Thread: Big Spreaders

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    Default Big Spreaders

    How many depts still run with the big spreaders yet (32's). We were just out Friday to help a department on a day time Pin Job and their small combi tool and the 27" spreaders just could not do it. It was a 300+ Female under the dash and We needed every inch of the old 32A to a modified dash roll to get it high enough. It seems that many if not all the places I stop by at to look around are olny runnning calls with small stuff any more.

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    32's here... when we got new ones, we never considered going smaller, just bigger.

    If I was buying a plain spreader, I would not go for a small one. You limit your options for HRT operation.

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    We still pack the original Big Bad Jaws They might not be light or always the most easy to wheeled but when you need something spread wide they do the job everytime.
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    We also carry the 32's. Have a smaller set also and it usually depends on manpower as to which we use first. One good thing about the 32's, when all else fails, they will make the opening.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Two JL-32s here. One is our original 1976 jaws, the other is late 70s vintage with low use we bought used in the early 1990s for a price we couldn't pass up. Both are good old Titanium arms

    Recently put in service a "Maverick" combi-tool to quick door pops and such.

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    We carry 32's (Amkus)also. (Sounds like you did a dash LIFT with the spreader?) We use a ram when doing the MDR. The next up Truck Co. carries a 27" spreader. Better to have the length and not need it than need it and not have it.

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    We had a old spreaders it work ok . It would only spread 14".
    We bought a 32" sperder used .It made a big Difference it is heavy
    but boy does it sperad
    I tried a new spreader out it is much lighter and better blance .I agree with NB87JW a ram works good for a dash lift .
    But you can do a dash lift with a 32s no Problem.

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    We have the Hurst Transformer spreaders and keep the 40' arms on. There have been many cases where the 40' did the job where it was painfully obvious that anything less just wouldn't do. When lifting the dash, it provides all the space you could ever need. We prefer using the spreaders to lift the dash as opposed to the rams because it causes the front of the car to move forward less, it won't force the front bumper into the ground (if the correct relief cuts are made) and it provide a clear means of egress for the patient (rams tend to block the doorway).

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    Wink

    If you use a ram to push the dash,when you reach the distance you want you can insert a wedge or block into the cut you made at the bottom of the "A" post, then as you close the ram the wedge keeps the front up off the casualty then remove the ram to give yourself the working area. Failing that ram from the other side and leave it in.

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    The problem(s) with using a wedge or block to replace the ram, first of all is compression of the wedge, there is liable to be tremendous force from the steel trying to get back to where it came from. Also, there will be retraction of the steel upon release of the ram, which will bring it closer to the patient. It may be personal conviction, but, I am not willing to give up any of the space that I created. With the 32's, (& proper relief cuts) you can lift the dash high and with a minimal loss of working area.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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    I have never had a situation where a 27 or 28" spreader did not give enough room to remove a pt. Remember, this is a game of inches, not feet when removing a vehicle from a pt. I've seen a few demo's where the sales guy tried to showboat with his big spreader only to have it loose its hold an pop out. Spread a little, crib a little and even a combi tool will work.

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    Originally posted by Resq14
    If I was buying a plain spreader, I would not go for a small one. You limit your options for HRT operation.
    You carry a Hostage Rescue Team on your rescue? Wow, that's innovative truck work!

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    Well what did you think my Glock 23 and vest were for? Show?

    laff

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    Default big spreaders

    SANDSTROMJM, please explain the technique (and relief cuts)
    for the dashlift, we don't have many spreaders in the brigade ( and most are combi's)so our techniques are all geared to use of rams, I had a go today but there was a definite need for a relief cut which I couldn't figure out.

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    Default Big Spreaders

    Smiler..
    check out this link.
    http://www.firehouse.com/extrication...99/june99.html
    Joe
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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    We carry a preconnected 32" spreader, a combi with a 24" spread, and a "speedway" cutter, which has foot long cutters (looks like an ant's mouth) and can make minced metal out of a door in seconds. We also have a set of rams and a smaller cutter in reserve.

    In most cases the 24" combi works great, but in the example of the large patient needing a dash roll there is no doubt that every inch you get will make your job a little easier.

    Last winter we had an extrication on a pickup that had rolled a couple of times. Resq14 was on the driver's side with the combi, I was on pass side with the 32" and the speedway. Took me about a minute to get the door and A & B posts, and I clamped down on the seatbelt plate the first time (give me some slack, it was a tough cut since I was holding the cutters about a foot over my head, the truck had bridged a ditch with the doors right in the middle of the ditch). I don't know how long it took 14 (I was not watching him) but I doubt if he beat me by much more than 15-20 seconds (I had to put one tool down and pick the other up). It certianly was not minutes.

    Now if you're using an older system with a little 5hp pump that you have to switch hoses when you switch tools, a combi would be much faster, but with a modern multi tool system I don't see much difference, just the added reach of the 32 for things like dash rolls, or lifting the car off a vic.

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    Question for those using combi tools. The few that I tried a couple years ago gave me difficulty when trying to make the relief cut in A pillar due to the jaws tips extending too far into patient area to reach the cutter blades. Haven't looked at combi tools since. Did they make changes to the size of the blades that allow this better? In testing, we had a patient sit in driver seat and it did not leave enough room to get the cutting edge in far enough. The tips were coming in contact with patient feet. Just curious on whether anyone ran into this or tools redesigned or what? We ended up staying with spreaders and cutters. Still got our 197? 32" Hurst Jaws.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Originally posted by Fire304
    I doubt if he beat me by much more than 15-20 seconds
    I think it was 49.6 seconds, champ.

    haha

    Bones, I haven't run into the problem you describe. More of the tool enters the patient compartment when you cut, so I can see that this might happen. The problem we commonly run into is that the combi-tool needs multiple "bites" to make its way through posts. Usually it can take the A-post in a single mouthful, but not always. Since its cutters are like panel cutters, we also see the tool "sliding away" from the target when the jaws close because it isn't "biting." I know there are some companies out there that have a couple of spiked teeth (incisors? hehe) at the tip that would appear to grip the metal so it couldn't get away as the jaws close.

