Thread: Mini Cutters
02-24-1999, 12:55 PM #1lkseng3Firehouse.com Guest
Our department has had a couple of incidents where occupants have become impailed on levers inside the vehicle. In the past we resolved the situation with careful use of a 'cip' saw and fine tooth blades.
I just purchased a Hurst mini-cutter for our agency an pondered how well these cutters do against brake and clutch pedals?
03-11-1999, 12:56 PM #2FF341Firehouse.com Guest
The Hurst 'Pedal' cutters (as we call them) work great. We've had them about 6 or 7 years now and have used them several times. Mostly for cutting brake (or clutch) pedals. They are quick and much more controlable than a recip. saw. And with no vibration.
Soon after we bought them we were called to assist a nearby department with a particularly tricky extrication--an overturned tractor-trailer in a ditch. We arrived about an hour or more into the operation. And after that lengthy of an extrication it was one 30 second cut with the mini-cutters that finally freed the driver.
03-11-1999, 01:10 PM #3e33Firehouse.com Guest
My agency also uses a HURST pedal cutter. It has proven to be a very basic and valuable tool. It can be used for a variety of uses...cutting pedals..steering wheel rings, small chunks of metal..or steel bar which you find in trunks alot. It works in many applications that would require bolt cutters, but fits in smaller spaces. We generally practice having a qualified rescuer in the car. His job is to assess the pt quickly, intervene on any life threatening injury and assist in freeing the Pt. The pedal cutter is almost always sent into the car-truck with him. The key here is not to get comfortable with power tools, never skimp on the basics and hand tools. Also carry sheet meatl snips, trauma shears and bolt cutters for small space cutting.
[This message has been edited by e33 (edited March 11, 1999).]
03-11-1999, 10:47 PM #4SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
When shearing a piece of solid metal (as opposed to rolled sheet metal) the free end is suddenly shoved away from its original location as the cutters complete their cut, and the compressed metal 'springs' back some. Sawing and abrasive type devices do not build up potential energy in the metal to be cut (Well, maybe some heat). They do however cause chips and or sparks.
As for brake, clutch, etc. pedals, often it is far easier to displace them laterally, disentangling the patient, than to attempt to cut them. Most of these pedals are not too strong laterally, and can be displaced by wrapping a 1" piece of webbing around them and pulling (with your arm). This is especially easy if a kick panel relief cut has been made and the dash has been rolled. You might even be able to use a ratchet type tie down strap and secure the now displaced pedal.
03-12-1999, 12:04 AM #5SCCARESCUEFirehouse.com Guest
I have used the pedal cutters many times. The key with this tool is the same with all tools - get to know it to the point where its use is second nature. SBROOKS brings a valid point - the released energy involved with cutting solids. Can be VERY important if the object is imbedded.
Getting used to your tool will allow you the opportunity to find "alternate" uses for it. For instance, I needed to remove a brake pedal from a race car and the drivers already severely injured foot was just below the pedal. Cutting it off would have forced the pedal into the foot with some significant force. With the type of race car we were in, the design did not allow the use of straps, etc. to move the pedal. Also it was constructed out of an alloy and reinforced. I used the same mini cutter you have, but simply indented the pedal to the point that I could bend it 90 degrees to the right with my hands. I did not cut all the way thru. Got the job done in seconds and without further injury.
You have purchased a great tool. It can be used on pedals, shifters, turn signals, etc. and it is great on industrial/agricultural accidents as well. Just get to know it very well and you will find many more uses for it.
[This message has been edited by SCCARESCUE (edited March 12, 1999).]
03-12-1999, 09:46 PM #6KenNFDFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with the above posts-the pedel cutters are a nice tool to have in your tool box.
What do you think of the new Hurst cutter that uses a pyrotechnic charge, similar to a Hilti Ram Set to make a cut?
It is in an advertisment in this months Fire Engineering.
Nice idea on paper but in the real world of vehicle extrication...
Kind of reminds me of the Jet-Axe from many years ago.
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