1. #1
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    Default Stabilization Struts

    Hey Folks,

    We are in the process of evaluating several different brands of vehicle stabilization struts. All 8 of our Rescues already have Paratech/Hurst ART struts on them, but we would like something simpler and faster to put into place on your "bread and butter" calls (ie. car on it's side/roof).

    We have had much debate amongst ourselves here about just how necessary a "lifting" ability is for these struts to have. Understanding that almost all struts can be made to lift by using the ratchet straps to tension the buttress enough to create up to about a foot of lift, we are debating the necessity of having the need to lift higher than that (ie. using Rescue-Jacks).

    Many of us (myself included) are very hesitant to lift that high, always being of the frame of mind that we lift only high enough to accomplish what we need. Also lifting with the very devices that are also your stabilization seems inappropriate. Always having been taught that when you "lift and inch you crib and inch" the concept of lifting with the strut (especially now that you can "leapfrog" the jack) seems like we are getting away from one of our core tenents in extrication. The sales reps, the pictures and the videos all show these pretty incredible lifts being accomplished, and I must admit that capability sure does look appealing.....but they never show the "stabilization" that goes on DURING the lift...only after.


    I'd love to hear from this group it's opinions on this....especially if BC Moore has any pearls of wisdom.

    Thanks!!!!

  2. #2
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    Not sure where you are located at but ResQJack puts on a stabilization university at their facility in New York each year. We have sent teams up the past two years and they have come back each time with new and innovative techniques for utilizing the struts. They also do other programs around the country during the year which covers much more than the standard sales pitch. If you send me your email address I can forward you some photos of scenarios that I took at their training program last year that may help answer your questions.

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    Develop a list of "must do's" for the eqt and a list of "nice to do's". Evaluate all available and select the best option for your agency.

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    I just completed a Res-Q-Jacks training here in Florida, very impressive system. The training was not a sales pitch at all but a hands on physical applicaiton strut systems. I highly suggest anyone to attend no mater the brand of strut you carry, you will learn something.

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    We just purchased a set of Res-Q-Jacks for our new squad and had a training rep come out to us. I'm very impressed with their capabilities and the ease of setting them up. I've used paratechs before and to me these just seemed easier to use. That may be a function of having "professional" training as opposed to in-house training.

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    We're using the Paratech struts and like them. To be honest, I've never really had my hands on anything but them and the Rescue Jacks.

    To be honest, I've never heard of what you're talking about with the lifting by means of the struts and ratchet straps. If we have to lift, we use the bags. We will use the struts in place of the cribbing, though. Instead of "crib an inch" we're "stabilizing an inch."

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    Cool

    It depends on the resting position of the vehicle after a crash that may dictate your use of struts, lift bags, spreaders etc.
    If the vehicle rolls down an embankment, ends up on it's side with a pt underneath or with arm/leg entrapment, lifting with struts can assist with a safe lift for you and your pt. If anyone is interested I wrote a few articles called stablization II, II and lifting procedure for strut systems.Check www.albertavx.com look under "knowledge articles"
    Like others have said, demo as many sets as you can as there are a lot of really good systems out there on the market today.
    ~Firedog

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    I sat through a seminar a while back and one topic was on "low complexity-frequent calls vs. high complexity-rare calls". The spirit of the presentation was having equipment that is used on both.
    While it is nice to have "something quick and easy" for a routine light vehicle accident, it may better prepare teams if they use the same equipment daily that is required for the once a year technical rescue. Granted, using a multi piece high capacity strut on a light vehicle accident may be overkill, the more team members use the system, the more familiar and profficient they become, therefore also quicker on the deployment. When that once year call comes, they again will be much more profficient with it, with a lot more experience than just a few training sessions. It could also be said that it might limit the chance of a mistake on load estimates that could lead to a failure of the quick and easy struts.

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    Looks like you are doing your homework. The one thing that would concern me is that using a ratchet device for lifting? They are not made for that. They are made for tensioning a load or object from moving. Struts are made to be used to stabilize and lift object depending on which brand you look at. The one key factor with struts is base placement and working angles. All the major guys talk about 45-60 degree angle on the struts when used for cars etc... So if I set them up that way and use a ratchet to pull the bases in I may in fact get outside the work angle they tell us to work at and if a failure happens it would be our fault no mater what. I guess the big thing is to look at all systems but buy the one that get you versatility. You have the bigger struts for shoring now get the right struts that offer the most options with hitting your goal at the same time. Good luck

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    quick & easy, "bread-and-butter" struts? I would suggest Hurst's Quick-Struts.

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    We have Res-Q-Jacks and while I have to give them credit for their capabilities, I also agree with the opinions expessed here that when you need stabilization, you use a tool designed to stabilize. When you need to lift, you use a tool designed to lift. I am always leary when you try to make one device do too many things. To me the Res-Q-Jacks are heavy, making them harder to deploy. I like the lighter designs like the Rescue42 stabalization devices that I have used at training programs I have attended. If I need to lift, I prefer using air bags, a jack or hydraulics.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    . If we have to lift, we use the bags. We will use the struts in place of the cribbing, though. Instead of "crib an inch" we're "stabilizing an inch."
    That is very effective. We have used the rescue jak system in various courses to stabilize while lifting with bags/cushions.

    as with any lift, if you are lifting a object/casualty totally vertical off the ground, you must stabilize or "tether", as lifting on especially cushions will give you the "jello" effect. the rescue jaks work great for stabilization.

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