    It doesn't cut the best, and it doesn't spread the best. It sure is a nice tool to have though, as you can hit quick and hard with it as a first-off tool. If push came to shove though, I would take a dedicated pair of 32" spreaders and speedway cutters over a combi-tool.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-01-2002 at 10:17 AM.

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    304,Ya got choices!Either start packin' some wheaties or get a milk crate.You do have milk crates on that wunda wagon don't ya?I CAN'T believe you let 14 smoke ya,this just isn't right!Two pumps,four tools no waiting.Oh,and 11 amp Sawsalls.Hehe T.C.

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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    304,Ya got choices!Either start packin' some wheaties or get a milk crate.
    Careful 101, I'm 6'6" and weigh 275 (mostly lean meat with a little extra padding around the edged ) In my 1st FD I was the jaws :P

    Chief: "Rich, rip that door off"
    304: "O K Chief" (sound of metal tearing)
    Chief: "You could have used a tool"
    304: "They just slow me down Chief"

    Hey, what can I say, I was working with 2 tools, he only had one and was standing on the milk crate

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    For the most part, you use the spreader to defeat either a hindge or a nader bolt to open a door. For this, you only need a few inches of spread. Beyond door removals, your spreader compliments the cutters by tearing apart metal that has been weakened by relief cuts. For the most part, you won't need to go a long way to accomplish this task. We switched from a Hurst 32A to a Phoenix 35/25 and have never regretted it. On the few incidents where we needed more than a 25 inch spread, we simply take out the spreader and insert the Phoneix Super-ram 25/60 to give us up to 5 feet of opening. My feeling is that if you need more than 25 inches, you might as well be ready to go as far as your tools will allow. Rather than gaining 7 inches with a 32 inch tool, I'l ltake the 35 more inches the ram gives me to work with.

    Now with that said, I will also admit that I am lobbying to get the Phoenix 49/32 on our new rescue truck to compliment our current set of tools. The reasons for this are that the larger tool does have more power simply because of the mechanics involved in its size. There have been times where we have needed a second spreader, so it makes more sense to get something different than what we have when it provides some different characteristics. However, I do not see the big tool taking over as the first tool off the truck. The advantages of the smaller tool being easier to deploy and being able to reach into smaller places makes it superior for most extrications... IMHO.

    As for the question on using the spreader/cutter to cut an "A" post, the Phoenix 35/25 has never failed me for this task. My favorite meneuver is to break the front hindges on a door, and while the spreader is still open, position it to make the "A" post relief cut which saves the time necessary to switch over to the cutter and do the same thing. Of course there are always times where you cannot gain tool access. The same can happen even to a cutter, but it is nice to have the cutter already in your hand when you are using your spreader instead of changing to a different tool.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    Originally posted by MetalMedic
    Beyond door removals, your spreader compliments the cutters by tearing apart metal that has been weakened by relief cuts.
    The only time I've had to make relief cuts in the past 9 years was in the junkyard whilst practicing "junkyard techniques." And even here, they weren't completely necessary to complete an evolution.

    None of my real-world collisions have necessitated relief cuts. Now I'm not saying we run extrications day in and day out, but we've had our fair share.

    I only say this because it has been my experience that once the car's structure has been comprimised, all we are doing is pushing the metal back to where it used to be, or maybe sometimes a little beyond. We all know that when we practice, we like to see "furthest, biggest, highest" evolutions. And there's nothing wrong with this. But on actual calls, we don't normally do this--especially if it is a critical patient. It's "make it so we can get him out."

    Rams... can't remember the last time we used them. The big spreaders have done everything we've asked them to (so far, *knocks on wood*).
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-07-2002 at 10:28 AM.

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    Originally posted by Resq14
    The only time I've had to make relief cuts in the past 9 years was in the junkyard whilst practicing "junkyard techniques." And even here, they weren't completely necessary to complete an evolution.

    None of my real-world collisions have necessitated relief cuts
    We have found that relief cuts have been necessary to roll a dash (with the spreaders) if the front-end of the vehicle we're cutting is up against a tree, telephone pole, building, another vehicle, etc. It is necessary so that we can push the dash w/out pushing the vehicle into whatever the front-end is up against. Did that make any sense?

    Stay Safe

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    Originally posted by Resq14


    The only time I've had to make relief cuts in the past 9 years was in the junkyard whilst practicing "junkyard techniques." And even here, they weren't completely necessary to complete an evolution.

    None of my real-world collisions have necessitated relief cuts. Now I'm not saying we run extrications day in and day out, but we've had our fair share.

    I have just recently finished an advanced extrication class to "update" my knowledge and found it to be a real eye opener. From what I gathered, it is looking like the new vehicle technology is using thinner metals for the outter skins, but the metal that has structural support is upgrading to special alloys that are made lighter, yet stronger than what we have been accustomed to. Relief cuts greatly increase the efficiency of your spreader to defeat
    these "exotic" metals. I have had the same experience in real life as you in so far as we tend to use the spreaders to return metal to near its original location, but I am also seeing more incidents where we are cutting and ripping rather than spreading.

    I guess a lot if this goes along with how we have been trained. I see no right or wrong here, just different methods to achieve the same goal. We use our rams a fair amount and we are becoming more oriented to using the cutters over time. My speculation is that this trend will continue as vehicle technology changes.
    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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