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39 entries in the Fire Glossary beginning with "H"
Forcible entry tool with a pointed pick and a wedge at right angles on one end of a shaft and a fork or cat's paw at the opposite end. Used in combination with maul or flat-headed axe for forcing padlocks, doors and windows. Based upon original design by Hugh Halligan of FDNY. Forms the irons" when nested with a flathead axe. Various shaft lengths provide mechanical advantage. Derived from the claw tool (fork and hook).
Chemical gas fire extinguishing or liquid agent for diminishing the combustion reaction rate by acting as a thermal ballast; used mainly in closed computer rooms, aircraft, and other high-value installations where corrosive chemicals or water extinguishers are judged inappropriate. Effective at low concentrations (5%) as compared with CO2 (34%). Being phased out with suitable replacements in most applications, with very restricted exemptions, due to international environmental concerns with this and other CFCs.
Utility rope for raising or lowering moving parts of extension ladder.
A number of individuals that have been organized and trained and are supervised principally for operational assignments on an incident. In the United States, a typical hand crew is 20 in number.
A smaller hose about one inch in diameter used by firefighters to clean apparatus.
Non-collapsible sections of hose, usually 10 feet long, used when drafting.
A source of danger of personal injury or property damage; fire hazard refers to conditions that may result in fire or explosion, or may increase spread of an accidental fire, or prevent escape from fire. Under worker safety and health regulations, employers have a general duty to provide a workplace free of hazards. See also fire prevention, and HAZMAT.
Hazardous materials, including solids, liquids, or gasses that may cause injury, death, or damage if released or triggered.
The most rapidly spreading portion of a fire's perimeter, usually to the leeward or up slope.
Fuels of large diameter such as snags, logs, large limb wood, which ignite and are consumed more slowly than flash fuels.
A natural or improved takeoff and landing area intended for temporary or occasional helicopter use, typically in remote areas without other access.
A fire crew trained to use helicopters for initial attack, and to support large fires through bucket drops and the movement of personnel, equipment and supplies.
A tapered thread termination in a firehose coupling for avoiding cross-threading, the location of which is indicated by a notch cut into a single lug on a hose coupling. If the notches are aligned on mating couplings, the Higbee cuts are aligned and the threads will immediately engage when the swivel fitting is turned.
A suppression technique consisting of finely atomized water droplets at several hundred pounds per square inch of pressure. By far, one of the most efficient suppression techniques available. Advantages include a *very* high conversion rate, unmatched atmospheric cooling and control of thermal layers, very little wasted water (and consequent water damage), and the ease of managing a small diameter booster line (defined above) during application. Disadvantages are lack of distance, lack of penetration into various materials, and high risk of burns to the attack crew. HPF is quite popular in Europe, but was discarded in the U.S. due to different building construction and the resulting increase in disadvantages.
A supplemental pump system used to pressurize the water supply, sometimes used during a large fire, or whenever more than one hydrant is being used.
Any building taller than three or four stories, depending upon local usage, requiring firefighters to climb stairs or aerial ladders for access to upper floors.
A shoulder load of hose with a nozzle and other tools necessary to connect the hose to a standpipe.
Hose bundle prepared for carrying to a standpipe in a high-rise building, usually consisting of 50 or more feet of 1 3/4-inch hose and a combination nozzle.
Forged steel hook at end of insulated pole of varying lengths; used for piercing and pulling building materials away from walls and ceilings. Similar to nautical gaff hook. Short hook with a pointed tip is a pike pole; longer hook on a San Francisco hook; two offset hooks on either side of tip is a universal hook; long p-shaped hook is a Boston rake for pulling plaster and lath; short hook with claw on opposite side of tip is either a gypsum hook or the narrower ceiling hook; pike pole with a short handle is a somewhat useless closet hook.
Flexible conduit for moving liquids under pressure; made of various materials including cotton, rubber or plastic (such as PVC); construction may be braided, woven, wrapped or extruded, often in layers (liner and jacket); hose construction and size differs according to its intended use (e.g., hard suction, attack, forestry, booster); typically stocked in standard lengths and coupled together with standardized fittings. See hose coupling.
Part of fire engine (or hose wagon) where hose is stored for transport and easy access; stocked in layers or rows for quick selection of the desired length, diameter and type of hose; may include hoses pre-connected" to pump outlets on the engine.
Mechanical ramps permitting vehicle tires to roll over top of hose without pinching or damaging the hose. Sudden hose-pinch can cause dangerous backpressures in a running hose and at the pump and release of the pinch can cause a staggering surge at the nozzle end.
See Hose wagon.
Rigid interlocking end-pieces on fire hose; used for connecting hose to hydrants or fire engine pumps and other hose appliances (nozzles, wyes, manifolds, strainers, etc); standardized sizes and threads or other (non-threaded) pressure-sustaining interlocks (e.g., Storz" or other "quarter-turn" connectors); lugs cams or pins are used to tighten and loosen couplings by hand or with a hose wrench.
Rigid frame with rollers designed to fit over windowsill or roof parapet to prevent chafing as hose is pulled across it. Can also refer to a machine designed for rolling hoses in preparation for storage.
Structure for hoisting hoses to permit them to drain and dry.
