, West Virginia, was among those who came immediately to mind when thinking of veteran falconers. Hawk tools aren’t particularly plentiful anywhere. And, given their origins on the prairies of Iowa, mountainous West Virginia may seem like an unlikely place to start identifying experienced Hawk tool users. But, Jason has been hunting fire with a Hawk [tool] for years. He bought his own, at a fire expo, back when they were still manufactured by Iowa American Firefighting Equipment. He first came to our attention when we ran across a review of the Hawk tool that he had posted on an equipment dealer’s website. You have to really like a tool a lot (or dislike it a little) to take the time to bother writing such a review. Nobody in our group had ever seen a review of the Hawk tool– anywhere– before Jason’s. He did a nice write-up. Thanks, Jason.
From phone discussions with him and the number of photos he returned with the Hawk tool prominently in evidence, it’s clear that Jason is a veteran Hawk user.
PINCH is located along U.S. Highway 119, paralleling Interstate 79, East-Northeast of Charleston, WV. It is a busy place. Steep slopes and winding roads keep 3 engines and a truck (a Sutphen “Mini-Tower”) busy covering an exceptional load of structure fires and motor vehicle incidents. Jason sent along a shot of a young truckie (top right, below) who must be a recruit in their special operations training program(?); “…you can never start ’em too early.”
It’s pretty clear from the photos above, there is no shortage of variety in Pinch’s call volume. To get more of the flavor of their work, check them out at pinchfire.com or on Facebook, Pinch Volunteer Fire Department.