Top News

Firefighters show off tools of their trade

Evan Hale, driver-operator with the New Glasgow Fire Department demonstrates how the ladder work’s on one of the department’s trucks.
Evan Hale, driver-operator with the New Glasgow Fire Department demonstrates how the ladder work’s on one of the department’s trucks.

PICTOU COUNTY - Firefighters from across Pictou County came out in force to display the tools of their trade at Walmart Saturday, before roaring off in a parade of trucks and flashing lights.

Among the apparatus on display was the New Glasgow Fire Department’s ladder truck, featuring an extendable 75-foot ladder used to rescue people from structure fires in high-rise buildings.


“Basically, it’s a two-man operation if you’re going to be running this truck at a scene. We have one gentleman here that’ll be on the pump and we have another firefighter that’ll be up top,” said driver-operator Evan Hale.


He climbed up the back of the truck to a pedestal with a control panel, showing onlookers how the ladder can be retracted and fully extended.


While the ladder can be controlled from the back of the truck, the nozzle used to tackle high-rise blazes is operated by remote control.


“The last call that we had to use this at was a structure fire on Park Street, New Glasgow,” said Hale.


Another vital tool used by firefighters is the Jaws of Life device, commonly used to free victims trapped in vehicles after a road accident.


Chief Joe MacDonald at Barney’s River Volunteer Fire Department displayed a new electric battery-powered Jaws of Life.


The device’s hydraulically operated metal spreaders can be used to pry open car doors to free a victim. It can also be used to cut through metal panels if needed.


Such a device can speed up the rescue of badly injured victims and get them to hospital within the ‘golden hour’ after an accident.


Patients who reach emergency care within the first hour have a much greater chance of surviving even serious wounds, something first noticed by US Army combat medics during the Vietnam War.


“After the accident you have one hour to get a victim from the car to the emergency room,” said MacDonald.


Another basic but essential device used by firefighters in rescue operations is the Halligan Tool, which Alma Fire Department showed The News.


This metal bar has a spike end for puncturing open doors, drywall, or a car’s engine compartment during a vehicle fire, allowing fire crews to quickly reach and extinguish such blazes.


The Halligan Tool also has a second forked end that can be rammed into a doorjamb, to then bust it open using a flat-head axe or mallet.


“Always when you have this tool you’re going to need a striking tool with it, so you’re either going to need a flat-head axe for striking the end, or a large mallet,” said Captain Cory Chisholm.


Firefighters displayed their wares and trucks to the public for an hour before departing Walmart in the Pictou County Fire Fighters Association Fire Prevention Parade.


The convoy of fire trucks passed through Westville, Stellarton, New Glasgow, Trenton, Abercrombie and ended in Pictou.

Recent Stories