Walleye, Boat Cleat Prop, & Pipes and Drums

Yes, one heck of a title, but I like to keep the fishing tackle box in the mix with some firefighter training as well.  So a few days ago, a group of us went walleye fishing on the Megacatch.  Let me first say that Captain Park is so into fishing that when he doesn’t have a charter scheduled, he takes his friends and family out fishing.  If your planning a trip to North Central Ohio and the Lake Erie Islands, check out Captain Parks site for more information, here.

Last week another prop idea came to mind and was quickly constructed with some help from fellow firefighter Bob Lieblein and owner of Holiday Harbor Marina who found some old boat cleats.  The prop itself is a small replication of a boat’s gunnel with several variations of cleats.  We quickly made this training into a EMS / rescue scenario that covers penetrating injuries and basic hand tool operations.


This type of scenario can happen, although most instances end with the victim getting free from the cleat and only requiring the EMS side of things.   I’ve seen several penetrating injuries from boat cleats with one being when my dad slipped on a sailboat and the cleat went under his kneecap.  If you are faced with a victim stuck on the cleat or maybe pinned between the cleat and the gunnel, then rescue is required.  Is cutting the cleat an option, possibly, but removal of the cleat is plan A.

The cleats are most often thru-bolted requiring access to the underside of the gunnel.  To gain access you may have to blow through the fiberglass or wood (chisel, hammer, hand saw, reciprocating saw…).  Bolt size will vary depending on the size of the cleat.  Some have screwdriver heads visible topside, while other bolts are threaded into the cleat without topside visibility.  To remove the cleats, good ratchet mechanics by feel is necessary.

Bottom side

One slip, trip, or fall is all it takes.

Hopefully this prop gives the brothers on the water an idea for training.  Now, the pipe and drums part of the post.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the video below of a pipes and drums group from Avon (OH) that stopped by the firehouse.


Pass it on!