My current assignment at the time was on one of the busiest fire fighting trucks in the city.
All of this frustration came to a head one December morning at this single-family dwelling. It was a one-story pitched roof home built in the 1930s with 1x10 tongue and groove ceilings and walls. With smoke banked below our waist upon arrival, I pushed in to link up the initial attack line. When I reached the Engine crew they had stalled out in the hallway, the heat had driven them to the floor and they were unable to advance the line to the fire room.
I went to work trying to get ceiling down. I could hear the saw on the roof and knew that if I could just get a couple of boards down we’d get enough relief to make the hall and the knockdown, but that didn’t happen.
With the short board span in the hallway, being unable to find a fixture, and having the wrong tool for the job... I failed!
Unable to get any ceiling down, with interior conditions worsening, the Lieutenant made the call to back out, and that family's home burned just a week before Christmas.
Several things bothered me about this particular fire. My failure to get my job done, coming out of a seemingly textbook fire and seeing the devastation on the faces of that family that lost everything. But what REALLY struck deep were the what-ifs...
- What if one of those young kids had been trapped...
- What if that hallway had flashed...
That moment was when I knew the G2 had to be more than a concept, and having a better, more efficient tool could potentially save lives as well as the property of our citizens. Every crew needs only the best firefighter tools.
In the past 40 years, the number of Line of Duty Deaths of firefighters in the United States on average is 100.
Firefighters are called to put our lives on the line daily to protect the lives and property of us all. I believe the G2 will allow these men and women to do their job quicker, safer and more efficiently than current practices.
If the G2 allowed just one additional life to be saved or keep a family from losing more of their home, I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to be a part of that.
But it’s just another pike pole! Or is it?
This FireRescue1 article gives a great overview of how pike poles continue to be reinvented.
The most common question I get asked is “what is this hammer action and how does it work?”
The patent-pending “Hammer Action” allows the firefighter to multiply the force generated by hammering the blade head through the board more efficiently, gaining that critical purchase point with less exertion than traditional methods. (No more having to find a light fixture or ceiling fan!)
Once the head has been driven through the ceiling, by turning the T handle a 1/4 turn the G2 is set. I purposely aligned the head and the handle in the same direction so you will always know the orientation of the blade. Designed with teeth along the bottom side of the head allows the head to bite into the board being pulled.
Reversing the direction of the hammer action, pulling down on the shaft, rips the ceiling boards away from the joists.
Creating the much-needed vent lifting the heat and fire gases from the fire compartment, and gaining attic access to check for extension. Working in conjunction with the roof team establishing a vertical vent we drastically improve the tentability of the structure for both ourselves and the civilians that may be needing to be rescued.
It needed a handle though...
Something that would allow me to really throw the tool at the ceiling for the initial purchase, but could also be a working end, depending on the type of ceiling material I encountered.
The first handle was literally taken off the cable row machine and welded to the bottom. It was an early, very rough version of the G2. But it worked! From that initial handle, I designed the modified T.
Being wider than a standard hook, and turning the tips up at an angle gives you the ability to simply flip the tool if you encounter drywall and go to work.
Engineered and field-tested by firefighters, this product drastically improves the efficiency of pulling shiplap over traditional methods. Although confident and excited about what had developed, it wasn’t until I shared with my wife Sarah what I had been designing and through her urging, realized that I needed to share the G2 and get it in the hands of our firefighters since it was one of the best firefighter tools I’ve used.
Created simply out of the need for a more efficient way for myself and my crew to pull ceiling we quickly found other uses as well. Although primarily used for internal operations, the G2 has its place with the outside vent man. A truly versatile tool, it allows a single firefighter to create additional points of egress for interior crews by removing burglar bars and plywood from boarded windows and doors. The G2 will revolutionize the way ceilings and walls in these older structures is pulled during fire attack as well as overhaul.
In this business seconds count. I am confident that the G2 will save precious time and energy on the fireground, saving lives in the process.