New Multi-Use Forcible Entry Tool
A new, lightweight forcible entry tool has been designed by Hugh A. Halligan, Deputy Chief of the New York Fire Department, which possesses new and original features. It is said to combine attributes of the utilitarian, standard claw tool, and the efficient Kelley tool as well as certain advantages of the ubiquitous pike, or hook, and flat-head axe.
The device weighs only 8 1/2 pounds and measures 30 inches in length, it has a forked spade, like a claw tool, at one extremity, and a sharp, pointed hook and an edged blade at the other.
During his eighteen years in the department, Chief Halligan has specialized in forcible entry and ventilation operations and the new tool grew out of his own practical experiences and those of the men under his direction. His main objective was to devise an instrument that, while possessing the correct physical and mechanical principles, would minimize the possibility of injury to the user. Chief Halligan had seen many men hurt while using the old-style claw tool, due to striking the curved end of the claw and hitting off center.
The “Halligan tool” can be used for cutting, lifting, twisting, prying and wedging. It is claimed that its use for lifting skylights, scuttles and for fore ing doors and locks is practically unlimited. It may be adapted for both the comparatively light work of residential and multiple-dwelling districts, and for heavier work encountered in industrial and commercial occupancies, by simply varying the tool proportions in scale.
The shaft of the tool is grooved to facilitate its grip by the operator. There are two grooves on the inside of the hook to prevent slipping when used on locks, and two on the outside to prevent slipping on wet wood. The head is so designed as to afford almost complete protection to the hands, arms and body of the user. After penetration of the claw is made and while the opening and spreading effect of the tool is being exerted, the hook end becomes a firm grip to steady the tool, facilitating movement of the free hand upward to apply maximum pressure. Upon completion of the forcing motion, the “axe” blade affords protection to the hands of the user.
It is reported that the Halligan tool has received a lengthy and practical workout in the New York Fire Department.