WAKE-UP CALL. At around 12:30am on a Friday morning in July, the Johnston-Grimes (J-G) Metropolitan Fire Department, in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, kicked off the day with a multi-agency residential alarm. First arriving J-G Engine 381 was greeted by a rapidly spreading fire blowing out of the A/D corner, Division 1, of a two-story Colonial. The fire had already extended vertically to involve most of the 2nd Division. E381 quickly gained control of the fire on the lower level while Ladder 395 established multiple access points to the upper story and assumed general support duties.
TAKING ALONG THE “FAMILY.” This paved the way for 2nd due Engine 371 to make a successful push up the heavily involved stairs and, working from room-to-room, knock down fire in the sleeping areas and prevent extension into the attic. Earlier, Engine 371’s dash cam caught the company’s Lieutenant, Ty Wheeler, as the crew headed off for their assignment. If you look closely, you get a coarse-grained glimpse of his unusual tool set. It’s a surprisingly compact and manageable combination of a Hawk Tool, one of our “Classic” pattern Halligans, and a 3 pound hand sledge. A verbal description doesn’t suffice; fortunately there’s a more recent photo of this rig posted on Facebook, assembled as it would be carried– its included below, as is a sort of parts list for the project. For more background, you might also take a look at our blog on what we call the “Smith-It.”
J-G units were assisted by Urbandale, Polk City, Saylor Township, and Dallas Center units.