Home History Rig Tools Gallery Links Store
Tools of the Trade

New York City Rescue Companies are armed with a vast assortment of tools and equipment. In the hands of well trained and experienced Rescue firefighters, these tools allow the Rescue to operate effectively at a wide array of fires and emergencies. Because of the sheer number, and diverse nature of tools and equipment carried by the Rescue Company, many refer to the Rescue Rig as a Rolling Toolbox.

In addition to firefighting, the Rescue Company is trained and equipped to respond to numerous types of emergencies, including:

  • motor vehicle extrications
  • machinery/equipment entrapments
  • confined space incidents
  • high angle incidents
  • SCUBA operations
  • subway/train emergencies
  • water emergencies
  • structural collapse events
  • trench collapses

As part of the Tools of the Trade, we invite you to take a tour of the Rescue rig. We intend to profile the tools and equipment used by the Rescue for firefighting and emergency operations.

Tool Profiles

Thermal Imaging Camera

Fire Research Corp. Lifesight SurvivorOver the last decade, the Thermal Imaging Camera has become an invaluable Rescue Co. Resource. Considered such an asset, two cameras have been assigned to the company. The MSA Argus 2 and Fire Research Corporation Lifesight Survivor are currently carried by the Rescue.

Considered essential for firefighting operations involving commercial structures, at least one if not both cameras are deployed for Rescue Co. operations. The cameras have been used on numerous occasions to search for victims, pinpoint the area of fire involvement, and assist in the location of lost and disoriented firefighters. There have been circumstances where the camera has been requested to locate the source of an "unknown smoke condition". The cameras have also been useful during overhaul operations in limiting structural damage while determining the extent of fire spread.

MSA Argus 2 TICIn addition to firefighting operations, the camera has been a useful resource for operating at a number of emergencies, including:

  • Structural Collapse
  • Locating water emergency victims
  • Haz Mat applications ,including evaluating drums & cylinders for heating

Man In Machine Kit

Assembled several years ago by members of Rescue 2, The Man In Machine Kit was developed to aid in operations involving entanglements and entrapments. The Man In Machine Kit is deployed with the Rescue members performing the incident size up. These members can then use the kit to initiate disentanglement operations, while awaiting the transport of additional resources.

Man In Machine Kit ToolsWithin the past several years, the company has operated at various types of entrapments, including:

  • Arm in dough press
  • Arm in printing press
  • Child locked in safe
  • Finger stuck in car gas fill pipe
  • Arm in sheet folding machine
  • Child's leg in Barber's chair
  • Finger caught in lock cylinder
  • Foot stuck in bicycle frame

Man In Machine KitIncluded in the Kit:

  • Battery Operated Sawz-all
  • Wood Wedges
  • Soap Solution
  • Pry bars
  • Saline Solution
  • Saw
  • Steel Wedges
  • Hydraulic "clam shell" spreader
  • Assorted Hand Tools (screw drivers, wrenches, pliers, hammers, etc...)

Air Cart

Air Source Cart (ASC)The Air Source Cart (ASC) is a lightweight, portable source of continuous compressed air. The ASC may be deployed to provide an uninterrupted supply of breathing air or a continuous air supply for pneumatic tool operation. The ASC is designed to carry two air cylinders. Each cylinder is connected to a manifold by way of a three-way diverter valve. As a cylinder is depleted, an alarm sounds signaling the need to re-direct the diverter valve to allow the second cylinder to become the supply cylinder. The nearly empty cylinder is then replaced to stand-by.

The ASC is ideal for "surface supply operations" such as confined space incidents, Haz-Mat incidents as well as SCUBA incidents. The ASC has been deployed at a number of confined space incidents the company has responded to, including several incidents below decks aboard ships. Recently, the ASC was set up for a fire in a subway tunnel.

Air Source Cart in use.Each Rescue carries a wide variety of pneumatic tool including air Bags (low & high pressure); air chisels, air struts; whizzer saws; drills; reciprocating saws; and impact wrenches. The ASC is well suited to provide a continuous supply of air to power these tools.


The Griphoist machine is a hand operated wire rope lifting and pulling device, designed for heavy duty and professional work. It is versatile, portable, and multipurpose, not only for lifting and pulling, but also for lowering, tensioning, and guying. Manufactured by Griphoist, Inc., the two Griphoists carried by the Rescue are a valuable complement to the company's rigging arsenal.

Working Principle and Advantages

The principle of the Griphoist machine is based upon a unique arrangement of two pair of gripjaws enclosed in a housing. These gripjaws, work like a pair of hands alternately seizing the wire rope to pull it for lifting, tensioning, or pulling a load, or retaining the load during lowering, or slackening.

