Firefighter honor guards have the unique ability to use two implements of their trade for ceremonial use: the pike pole and fire axe.
The Pike Pole
First used to unhorse and attacker in the middle ages, it is now used to pull ceilings down and sort of other things to search for hazards. There are two ceremonial versions, one about 4-feet tall and one about 43″ long. Click here for nomenclature and information.
The Fire Axe
A standard axe with a pick on the opposite side of the blade. Click here for nomenclature and information.
Is Variety the Spice of Ceremony Makeup?
This is a matter of opinion. My opinion, based on my experience, is that any ceremonial element (colors, cordon, casket watch) should stick to one piece of equipment and here is the rationale: military color teams do not mix rifle types (M1 Garand, M14, M1903), they do not mix a rifle with a sword or a rifle with a sidearm. Mixing a pike pole and a fire axe is the same- it just looks odd. My advice is to carry similar equipment in the same element.
Stand at Ease with Pike Pole
Port Arms with Pike Pole
Right Shoulder with Fire Axe
For info on which shoulder to use on a color team, click here.