Do you allow standing on the vehicle?
I reviewed a marketing piece from Hi-Lift Jack that features their 1st Responder Jack. In that brochure, there is an image of the jack being used to lift a steering column. The jack is positioned on the hood and firewall area, with a chain anchored from the front, over the jack toe, and then around the steering column. The goal is that the jack is operated which lifts the length of chain. This is an 'old school' technique that is still effective and quick.
A rescue instructor from the northeast however, asked if having a rescuer stand on a hood while operating the jack is 'acceptable'. What is your opinion? Do you or would you allow the rescuer to be on the hood of the crash-damaged vehicle while operating the jack?
I believe that if the vehicle is stabilized and on a fairly level surface, as shown in the picture, then it is acceptable. If the vehicle were leaning to one side, if weather is creating a slipping issue, or if the vehicle is not stabilized, then I would not support having a rescuer on the hood or firewall area while using the jack.
For this specific column lifting application, my experience with the jack has shown that it does work most efficiently when the operator is up at the jack. I would encourage the rescuer however to keep the jack toe low on the shaft. The image shows the jack toe and the chain relatively high on the shaft. The higher you go, the less stable the jack is and the more likely it is to topple over. I advise my students to keep the toe low and stop and reset if the lift is getting higher on the jack shaft.
If the hood is in the way, I have the team remove the hood first and then work the jack. When I use the jack in my hands-on training sessions, I show that the dash lift can be done with the rescuer on the hood but I also show that it can be done with the rescuer standing on the ground as they operate the jack. You just have less mechanical advantage and have to be a tall person to do it efficiently. Showing both ways in my training program allows the team to have options at their Real World rescue scene. Having a choice also takes into account situations where the front crumple damage makes standing on the hood difficult.