Hook and Irons

Through the Lock June 02 2013, 0 Comments

Occasionally, we get inquiries about designs, custom orders, etc.  We also get suggestions, and at-a-boys.  We take all of these things seriously as we love hearing from all of you.  Recently though, we were contacted by Brandon Link, a designer out of Pittsburgh who caught our attention with some pretty incredible ideas.  What makes Brandon unique is that he is also a firefighter who works for Berkley Hills Fire Co. on Tower Ladder 247. 

What was immediately apparent was that Brandon had obviously spent a great deal of time considering our brand, our style and our commitment to celebrating our great history.  He offered up some great sketches and shortly after we had a great design that gives the K-Tool its due justice.

Link ventilating the 2nd floor windows

 Link ventilating the second floor windows and opening the soffit for the hose team inside

Those that have used the K-Tool know that the ‘finesse’ approach, through the lock, is something that takes skill and confidence.  Its usefulness is obvious when forcing commercial plate glass doors and when minimizing damage upon entry is a priority.   The K-Tool was invented and patented by Lieutenant William McLaughlin (FDNY). McLaughlin was also a registered locksmith.  Additionally, he worked in the South Bronx on 19 Truck.  And later he became the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Fire Commissioner at FDNY.  His contributions to the fire service cannot be understated.  Decades old, the K-Tool is still the most popular lock puller sold today.

 

From inception to final design 

 

 Example of K-Tool at work (ignore crappy hooligan)

 

Highlighting the K-Tool and showcasing the work of firefighter/designer Brandon Link is the type of project we’re always looking for. 

 

Legacy Built.

 

Fire Forged.

 

Wear it with pride.  Hook & Irons  K-Tool shirt.

 

 





101 Rules for the New Firefighter April 10 2013, 92 Comments

 

1.  When working at a new house for the first time, shut-up, work hard, and pay attention.  I can promise you that everyone is paying attention to you.

2.  The young firefighter knows the rules, but the old one knows the exceptions.

3.  Let the tool do the work.

4.  Be like a duck.  Remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.

-Michael Caine

5. "Twenty-five years from now you will be more disappointed by the the things that you didn't do than the ones you did."

-Mark Twain

 

6.  Don't make a scene and never disrespect your brother.

7.  Never take the seat that faces the television when sitting at the dinner table.

8.  When in doubt, take a halligan.

 

9.  Two hands.  Two tools.

                    -Mike Ciampo

10.  Never claim to be what you're not.  Time reveals all things.

11.  If you don't know what you're doing, say so.

12.  When approaching a fire scene, it is imperative to slow down three blocks before arrival.

13.  Suck it up.

14.  You shouldn't worry when the guys make fun of you.  You should worry when they don't say anything at all.

15.  Give Credit.  Take the blame.

16.  Never turn your back on the fire.

17.  When things go wrong, don't go with them.

                                                      -Elvis Presley

 

18.  Always show up to work at least a half-hour early.  There is no better gift you can give to guy or gal your relieving.

19.  Never trust the hand lights on the truck.  Buy your own.

20.  Don't gloat.  Don't brag.  The guys will do it for you.

21.  Take pictures often.

22.  Seek out the busiest units and the best officers.

23.  Drink coffee.

24.  Don't tell war stories to non-firefighters.  No one thinks its as exciting as you do.

25.  Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

                                                   -Aesop

26.  Don't be so eager to get off probation.  The time you spend riding backwards will be the most fun you have in your career.

27.  Never be the last one to the truck, or the sink.

28.  Be the last one to bed.

29.  Don't be afraid to fail

30.  Drill.  Drill. Drill

31.  Never respond to criticism in an e-mail.

32.  Surround yourself with smart people.

33.  Maintain a healthy fear of this job.

 

Windsor building fire

34.  Stay committed to being a life-long student of the fire service

35.  Share your ideas and observations.  You never know it could save someones life.

"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."

                                                                       -Woodrow Wilson

36.  Learn to cook at least two great meals.

37.  Read John Norman's book, Fire Officers Handbook of Tactics

38.  One fire sticker on your car is more than enough.

39.  Don't complain about how many calls you had last night.  No one cares.  Least of all, the people that are working 9 to 5 jobs while you're napping.