TU28 GriphoistA removable telescopic handle is connected to one of the two operating levers, according to the direction of wire rope movement, and supplies the required leverage. Since no ratchet and pawl system is used, any handle movement moves the load.

The wire rope moves with precision, at the slightest movement of the handle. The load is held in any position of the operating lever. The jaws are self gripping under the action of the load or effort. The initial pressure which causes the jaws to grip the wire rope and engage the rope in the self gripping action is provided by powerful springs.

Two Griphoist models are carried aboard the Rescue rig. The TU-28 has a 4000 lb. capacity, and is supplied with both 30 ft. and 60 ft. lengths of 7/16 in. wire rope. The TU-32, with its 6000 lb. capacity, is equipped with a 30 ft. length of 5/8 in. wire rope.

The Griphoists have been deployed on numerous occasions for a variety of emergencies, including:

  • Stabilizing and moving large vehicles (cars, trucks, ships, cranes) involved in accidents.
  • Stabilization of loose/hanging building facades, cornices, security gates
  • Separating large burning dumpsters from building areas and loading docks
  • Structural Collapse emergencies

Battery Operated Reciprocating Saw

A/C powered reciprocating saws have been part of the Rescue tool inventory for a number of years. It's only within the last 4 years or so, that the Rescue companies were assigned battery operated reciprocating saws. Rescue 2 currently carries two 18 volt Milaukee saws and a 24 volt DeWalt battery powered saw.

The portability associated with the battery-powered version provided an increased number of potential applications. The company has successfully operated the battery-powered saw at the following types of operations:

  • Numerous "pin-jobs" - including a wide variety of vehicle types, to: cut posts, windshields, seat supports, sheet metal, etc..
  • Building Collapses - to: provide access, disentangle trapped victims, cut 2x4s & 4x4s to create various types of shoring, cut re-bar to release & remove large pieces of concrete.
  • Fire related collapses - to assist in the freeing and removal of trapped victims (including firefighters).
  • "Odd Job" entrapments & entanglements - to assist in freeing entrapped limbs from various pieces of industrial equipment and other types of devices.

Lyle Gun (Bridger Gun)

Lyle GunThe .45 caliber line gun, has been a part Rescue 2's arsenal since the company's inception. As such, its image in part symbolizes the company, and has become part its logo's and patches. Having its origins in the nautical arena, the line gun is used to shoot a projectile with a service cord attached to it. The small diameter service cord is connected to a more substantial life saving rope. Once those in peril receive the service line, they can hoist the life saving rope to their position. Then of course, the life saving rope would be used on one manner or another to assist the victims.

After placing the projectile in the bore of the gun, the coil of cord is placed into the canister. The end of the cord is then attached to the projectile with three half hitches. Just prior to firing, the .45 cal. Blank cartridge is loaded. After making appropriate allowance for wind, the gun is held at about a 35-degree angle, and fired.

The Lyle Gun was used by the company, as part of an operation to secure a Hospital chimney that had broken loose. This approximately 20-story structure separated from the building proper. The cord was shot to an adjacent roof from a water tower platform located about 15 stories above grade. The cord was married up with heavier line. The heavier line was then used to hoist cables into place to guy the chimney.

The Lyle Gun was once used to subdue a vicious dog, which had attacked and continued to menace a young child. The ill-tempered animal had the child trapped and was holding rescuers at bay. A Rescue 2 member was able to remove the dog from the equation by stunning it with the gun's brass projectile.

"Boro of Fire"Map of Brooklyn

2004 Runs & Workers
Rescue Runs OSWs
2 3,685 536
3 1,801 343
1 2,435 308
4 2,553 301
5 2,005 230

2003 Runs & Workers
Rescue Runs OSWs
2 2,543 544
1 2,851 356
3 1,460 348
4 1,968 278
5 2,195 203

Fulton St Bodega Fire Flatbush Box 3726, 6/10/00 Tavella, Sandas, Gregory, & Jardin Atlantic Ave Mill Basin Draw Bridge

Donations would be greatly appreciated to help the families of our fallen firefighters.
Please send your donations to
Rescue 2 Family Fund
P.O. Box 130262, Brooklyn, NY 11213

Site designed and maintained by:

Contact the Webmaster | 2008 FireCompanies.com.
Content on this Web site is supplied by the fire department. FireCompanies.com cannot be held responsible for any content, either text, pictures, or any other form of media found on this Web site.
Check mail.