The Halligan bar was designed by Hugh Halligan in 1948. At the time he was the deputy fire commission for the FDNY. He’d served with the department for 32 years before that and another 11 after. He’d wanted to create a lighter and safer tool, rather than the claw tool firefighters were using at the time, resulting in numerous injuries. (Fire Engineering)The Halligan bar has three workable ends; an adze, pike, and fork. All of these can be struck with an ax for gaining entrance to a structure. It can be used for prying, twisting, punching or striking. (Firefighter Nation)
The pick can be used quickly to open many kinds of locked doors. The adze or fork end can break through the latch of a swinging door by prying the door and doorjamb apart. This is done by forcing it between the two then striking it with a flathead ax or even another Halligan. With the adze end paired with a K-tool(more on that next week), a lock cylinder can be removed from a door to gain entry. Halligans can also be used for vehicle rescue and knocking down walls.A Halligan is often paired with, or married to a flathead ax. The blade of the ax fits into the fork of the Halligan. And the adze fits right over the handle of the ax. This is often referred to as a set of irons, and is quite useful as they’re often used together.