Common Firefighting Tools
Pulaski: This is a chopping and trenching tool named after Edward Pulaski, a Forest Service District Ranger who fought the great wildfires of 1910. It combines the blade of an ax with a narrow, adze-like blade.
Shovel: Shovels are useful in mop-up operations, where it is necessary to stir up wet dirt and ash.
McCleod: This tool is a kind of heavy, modified rake (with a wide chopping edge, as well). It was Named after Malcolm McLeod, Forest Service Ranger on the Sierra National Forest.
Hazel Hoe: This is a curve-handled hoe-- a good line-scraping tool.
Chain Saw: Saws are an important element in any hand-crew. There are three levels of sawyers-- A, B and C fallers. An A faller is a beginning sawyer, limited to cutting trees 8" in diameter or less, whereas a C faller is qualified to cut any tree (a B faller can cut anything up to 24" in diameter).
Sandvik: This is a short-bladed brushing tool-- it is primarily used in brushing duties; it is not effective on large diameter trees.
Combi Tool: This is similar to a military-issue collapsible shovel, only with a longer handle. It can be used as a hoe, shovel or pick.
Hose: Firefighters use a variety of hoses to construct wet-line during suppression activities. Usually the main trunk of the hose will be 1 1/2" thick, with 1" sections branching off at strategic points on the trunk-line. Sometimes 3/4" or "toy-hose" will be used in mop-up efforts.
photo by: Mail Tribune
Mark III Portable Pumps: Fire suppression agencies use a number of portable pumps to transport water from a source to the fire line. The Mark III is a popular model capable of moving large amounts of water in varied environmental conditions. It is lightweight and easily moveable on a backboard/backpack.
Bulldozers: This type of heavy equipment can quickly create wide fire-line in areas too hazardous or difficult for hand-crews to construct line in.
Foam Concentrate: Foam concentrate is often mixed with water in fire suppression engines. The foaming action enhances suppression efforts by allowing water to "stick" to flaming surfaces. Foam can also be used preventatively in coating homes or other structures threatened by approaching flames.