While at the Baltimore Firefighter Expo, I met a man named Evers Trice, who owns Trice Enterprises, LLC. His booth contained a few of his self-invented items including the Fire Falcon and the Shlammer. Admittedly, I did not care for the Fire Falcon as it seemed too gimmicky to me. However, the Shlammer interested me and after some conversation, I was given one to try out for a couple months.
The Shlammer is a 6-pound flat headed axe replacement. Some of the features of this tool include a flat “adze” area to pry or chisel, a hammer head, and a hydrant wrench. It also has cut-outs for the forks of the halligan bar which makes a much tighter fit than your standard axe and makes it easier to carry one handed. I know some of you are traditionalists which I completely understand, however, the Shlammer has some really cool features that the flat headed axe just does not. Does your axe need a hydrant wrench? No, probably not, but it also fits gas shut off valves and may help you in a pinch if you don’t carry pliers in your pocket.
During forcible entry drills, the Shlammer was able to be used by itself to force an inward swinging door. I also used it to pry up corners of a car hood and deck lid, which it did fairly well. When married with the ProBar, it fit very tightly without flopping around. With just a light tap on the ground, the two unmarried and were ready for work. Overall, I was impressed with the ingenuity behind the tool and how well it did its job.
The major downside that I saw was the lack of an 8-pound option and the width of the adze area was too thin. This was echoed by all who drilled with it because the skinny adze didn’t allow you to gap the door far enough during FE. I spoke with Mr. Trice with the feedback and he happily informed me that he is beginning to design an 8-pounder with the adze width the same as a standard ProBar.
Like most things in the fire service, this isn’t for everyone. But it makes a great option for officers who are on under-staffed rigs or make it easier to force doors by themselves – which hopefully if you’re on a ladder truck you already know how to do. All-in-all, Mr. Trice has created something useful in the current trend of junk tools.
Check out http://www.firefalcon.us for more information and to see his other products.