40.  Have pride in your department, but more for your station.

41.  Be precise.

42.  One of the best ways to learn is to teach--even if its teaching what you just learned.

43.  Don't panic.

44.  Befriend the driver.  You won't get anywhere without him.

45.  Go down fighting.

46.  If you're carrying more than one knife, you're a moron.

47.   Be careful what you put on paper or e-mails.  You can't take it back.

48.  Don't scribble in the logbook.

49.  Learn how to swim.  You don't want to be the guy that can't go near the water.

50.  When you're a guest at a house (on overtime or just there for the day), follow their rules.

51.  Offer to help before you are asked.

52.  The phone and the doorbell are always for you.

53.  Just because you have the uniform, that doesn't make you a firefighter. . .It just makes you a city, county, or government employee.  Your peers will let you know if you're a firefighter or not.

54.  When spending money, good quality leather boots are always worth the investment.

55.  Never call out sick on a drill day.

56.  If you don't have kids, Christmas is not as important to you.  You should not be asking for the day off.

57.  The one true measure of a successful shift is returning home safely.

58.  Don't date a co-worker.

59.  Carry two wedges and 20' of webbing.

60.  You will find no better camaraderie than in a firehouse

61.  Don't talk about the other department you worked for.  No one cares.

62.  Participate in a good practical joke.

63.  Introduce yourself.  Don't be offended when you're not remembered.  You're not memorable--yet.

64.  Treat your body well.  You'll be glad you did.

65.  Always have $20 in your wallet.  No one wants to take you to the ATM.

66.  Learn your territory.  Know it like the back of your hand.

67.  When you are out in public, never criticize your own department.  You can make up for lost time on your next shift.

68.  Take the stairs.

69.  Don't show off.  Impress.

70.  When using a power saw, patience, form--not strength are needed to make the cut.

71.  Choose the right blade.

72.  Fire is always changing and you cannot be stationary in your attitude to something that is always changing.

73.  Never criticize a fire or a call unless you were there yourself.

74.  Don't wear your fire t-shirt to the gym unless you plan on giving mouth to mouth.  Trust me, its never going to be the 18 year old     co-ed with sweatpants that read, 'juicy' across her butt.

75.  Be patient with the ER staff.  They can't help that they chose such a miserable career.

76.  Dorms are for sleeping.  Turn the tv off and hang up the phone.

77.  Don't go cheap on the ice cream and the coffee should be from Dunkin Donuts.

78.  Courage is not the lack of fear, it is acting in spite of it.

                                                                         -Mark Twain

79.  You are what you do.  Not what you say.

80.  One of the most difficult and dangerous things to do on a fire scene is backing a truck up.

81.  Pace yourself.

82.  A fellow firefighter who is not willing to share their knowledge is suspect.

83.  Avoid gossip

84.  The common sense approach is usually the best way.

84.  Stick to the plan.  You haven't been at it as long as you think you have.

85.  Follow instructions.

86.  Read John Mittendorf's book  Truck Company Operations.

87.  Attend fire conferences.  You'll see that your department is not the center of the universe and there are other guys that are already doing it smarter and better than you are.

88.  Be the guy that everyone has to say, " take a break.  You're making us look bad."

89.  If your department allows it, invest in a leather helmet.

90.  Always look up and around and read Brannigans book Building Construction For the Fire Service.  If you can't make an educated guess as to how a building will perform under fire conditions, you are putting yourself in danger.

91.  Demand more from your officer.

92.  It is a good idea to carry a multi-tool.

93.  Never defend the liar, the cheat, or the thief.

94.  When your officer tells you to take a nap, it's not a joke or a trick.  He wants you to be worth a damn at 3am.

95.  You don't clean a seasoned cast iron skillet with soap and water.

96.  Shaving your arms is not cool.  It's a good way to contract MRSA.

97.  I'll take the chubby firefighter that can work all day over Mr. February who has to eat six meals, drink three protein shakes, and is no good to me after one tank.

98.  Always eat dinner with your crew.  Your diet is not as important as family.

99.  Never ask the guys to lie to your spouse when he or she calls the station.

100.  When it's your time to drive, always remember that you're now responsible for all the lives in the truck.

101.  The day you show up to work hungover, or sleep deprived is the day everyone is going to need you.

 

I've actually got more than 101, but I thought I'd like to see if anyone has anymore.  That's all for now.

