There are Tools and then there are T-O-O-L-S.      Below is a list of Tools No Real Fire Mechanic Should Be Without...

 

 

HAMMER:

Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is generally used as a kind of divining rod to locate those really expensive parts not far from the object you were really aiming at.

 

EMT's KNIFE:

Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to the front door; works particularly well on boxes containing PPE, first aid kits and other soft gear.

 

AXE:

Most famously used by Paul Bunyan with a Blue Ox for splitting wood for camp fires.  Has further been refined into a theoretical means to ventilate fires and to aid in adding clarity to where certain structural members of the roof are located.

 

Snap-On BATTERY POWERED HAND DRILL:

Normally used for spinning aluminum pop rivets in their holes until they melt, but it also works great for drilling mounting holes in panels bordering the front cross lay hose.

 

PLIERS:

Frequently used to round off bolt heads.  Have been known to apply extreme pressure to certain soft web parts of the hand resulting in severe pain and discoloration.

 

HACKSAW:

One of a family of cutting tools built on the principle of original sin.  It effortlessly transforms human reciprocating energy into an erratic and unpredictable motion.  It is no myth that the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

 

VISE-GRIPS:

Most effective when used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your support hand.  Have been employed with limited success in high pressure hose testing to isolate a leaky portion of hose just prior to breaking through the outer covering, thus creating a new leak.

 

OXYACETYLENE TORCH:

Used almost exclusively for demonstrating the fire tetrahedron by raising various nearby flammable objects in the adjacent bay above their flash point.  Also excellent for igniting the grease inside the brake drum you're trying to get the bearing race out of.

 

DRILL PRESS:

A tall, somewhat hefty and upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hand so that it smacks you in the chest while simultaneously flinging your coffee across the station, splattering it all over that freshly painted panel you had just set aside to dry.

 

WIRE WHEEL:

Makes short work of cleaning oxidation off Aluminum hose connections and sends a fine cloud of white dust in the air that inevitably settles on that still-wet panel.  Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the same time it takes to say, "Ouch..!"

 

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK:

Used for lowering Brush #2's tender to the ground after installing new shocks.  Typically performs this task flawlessly while firmly trapping the jack handle under the left fender rendering it out of commission.

 

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4:

Often used for leveraging small vehicles (quads, tenders, trailers, etc.) upward off an awkwardly positioned or trapped hydraulic jack.

 

TWEEZERS:

A small two-pronged spring-loaded tool typically used for picking up very small objects.  Works very well when trying to remove Douglas fir splinters after attempting to free said jack.

 

CELL PHONE:

A smallish tool for summoning your buddy to see if he can assist in getting you out from under the Douglas fir 2x4 with some other form of nearby mechanical advantage.  This is a particularly good time to try to remember how to use the audio function of the phone since it can be difficult to text while having one arm trapped under the 2x4.

 

JAWS:

An ingenious set of golf kart battery powered mechanical Super Pliers  used to pry numerous heavy objects apart – such as providing the mechanical advantage for lifting the tender off the entrapped hydraulic floor jack.

 

SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER:

A somewhat misnamed tool useful in sandwich preparation for spreading mayonnaise; but works well when digging dog do out of your boots.  On rare occasions has even been seen being used by rookies for removing gasket material from an old flange or coupling.

 

E-Z OUT – BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR:

A tool that effortlessly snaps off in exhaust manifold bolt holes and is ten times harder than any drill bit known to man.  Limited success in removing said tool has been achieved by welding a new stud to the broken tool. However, more likely than not, it will result in the ruination of another otherwise perfectly good cylinder head.

 

TIMING LIGHT:

A mesmerizing stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup in brilliant High-Def 3D.  Oft times used to test one's responsiveness to symptoms of epilepsy.  Has, on occasion, contributed to nasty cuts to hands since it makes fan belt and fan appear to be standing still.

 

TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST:

A powerful extracting tool for testing the tensile strength of the ground straps, brake and fuel lines you forgot to disconnect from the chassis when removing the engine.

 

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER:

A large battery manipulation tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.

 

1 ABC FIRE EXTINGUISHER:

A handy tool for attempting to extinguish a one square foot wood fire.  Has been known to be useful when creating snow scenes in HO model railroads.

 

20 FOOT TAPE MEASURE:

Often used in conjunction with the 1 ABC Fire Extinguisher (above) to determine - in advance - the area on fire prior to emptying the first vessel and before extinguishing the fire.  Measured area can quickly be converted through simple math to the number of extinguishers needed to put out the fire.

 

BATTERY POWERED SAWS-ALL:

An improved and more powerful version of the trusty hacksaw.  Typically runs out of battery power just as the saw blade becomes jammed in the last cut of the “B pillar” making it necessary to seek other means to continue extrication of the trapped passengers.

 

TROUBLE LIGHT:

The true mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light (for obvious reasons), it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," which is not otherwise found under fire vehicles at night.  Health benefits aside, it's main purpose is to consume 40-watt light GE bulbs at some phenomenal rate causing otherwise unnecessary trips to Walmart.  More often dark than light, its name can be misleading.

 

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER:

Normally used as a weapon to stab and twist stubborn oil filters loose while providing only minimal damage to the middle knuckles of your right hand.  As the name implies, has been proven very effective in removing the X-slot on Phillips head screws.

 

PIKE'S POLE:

Theoretically used to extend one's reach into fire space and to probe sheet rock walls and ceilings, but has proven effective at stabbing a hole in the 1-¾” hose running by your feet as you plant it to rest on.

 

HYDRANT SPANNER:

Often mistaken for a discus launcher, this c-section wrench was originally designed to facilitate the joining of hoses to fire apparatus for a leak proof installation.  Is often mistaken as half of a large bottle opener.

 

FIRE HYDRANT WRENCH:

An adjustable 72 degree angle wrench originally designed to be used on the “tamper resistant” 5 sided nut to control the flow of water from a fire hydrant.  Has more recently been seen in certain locales being used to quickly and efficiently separate walnut meat from its shell.

 

STORZ COUPLING:

A hermaphroditic or two-way connection popular in some geographic areas for accomplishing sexless mating of LDH to fire hydrants.  Has been known to thoroughly perplex rookies since both ends of the connection have the same visual appearance.