Police officers and deputy sheriffs are rarely firefighters, and yet in our lifesaving capacity we need some of the same skills. A mastery of the fire rescue Halligan bar is essential in today’s specialized law enforcement work.
FDNY Deputy Chief Hugh A. Halligan invented the Halligan bar in 1948, and it still bears his name. Halligan’s original bar was a single piece of drop forged 4140 steel, about 30” long, and approximately 8 ½ lbs.
A cross between the FDNY’s Kelly tool and Claw tool, the Halligan bar was lighter and much more versatile. The Halligan bar has become universal in fire rescue service and can be found on fire trucks all around the world.
Law enforcement began using the Halligan tool in SWAT operations decades ago, although, lacking a historical perspective, we have mistakenly called it a “halogen” tool or a “hooligan” tool (this name being derogatory in fire departments).