1. #1
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    Arrow The BEST Tool...

    Ok, here's your turn...

    Think back 25 years in extrication history and then post THE tool that you feel improved extrication the most and why. For simplicity's sake, please exclude posting things like 'common sense' and 'training'. This isn't a 'sales pitch' for any brand of tool, simply to produce thought and look how far we've come.

    Thanks.
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
    BIG RIG RESCUE

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    Likely most everyone's choice will be hydraulic rescue systems. They've advanced greatly and likely will continue. Doubtless they've been used to save thousands of lives through the years.

    Although second, another choice is the restrained buttress concept for vehicle stabilization. Although several brands exist, the concept has revolutioned stabilizing sideresting and inverted vehicles.

    What are your thoughts?
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
    BIG RIG RESCUE

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    I have to agree that the Hurst Hydraulic Spreader started a revolution in extrication technology. Prior to the Model 32A, cutting torches, gas powered saws and brute strength were the "tools of the trade" going back to the first time someone was found trapped in an automobile involved in a crash.

    After Mike Brick and George Hurst came up with the design for a powerful tool that could be operated by one person, the thinking changed on how to address the problem of entrapment. From this tool came the attachment of a cutter head to channel the power of the hydraulics to make opening a vehicle faster. This graduated to dedicated cutters using the hydraulics. The spreaders and cutters continue to become lighter and stronger and can now be combined or interchanged to suit whatever needs you desire them to do.

    Through the training with the hydraulics, interest has increased in the overall extrication process. You now find the people who are well versed in the principals of hydraulic tool extrication also becoming educated in air bags, reciprocating saws, vehicle stabalization and other tools of our trade... but if there had not been a Hurst 32A, we would all probably still be pulling crow bars and cutting torches off the trucks to free victims from crashes.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    I would like to add pneumatic lift bags and reciprocating saw to your list, I think both of these have made a greater impact than the buttress systems.

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    While I agree with the 32A but, the electric reciprocateing saw (sawzall) deserves a spot on the list. I doubt there is a rescue unit in the entire country that doesn't have at least one or more. At least in my opinion it ranks right up there with the hydraulic tools as one of the most useful tools on any extrication job.

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    My thoughts exactly.Cheap to aquire and with GOOD blades a very valuable extrication aid affordable to almost anyone.Portapower deserves a spot also. T.C.

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    I would have to say the original Hurst Jaws which began the evolution of HRT into the multitude of systems that are available to the rescuer today.

    A close second would be the recipricating saw.

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    I am saying gloves. Remember using heavy bulky fire gloves? Now we have the endless line of strong and light weight "extrication" gloves. (Although I buy deer skin leathers from the hardwear store..)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq1scnd2none View Post
    I am saying gloves. Remember using heavy bulky fire gloves? Now we have the endless line of strong and light weight "extrication" gloves. (Although I buy deer skin leathers from the hardwear store..)
    Oh how I loved my first pair of "Red Ball" gloves... we certainly have come a long way!!
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    Here's another vote for recip. saws. There has never been such an economically priced tool that has made such a huge impact on the job.

    I'm a huge fan of them. Quick to put into action, maneuverable, lightweight, and there's just not a lot of things you can't do with 'em.

    Ken

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    OK. If we go back only 25 years (to 1983), the hydraulic spreader had already been around for +10 years and we were learning that the "cutter" attachments designed to be fitted on to the spreader were not such a good idea. Hence, the first true "hydraulic cutters" started to go into wide spread use around that time.

    Does any one remember using a handheld heavy bladed curved cutting tool and striking it with a big hammer to cut a door post? I do. And, I got run out of Southwest Virginia one night by members of a county rescue squad who still used that tool in 1989! After demonstrating a new hydraulic cutter, one of the founding members of the rescue squad came out with the cutting tool raised in one hand and a 5-LB. hammer raised in the other. He shouted to everyone present, "These are all we need to cut a damn door post!!!" Unfortunately, they listened to this dinosaur slayer and the young rescue squad chief (who also happened to be his son) suggested I leave as I had offended his father.

    Huuuuh???

    So, with the advances in automobile design and the corresponding advances in hydraulic cutter designs, my vote is for the "modern" hydraulic cutter.

    Here's 4 simple reasons why:

    * Fast
    * Quiet
    * Effective
    * Safe (no sparking potential)

    With today's hydraulic cutters designed to slice through modern complex car construction (CCC) with ease, I don't know of a single emergency response agency, with primary vehicle extrication responsibilities, that doesn't have at least one. Right or wrong, I know of hundreds of these same agencies that don't yet own a single reciprocal saw.

    Please don't misread what I am saying here. I own, use and teach both reciprocal saw use, as well as circular saw use (with a metal cutting blade) in extrication. But, since 1983 "THE tool" that improved extrication the most has to be the modern hydraulic cutting tool.

    ----------------------------

    Be SAFE out there!

    EEResQ
    KY F.A.S.T.
    Last edited by EEResQ; 07-20-2008 at 01:53 AM.

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    Well,as an extrication "dinosaur" I beg to differ. The cutter,while handy,has nowhere near as many hours on it as our 'cip saws.Lawnmower blade and a hammer? I know of the technique,never used it much.Speaking only for OUR ops,we spread more than we cut.In part because our cutters are gaining in age and WERE NOT designed to cut CCC materials.Our new ones will be but I won't see the full effect of the tool replacement until fiscal '10.I'm just as comfortable taking a rig apart with hand tools as I am hydraulics but it certainly takes longer.We've effected rescues with a "cip saw involving people in machines that would have been very difficult or impossible to do with cutters due to the way the metal displaces while being sheared.So that's my opinion for what that's worth.Cutters are nice but a 'cip saw has many.many uses some even outside of the vehicle/machinery rescue arena.That,along with price,is why it's in my top 5 tools. T.C.

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    101, used to feel the same way about the sawzall until we upgraded our cutters. I wouldn't say it's completely replaced, but the sawzalls get alot less work now.

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    I don't know....I kind of thought that your "Best Tool" was your "Brain". Maybe I'm just crazy!! Sometimes I leave mine in the tool box
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    Halligan,Did you happen to catch the disclaimer"outside of the vehicle rescue arena?" No doubt the cutters have come a long way.But we use the saws for oodles of stuff. Including windshields. Since I have yet to get my new cutters,I guess I have to keep puddling along with my saws. Hehe T.C.

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