1. #1
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    Default Non Hydraulic Extrication

    I would like to hear from those that have chosen non hydraulics as as their primary method of extrication. The reasons may be quite varied (not enough runs to justify the cost, not enough money for the tools regardless of the number of the runs, you would rather spend the money elsewhere, etc). I would ESPECIALLY like to hear from people who think that in most instances with proper training they can perform extrications as effectively, safely and quickly with recips, hi-lift jacks, etc.

    I'm not anti-hydraulic I've been using them for over 10 years (and it's hard to beat a good cutter going through a wide C post). The primary reason for my post is that a neighboring department may begin doing their own extrications. Currently extrications account for only a dozen or so runs a year and adequate mutual aid is available if needed. I feel that hydraulics in this instance is overkill however the mentality is that hydraulics are the cure all for all extrications and I would like to offer some succesful alternatives. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Non Hydraulic Extrication

    Originally posted by matt194
    (and it's hard to beat a good cutter going through a wide C post).
    Cip saws work just as well, if not better on posts..

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    I second 77's post, with a good blade and charged battery the cip saws will go right through them posts just as fast as opening cutters all the way up.

    Anyway on to the question at hand, I personally feel that the more tools the better, have a back up to the back up. You can do alot with hand tools, but it usually takes more people and more work. I work at a local race track where we don't have hydraulics, I tell ya what the first time you have to cut through posts and your using hack saws you will really appreciate powered tools. If a dept is strapped for money, and can't afford hydraulics, I have a list ND uses as a stanard of minimum tools for rescue squads. This includes heavy rescues with hydraulics and light rescues with out.

    I have also had extrication instructors tell me that with new car construction, cip saws and hand tools are the better way to go. The plastics and lighter metals work against the hydraulics more and make it harder to even use them tools.

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    "New cars are better handled with 'cip saws"Hmmmn,New car construction is now utilizing HSS(High strength steel)Boron treated re-inforcments/crash bars(read in really tough steel here)Heavy advanced composite materials etc.I would advise you to start looking at what we have to deal with before I made a blanket statement like that one.The "harder"the steel the harder it is to cut with a 'cip saw even with new technology blades which a lot of outfits don't have.As vehicles advance so do our HRT's.I'm a strong believer in 'cip saws although I prefer an 11 amp corded to a cordless.But a 'cip has it's limitations as well as a hy-lift.Today's wrecks are much more brutal than in years past;the vehicles do a better job of protecting the occupants but in doing so create their own challenges for removal of same.Everybody's got to start somewhere,but on most modern wrecks I wouldn't be particularly comfortable with just a couple saws,a couple hi-lifts,and a bundle of cribbing.Any tool is only as good as it's operator but I'm a lot more comfortable knowing I've got heavy hydraulics to back up the hand tools.The more tools the better,I've yet to do a job when I thought I had too many.When I started all we had was hand tools,but we were dealing with 60-70's vehicles not todays stuff.Thoughts to ponder. T.C.

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    I know of a few that are using a hacksaw, crow bar and a high-lift jack without too many problems, minus the ones Grandmaster101 mentioned with new technologyu materials...
    Luke

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    matt194,

    I don't think you are going to find too many brothers in agencies that have "chosen" hand tools as their "primary" extrication tools. You will however find that most well equipped apparatus/agencies have a quite a selection of hand tools or have "select" hand tools they cannot do without.

    TC, Luke and the other bros. all listed standard ones. TC is right (having the hydraulics there makes him more comfortable. It does for all of us who practice using hand tools for the situation the REQUIRE their use) I highly recommend training evolutions that the participants use ONLY hand tools.

    I know that in TERC extrication competitions throughout the US and Internationally they separate the competitions in to Hand tool (limited), and Power tool (unlimited) sessions. Here is a partial list of what they allow to give you more ideas of what is being used ( http://www.terc.org/tools.html )

    We too carry "bow" hack saws, recip saws, Hi-Lift jack, Haligan/Flat head Axe (irons) and among other things a socket set (including metric for foreign autos) for door removal. These are just some of what most agencies will carry. I just have to re-itterate the need for Hydraulic as a primary tool. We also carry pneumatic cutting tools. There was a recent thread where we all discussed the use of circular saws with metal cutting blades for the HSLA's TC referred to in his post that we are so blessed by the automakers in dealing with.

    I know that some agencies are even carrying exothermic torches to cut that HSLA material (see photo) These torches easily cut guardrails, HSLA's, any just about any other material we may encounter.

    You did the right thing by asking the brethren here. We hope it helps. Happy Holidays all.

    Be Safe.

    Fraternally, Jordan
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    I have to agree with NB87JW, some of the best extrication trainings I've attended and then re-trained others on have all been HRT-less. Too many folks get out there and think that they can just cut, pry, or spread the bejesus out of a car with HRTs and get the patient out. The idea is to work smarter. I've gotten on scenes where the first in crew was piddling around trying to hook up the HRTs (no pre-connected reels at the time), and I popped the door with a haligan before they ever got the engine running on the pump. If all you do is push metal around and never really figure out how a car is put together, more accurately, how it comes apart, you'll end up wasting a lot of time and effort. Hand tool drills give the FFs a chance to exercise the brain muscle. Since you won't have 20K lbs of force to overpower something, you have to think a lot harder.

    The general idea is don't get married to one tool either, none of them are a save-all. The best rescue companies in the world don't necessarily have the best equipment. They know what they have, they know what they can do with the tools, and more importantly they know the limitations of both the tools and themselves.

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    We need to remember that rescue is about options. I too have seen many departments get hung up on using the HRT for all their rescues and forget about the basics or back up options in the event of failures, etc
    Luke

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    There was an interesting challenge put forward by Ron Moore a few years ago asking for the best manual tools for extrication. The full report (Hand Tool Challenge) list the winners and has a lot of great ideas for extrication.

    It is at www.rescue42.com/full.htm

    Happy Holidays!

    Tim

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