The Blairstown Police Department (BPD) recently beefed up its public-safety toolbox, with a little help from some friends at the Fire Department.
The BPD has acquired four Halligan bars, forcible-entry tools that have become indispensable equipment in firefighting, which its officers will use to breach doors in the event of an emergency.
According to BPD Chief Scott Johnsen, Blairstown Hose Co. #1 donated two of the Halligan tools, which will be kept in police patrol cars, and will instruct police officers on their use.
Blairstown Fire Chief Mark Slater, a certified instructor, has already conducted one round of training and will be holding another to teach officers how to most efficiently use the tools.
The Halligan Tool was invented in the 1940’s by Hugh Halligan, a chief with the New York City fire department, to replace cumbersome and less-effective forcible-entry tools of the era. The Halligan bar, with a weight of about 10 pounds is designed for prying and leverage, a pick for breaching locked doors and a fork for breaking latches and locks.
Chief Johnsen said the fire department’s help with the Halligan bars is a good example of how the two departments, along with the Blairstown Ambulance Corps, work together to protect area residents.
“The Blairstown Emergency Services have a great working relationship with the common goal of serving our community,” he said. “I am very thankful for the donation and training of the Halligan tools by the Blairstown Hose Company.”
The fire department echoed those sentiments in a post on its Facebook page. “We are thrilled to have a relationship with our police that works to make each department better,” the post reads. “Working, talking, training and just knowing each more personally will help us end emergencies quicker.”