-George

 

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Richie Stewart and the Social Club September 08 2012, 3 Comments

In the early 1800's middle class Gentlemens Clubs were popular in most major cities. These were later referred to as Social Clubs. It was a place where people would escape everyday life and could meet, drink and tell stories. It wasn't uncommon to see patrons playing bar games, listening to live music or enjoying a fine rolled cigar. Modern day social clubs have evolved over the years.The original concept has slowly become what we know today as our favorite watering hole.  After a long tour of duty, these bars are commonly filled with firemen telling war stories or laughing over the pranks they played on the new guy. These are the times when we celebrate the brotherhood of the fire service. 

While researching photos and the history of the fire service we came up with the idea to create our own Social Club.  We wanted to have an outlet where our fans could come together to celebrate the fire service and it's traditions.  A band of brothers who cherish the history of the fire service and want to carry on its legacy.  We want the Hook and Irons Social Club to be there when the bag pipes are filling the streets and when the bartender rings the bell for the last call. 

When we set out to create the Social Club, we had one artist in mind. Richie Stewart.  

 

We pitched him the idea and he immediately jumped on board. You see, Richie lives in Boston,one of the epicenters of early American Social Clubs, where he is no stranger to a tall glass of golden goodness. We looked through his logos and agreed on a concept; simple, clean and bold. He took his inspiration from catalogs of old Americana union logos, and a few weeks later he sent us this gem. 

 

The bold typography and his artistic renderings of a drop of water and a lick fire represent "firewater" perfectly. We love the double meaning.  Finally, Richie rounded out the design with a smoldering cigar. Richie Stewart's art is unmistakable and timeless, if your interested in seeing more of his retro inspired work, click here.   

With the logo complete, the Hook and Irons Social Club has come to life. We invite you to proudly wear the seal of what Hook and Irons Co. represents. There is a lot more to come from the Social Club.  Until then, like us on Facebook so you can share a pint with us at our next gathering.



We Are Hook & Irons July 18 2012, 0 Comments

    Well, if you're here reading this right now, then you are proof that a couple of firemen, given enough time, determination and help can get anything done.  To put it plainly, we have no experience with web design, graphic design, clothing design or any other thing you might need to get a business off the ground.  What we had was an idea and the desire to make Hook & Irons happen.  The idea is simple.  We want to create clothing and accessories that truly honor the history and tradition of the fire service with designs that are simple, clean, and meaningful.  We thought that if we found the right people to help us create fashion-forward designs we could build a clothing line with timeless designs that we would be proud to wear.  

    We have been motivated by certain truths.  The first being that there are thousands of other firefighters out there that love the fire service at least as much as us, thousands that live the lifestyle every day, thousands that are proud of the tradition that they were hired into.  The other truth that gave us the confidence to 'put our money where our mouth is', is that we were both curious and dumb enough to see if we could pull this thing off.

    A benefit we didn't realize when we incorporated and started down this path was that Hook and Irons would give us a chance to throw a spotlight on artists, craftsman, firefighters and companies that we respect.  The first person that we found as much by coincidence as anything else was Tom Lane, our graphic designer.

    As we started looking through old fire ads and catalogs, pictures of antique fire trucks and monochrome photos of the 'old days' we knew that we'd have to find someone who studied and loved the hand drawn typography of the early 1900's.  Easier said than done.  Why should anyone hand draw their letters when Photoshop has thousands of fonts to choose from.  And with a few mouse clicks you can manipulate, stretch and warp those fonts in any way you want.  That's not what we wanted.  We wanted a logo with the personality of a hand drawn sign on a cobble stone street and the beauty of a hand built fire truck from the early 1900's.  We had gathered hundreds of photos and vintage ads and no one. . . .I mean no one got it.  Everyone wanted quick and easy, flashy and fast.  Then we found Tom.

    From our first conversation with Tom we knew we had found a true artist who was already doing exactly what we needed.  We gave him access to our photos, our motto, and the style we were shooting for.  A few days later, he sent us this photo directly from his sketch pad.

 


He had used that early 'gaslight style' that we like so much and to put it over the top, he had incorporated pike poles and the fork of the halligan right into the logo.  Needless to say we were more than a little happy--and impressed.  He had captured the essence of what we were hoping for on his very first draft.

    Things progressed quickly from there and within a week, he had created our mark and the other pieces needed to visually capture a brand.

From these sketches, a brand was born.  We are proud of the look and feel of Hook & Irons Co.  We think the imagery represents everything great about the fire service, and even though we are still in our infancy it is our hope that you come along with us for the ride.  Keep updated on Facebook with everything Hook & Irons by clicking here.