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Hacks: The most innovative solutions to firefighting problems

Not every obstacle encountered on the fireground has a ready-made solution some have to be invented

By FireRescue1 Staff

Whether its using old 3-inch line to fashion a pocket tool carrier or using bicycle tire innertube sections to slip over door latches, firefighters are known for inventing ways to overcome fireground obstacles.

So we asked our readers to channel their inner MacGyver and share their best firefighter "hacks." We had some great responses. Aside from those mentioned above, one reader used locking pliers on an air line to get a rig home after a fire.

Here are the three we found most compelling and those who shared them. Got your own hacks? Share them in the comment section below. Those selected as the best will win a free FireRescue1 T-shirt.

 Christopher Martin

I'm a fan of Dale Pekel's idea of how to carry multiple cylinders up a stairwell to the staging area.

 Chris Hulsey

I carry four flashlights in my right front pocket to chock doors. Turn flashlight on and wedge it between the door and the frame — with light shining up to guide you to the door.


 Shanyn Silinski
We took a metal handle, put a used mud flap on it and used it as a 'fire flapper' to deal with tall grass during a wildland fire. It worked better than back-backs and brooms, didn't burn and smothered it totally. It doesn't jam, fall apart and the welded hinge keeps it flexible — and low tech means easy to fix!

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Richard Corso Richard Corso Thursday, January 03, 2013 8:29:20 PM This is a great idea - what would be useful would be to open the ideas suggestions etc to a worldwide audience to send in their real life useful tips. The fire flapper has been in use in rural areas of the UK for over 80 years, the torch/door lever idea is so useful - so sharing ideas between national and international fire brigades is a great idea.
Mitchell Sherrin Mitchell Sherrin Sunday, January 06, 2013 6:45:39 PM We've got a rescue training dummy made out of four lengths of decommissioned 2 1/2" hose dressed in old turn outs. Thing works great for fire and auto ex drills, weighs about 100lbs+, costs nothing and you can feel happy chucking it out of a window during clean up.
Mathew Kagis Mathew Kagis Sunday, January 06, 2013 6:48:41 PM I really like the chucking it tout the window part... Ever feel that way about some patients you treat? (The official answer is 'of course not') but, really....
Brad Morris Brad Morris Sunday, January 06, 2013 7:24:31 PM Have you seen the metal door chocks that hang on the hinge of a door? We have something similar but instead of angle iron we weld on a small section of pipe, about 1" or so. It hangs on the hinge just the same, and the round pipe holds the door open good. In addition, we can hook a rope into the pipe and use it as a tag line. We have even trained on using the "pipe hanger" as an anchor to help retrieve a downed firefighter via rope and it worked pretty good.
Marcelo E. Segovia Castillo Marcelo E. Segovia Castillo Monday, January 07, 2013 3:40:01 AM thanks

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