A handcart, vehicle, or trailer adapted for storing and hauling hose and related equipment; used by industrial fire brigades with large buildings, or where supplemental hoses are needed beyond that normally carried on a fire engine; also used for taking attack hose into a high-rise and for returning dirty, wet hose to the station instead of loading the hose bed with it. Vehicular hose wagon may carry 1,000 to 3,000 feet of hose. May also include small booster pump.
Tool for holding hose couplings against opposite turning forces (tighten/loosen); may be one of several designs for different shapes of cleats or lugs on couplings (round, flat, recessed, etc), and also of different sizes according to the couplings being handled, and come in various combinations to minimize the number of different tools necessary on the fire ground. Also known as a Spanner wrench".
A particularly active part of a fire.
Contaminated area of HAZMAT incident that must be isolated; requires suitable protective equipment to enter and decontamination upon exit; minimum hot zone distance from unknown material with unknown release is 330 feet (United Nations Emergency Response Guidebook); surrounded by warm zone" where decontamination takes place.
39 entries in the Fire Glossary beginning with "H"
The History of the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company
The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire company was started on January 7th, 1937, with John H. Farrell acting as President and Chief to fifty brand new firefighters. The bi-monthly meetings were held at various members homes, the school basement, or The Rose Garden on Wehrle Dr. They battled fires with one truck, and didn’t even have an established district until 1939. Some of their first equipment included a dozen rubber coats and boots they purchased for $10.50.
To raise operating funds, the new fire company held "Smoker Parties" every few months. The first Monte Carlo party required an outlay of $209.55 and returned $210.85. The signing of the Fire Protection contract with the Town of Clarence in 1941 eased financial worries. The Town of Clarence paid 1/10th of the assessed valuation of all homes in the district. At the time of signing, it came to about $550.00.
Harris Hill got its first loan from the Bank of Williamsville when they borrowed $200.00 for a Federal Fire Siren that they had installed on top of Metz's Garage at the corner of Main St. and Harris Hill Rd. One blast of the sired indicated a meeting, two blasts indicated a drill, and three blasts meant a fire!
World War II brought many changes to the Fire Company. Blackout drills sometimes consisted of simulated bomb hits to which the firemen responded. In 1942 a government-owned Curtiss P40 airplane valued at $60,000.00 went up in flames on Transit Rd. a half mile North of Sheridan Dr. The gas tank blew up and the airplane was a total loss. The war also necessitated the purchased of war insurance on the fire truck. The truck, which was stored in Metz's Garage, had to be guarded every night by volunteers.
The Harris Hill Firemen's Club was established in 1951. It was a restaurant that served dinners at the fire hall Wednesday through Saturday evenings and featured dancing on Saturday nights. All monies beyond expenses were turned over to the Fire Company. At its peak, the Firemen's Club had 851 members! The Club was discontinued in 1967 because it couldn't compete with commercial restaurants.
Volunteer Firemen's Sunday, was initiated in our area by Firefighter Walter Pfeil in 1959. Mr. Pfeil wrote a column for the Clarence Press entitled, "Safety and Fire Facts." He also encouraged the Fire Company to offer a creative writing award to high school students, which was posthumously named after him and is still awarded today.
In the 1960's Harris Hill Firemen resisted moves toward providing ambulance service. During this time, the Junior Chamber of Commerce tried to donate an ambulance, but it was refused. In 1965, after Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Co. complained that 75% of the ambulance calls they received were in the Harris Hill District, a fee was sent to them to encourage their continued service. In June 1965, Harris Hill adopted a resolution to provide ambulance services.
On February 2nd, 1970, Clayt Ertel Sr. introduced the Exempt Firemen's Club, as a service organization for the firemen to promote the welfare of the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company.
In 1971, The Eastern Hills mall opened on the western borderline of our district which is Transit Rd. The building boasted a total size of 997,945 square feet and 92 total stores with 7 additional anchor stores.
In 1978, a New York State Human Rights Law against sexual discrimination went into effect. It required a constitutional change which allowed Patricia Grogan to become Harris Hill's first female member.
The fire district saw tremendous growth during the middle to late 1990s. The entire western border line of Transit Road grew uncontrollably to quickly become the second largest commercial fire district in all of Western New York. Additionally, the fire company saw several new subdivisions created, all which doubled the call volume.
In 2001, The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company Explorer Post 114 was started. It consists of a group of 14-18-year-old high school students who are interested in helping the community. Today the program is still functional and is a key resource to the recruitment of new firefighters.
During the summer of 2005, Harris Hill moved into their new fire hall located in the lot to the east of the old fire hall. The new building is led certified (green energy conservancy). It contains ample office space for each firematic and administrative officer, as well as rooms for physical fitness and a training classroom. The new fire station has a seven-bay apparatus room, allowing each truck to have its own bay.
During the 2018 calendar year, Harris Hill answered 629 calls for help and today the Harris Hill roster consists of 63 active members; that dedicate their time and effort to protecting the residents within the Harris Hill Fire Protection District. HHVFC answered 89 calls for help during the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m; 283 calls for help during the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and 257 calls for help during the hours of 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company has been through several changes during its history. The diversity of the people and the times have made the fire company a thriving organization with the brightest of all possible futures. Today the fire company is very active in the community, continuing to strive to be the best, and of course always be ready when called upon.