PARTY ANIMALS. New year’s day, 2019, had just begun when Rescue 1 commemorated the occasion with a first alarm assignment to Box 8-81: fire on the first floor of a string of row houses. Rescueman Jerry Smith took his 5′ “Hawk Roofman” / “Monster” Halligan bar combo to the job, as shown in the left photo, below. He’s been using this set for several months, but is still making periodic refinements to get it zeroed in.
TWEAKING THE HAWK FOR EVERYDAY CARRY. The Hawk was designed with nesting with a Halligan in mind: the forks of most popular Halligans can be notched firmly onto the adze of the Hawk head– or onto the pike of the Raptor end, if present. If the former method is used, most of the weight of the package is at the Hawk-head-forward end, which most people prefer (this is good since it results in most of the length of the set behind the firefighter, rather than projecting out in front.
But, as Jerry points out, it also leaves the Halligan in a forks-forward orientation, which many (including Jerry) would consider to be an “upside down” orientation. He wants to be able to separate the two tools without having to reverse the direction of the Halligan in order to lead with the adze/pike end. So, rather than sliding the fork of the Hallie onto the adze of the Hawk, he’s welded a length of chain to the Hawk’s chrome moly handle as an alternative seat for the forks, a method used by some firefighters (including on FDNY) to improve the carry of their Halligans with a New York Roof hook. It should be noted that in doing this, great skill and care is required to avoid creating a weak spot in the tubular handle at the point of attachment– especially with the Hawk’s super stiff chrome moly tubing.
But, Jerry’s done it right– not just technically, but operationally, as well. His Halligan is supported not only by the fork notched onto the welded ring, but also (as you can see in the photo), the adze/pike end is cradled in and above the notch in the front of the Hawk head. The two are firmly joined when the set is held even slightly upright, but they slide easily apart when the top end of the set is lowered. And, they reconnect easily (again, without having to reverse the Hallie), even in zero visibility.
Baltimore’s busy Rescue 1’s crew has done a lot of fine-tuning of the Hawk evolutions– they’ve been hunting fire with Hawks for years. They were the first rig to carry the tool in Baltimore and have a pretty varied inventory of them to choose from. They’re as strong a group of veteran “falconers” as you’ll find anywhere. Good troops– and busy.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON “JAWS.” As is often the case, sincere thanks are due to “Jaws” Jaworski for keepin’ an eye on Balto and his photo-coverage of this job, in particular. If you like active metro fire photos (duh.), keep an eye on his stuff. “Stanley Jaworski’s photos” on Facebook is a good place to start; the color shots above are from his Box 8-81 post on flickr.