griffe d'extraction Halligan
The Halligan Tool
It’s history and many uses
By Eric M. Norberg - Contributing Editor
The Halligan Tool is the most versatile hand tool used in the fire service today, and has been for the past five decades. A New York City Chief by the name of Hugh Halligan developed this tool in the late 1940’s. It has been said that the Halligan’s design was developed from a tool found at the scene of a bank fire in Manhattan. The fire was set to cover up a robbery and after the fire was out, the firefighters found a large tool presumably used to force open the bank’s vault. Reasoning that any tool used to open a bank vault was good enough to force entry into most building, the firefighters kept the tool for their own use.
The tool was made out of heavy steel, weighed 12 pounds, and was about 36 inches in length. It had a large hook on one end and a fork on the other; the firefighters adapted this tool and dubbed it "The Claw Tool". The Claw Tool remained the primary forcible entry tool for many years until a tool know as The Kelly Tool was designed.
Captain John F. Kelly, also of the New York City Fire Department, developed his own forcible entry tool and used some features of the Claw Tool in his design. The Kelly Tool was also made out of heavy steel, weighed 10 pounds, and measured 24 inches long. There were many improvements made to this tool including having a "straight drive" or "in line" striking area, verses the offset striking area of the Claw Tool, an Adz end at 90 degrees to the bar, and a chisel at the opposite end. The Kelly Tool however sacrificed the hook of the original Claw Tool design. Both the Claw Tool and The Kelly Tool remained the primary forcible entry tools for years and were usually carried together, tied with a short piece of rope. Carrying these two tools together is where the term "The Irons" originated.
Chief Halligan recognized that both tools were unique in their design and set out to develop a tool that incorporated all of the important features into one tool that was lighter in weight, yet still able to take the abuse that a firefighter puts it through.
The Halligans design had three distinct parts, the Fork, the Adz, and the Hook. The fork was tapered and beveled, and is at one end by it’s self. At the opposite end were the adz, a wide beveled chisel, and the hook, a tapered and curved spike like shape. These three features were the end result of many studies, trial and error, and changes. Also in the design was the ability to strike the tool from three different points and have the force remain "in line" with the tool. The Halligan was made from one piece of high carbon steel, avoiding the need for any welds that would cause the tool to fail. The end result was a tool that weighed approximately 8 ½ pound is 30 inches long and is almost indestructible.
The Halligan Tool began to appear of fire trucks across the United States and its popularity took off. The patent for the original Halligan Tool has expired and there are many outfits that make the tool today. Chief Halligan, and his Halligan Tool, is certainly one of the great pioneers in the fire service.
The Halligan Tool has a variety of uses, here are just a few.
* Inward and outward swinging doors-Fork, Adz, Hook
* Driving lock cylinders autos or buildings - Hook end
* Twisting off padlocks- Fork end
* Prying Security Bars- Adz, Fork end
Gas shut off- Fork end
As a step up, when placed against a building
Drive the hook into a roof and use as a step, foot hold
Removing manhole covers-Hook end
As an anchor across a window for personal escape with a rope
Attaching to a rope and used to vent upper floor windows from roof
Drive hook into a floor to relieve a buildup of water
Prying off baseboard molding- Adz end
Prying up roof/floor boards-Ads end
Removing roof boards by driving hook into material and pulling- hook end
Prop up hood at an auto fire
Puncture tire to stabilize auto- Hook end
Make a purchase point for hydraulic spreaders- Adz end
Remove tempered glass, auto or buildings- Hook end
Let us know what you use the Halligan Tool for!!!!
| Maya Jurt|
Local time: 14:58
Native speaker of: German, French
PRO pts in pair: 491