I went to a 16 hour extrication course over the weekend at the annual Idaho fire school. We had a lot of equipment there and learned a lot. But now I'm trying to take what I learned there and apply it to the equipment my unit has; and I've run into some questions!
We have a Holmatro power hydraulic cutter with the oval blades, but no (power) spreader or (power) ram. We do have two smaller hand pumped spreaders, a four ton hydraulic hand pumped ram, and air chisel.
Could we quickly expose the hinges or Nader with the hand pumped spreaders and then snip the hinges or Nader with the power cutter? Would the cutter stand up to this sort of cutting?
I am also interested in any other techniques or tactics for extrication considering the fact that we only have the power cutter. So fire away with any tips and tricks pertaining to the power cutter!
Also, will the four ton hand pumped ram work for rolling the dash up? What would work better considering no power ram and no spreader?
It seems to me that a combination spreader/cutter would have been the best choice if we were only going to purchase one tool, but the purchase was made before I got there, so I need to work with what we've got.
[This message has been edited by hunden (edited June 23, 1999).]
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06-23-1999, 02:51 PM #1hundenFirehouse.com Guest
Cutting hinges and/or Nader pin; Power cutter techniques; etc
06-23-1999, 08:07 PM #2mfgentiliFirehouse.com Guest
Your cutters should work on the hinges, the Nader may be another story. I've seen the cutters used by my department break while being used on the pin. Also broke a set on a brake pedal, another on a stainless steel roller in an industrial entaglement rescue and another on "The Club" (ff's vehicle-lost keys). Would have been alot cheaper to call a locksmith. We do not use Halmatro. I would contact their sales rep to find out their limitations. The ones we use are not designed to cut case hardened steel but sometimes in an emergency situation who knows what is hard or soft steel.
As for another extrication technique using just cutters, you may consider roof removal or fold back if conditions allow (vehicle upright). Makes a nice large opening for treatment and removal. This entire operation can be done fairly quickly with the cutters. Go to the local junk yard and practice different techniques. Most junk yards in my area are very receptive to firefighter training and I'm sure the same can be said for your locale. Good luck!
PS. I've been told that the point on a post where the seat belt shoulder strap attaches has case hardended steel hardware and should not be cut. So aim above or below this attachment. Don't know if that is true, but why take a chance. I'm sure there are people out there with better info so I'll be looking forward to their responses.
06-24-1999, 01:39 AM #3LouFirehouse.com Guest
Be carefull when cutting the roof. Look at all the past post on airbag sensors and their placment. You just can't blindly cut the roof anymore. At least on a new car with airbags. Good Luck
06-29-1999, 08:17 PM #4smbffFirehouse.com Guest
Once the hinges are exposed, with your portapower or air chisel, the Holmatro should not have a problem cutting if the jaws can wrap around the hinge. Cutting the hinge from a vertical angle reduces the cross section of the hinge and makes cutting easier. Nader pins should not be a problem either. The jaws will grasp and pull the pin into the crotch of the blades where they are most powerful. Same with the hinges.
Don't forget you can use your recip saw and a little water on the blade to go a long way, even through a nader pin.
Seat belt attachments have a reinforced area with some heat treated parts. But we have not had a problem cutting through this area (TNT tools). This is preferable to avoid.
[This message has been edited by smbff (edited June 29, 1999).]
06-30-1999, 02:36 AM #5FireDanFirehouse.com Guest
Before attempting to cut hinges or Nader pins with your Holmatro cutter, you would be well advised to contact your local service rep and find out if the particular unit you have is rated for such operations. Cutting hardened materials with tools not designed for such a task can lead to damage to the tool or worse yet, the operator or the other personnel nearby. Check first and cut later...
07-09-1999, 02:26 PM #6WLynchFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with FireDan, I was at a competition in Long Island last year, and during an eveloution a team attempted to cut the hinges on a van with a hurst cutter. This resulted in the cutter blade fracturing and sending pices into the spectators.
I know for a fact the TNT high pressure cutters can cut hinges, colums, and nader bolts, but do you really need to? You can accomplish just as much by poping a door, leaving it in place and hyperextending it. I have been wittness to alot of scenes where time and energy were wasted in attempting to remove a door. Once the door is hyperextended, the opening doesn't get any bigger if the door is off.
good luck...have fun
William J. Lynch Jr.
Portland Hook & Ladder Co. #1
07-11-1999, 09:18 PM #7TKFirehouse.com Guest
Its great that you are taking the time to learn new ideas. What you need to do now is not only determine as a department what would be the best tool to purchase next but what are you going to do on the next call.
Take what you have learned and apply it to your current resources.
