By Mark van der Feyst
Which tool goes in which pocket? Many of us carry small hand tools in the pockets of our gear. These provide convenient access to an immediate need and help us with circumventing certain situations.
Although there are many different thoughts on what small tools each person should carry, a small assortment should be carried by each firefighter. Choosing which tools to carry will be up to the individual to decide based upon the needs they face commonly.
A good rule to live by is if it is not used within one year, then remove it and replace it with something else that you did use. You will find that small hand tools carried in the cargo pockets of your pants will add discomfort to your legs as you walk or even crawl during operations. It is best to place these tools in the pockets of your jacket where it will be easier to access.
A good rule taught by Firefighter Tim Llewellyn is to place tools that are for rescue in the right pocket and tools that are for life in the left pocket. Tools for life are for survival and tools for rescue are for everyday fire ground operations.