With your hydrolic cutter and a hack saw or clip saw if you have one available you can quickly remove a roof regardless of any pillar mounted airbags. Through training you should be able to ID and safely work around them. Also avoid the reinforcement in the "B" and "C" pillars where the seat belt shoulder harness attach. You can cut through them it just takes extra effort and time. This can also be applied to a properly stabilized vehicle on its side.
With the roof removed you now have unobstructed access to the patient and plenty of light. Most patients can be slid straight up a long board maintaining inline spinal allignment.
If the patients lower extremities remain entrapped now it becomes a little more difficult with the equipment you listed. Making a purchase with a pry tool you can cut the hinges or with a ratchet remove the hinges and make a relief cut at the base of the "A" pillar. You will have to practice with your ram and see how much push you are able to obtain.
A couple of inexpensive options is wrapping the dash and attaching a come-along to the front frame and lifting the dash or using Hi-Lift jacks to push the dash.
Hope some of this helps.
07-11-1999, 09:43 PM #8koenigFirehouse.com Guest
We use holmatro and tnt. We also used
our holmatro cutter for the nader pin. it
cut the pin, it did twist the blades. no
warranty. i would suggest cutting the nader pin only as a very last resort.
1st asst. chief
black earth f.d.
07-11-1999, 11:12 PM #9hundenFirehouse.com Guest
I'm still reading...thanks for all the good info thus far.
07-11-1999, 11:49 PM #10Ron ShawFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with some of my peers, before anyone cuts pins or hindges it is advisable to contact the representative of the tool where the tool was aquired.
I would elect to use your spreaders to go pin side if possible. If things are moving too slow and the tool can expose the pin enough to get the cutters in, cut the pin (providing your manufacturer says it's OK. Most modern hydraulic cutters are capable of cutting nadar pins, European style pins and hindges.
When cutting with your tool cut 90 degrees from the metal surface edge, do not cut on the bias. Cutting on the bias will increase the load to the cutters by cutting more matterial.
Going hinge side first may increase your difficulty. I am a firm beliver that if you don't need to remove a door leave it on. Dash rolls & jacking of the dash can be done with the door on. And at the same time it may add strength to an already weakened "A" pillar.
Rule of thumb, if the door(s) opens 90 degrees leave it and move on to the next task.
Don't for get to scan the vehicle for SRS and other hazards prior to cutting and spreading.
07-12-1999, 09:58 PM #11arapahoeffFirehouse.com Guest
was recently at NE state fire school. holmatro rep there said that their units would cut hinges and nader pins. no one else advised it, i would be extremly careful of "loose emds". find someone who has experience with hand operated tools, you might be suprised at what you can accomplish without power tools,
07-15-1999, 11:57 PM #12bfdchiefFirehouse.com Guest
In regards to the tools that you now have in your Dept. Along with a full complement of power hydrolic tools my Dept., also has a hand operated spreader, You will find that if you practice enough with the hand operated spreader that you will soon learn that it will (with proper placement) easly open the door at the nader pin. The hinges can then be cut whith your cutter or a sawzall,remove the roof, then make the cuts in the firewall for the spreader to fit. Your hand operated spreader should have no problem rasing the dash.
But remember that before you try this on the street you need to practice at drills to find out what works best for you and your dept. Good luck.
07-16-1999, 03:39 PM #13skip rupert61Firehouse.com Guest
bfdchief said a mouthful and probably didnt even know it. The phrase "with proper placement" is very important. Handoperated spreaders can do a lot, with the proper placement. I use the term "down-and-out" when teaching spreading techniques. If you spread parallel with the ground, you spread against the strength of the door. Spread "down-and-out" you roll the door down which is less resistance.
Hand tools are probably the most forgotten about element of rescue. A good tool box and a couple good 'cip saws with ceramic coated blades and your off and running.
07-17-1999, 10:43 PM #14Jim GreeneFirehouse.com Guest
Heavy hydralics have a place as well as Hand tools. In my dept. we have 2 rescue trucks & a heavy rescue truck. On the 2 rescues they have a full complament of hand tools. On the heavy rescue we have full hand tools & a full heavy hydralic tool with air bags. We have been tought for years that you can use both hand & hydralic tools to do the same job. For opening a jamed door you can do a vertical crush with $200.00 worth of hand tools. All you need is a high lift ( farmers ) jack & a saw-zall.
You cut out the window frame ( if there is one ), place the jack between the roof & were the window goes into the door , start jacking until you see the nadar & you can get the saw-zall blade into the nadar. Cut the nadar & your door is free. We have found out that if you put a stap around the B post & have it wrap around the door,that when you cut through the door , the door does not open so violently. You can also use the stap when useing a hydralic tool also.
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