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  1. #1
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default First Rescue Tools Designed for Improved Safety in Hybrid Vehicle Rescues

    believe it or not, I found this article listed on Fark.com

    First Rescue Tools Designed for Improved Safety in Hybrid Vehicle Rescues are Introduced by Hurst Centaur
    SHELBY, N.C.--Nov. 2, 2005--Responding to the need to protect rescue workers from electical dangers when extricating victims from hybrid electric vehicles, Hurst has introduced a new specialized rescue tool. Similar in power and construction to other popular Jaws of Life hydraulic spreaders and cutters the new Cen SC14 Fi Combination tool and the Cen C9 Fi Cutter boast unique electrical current insulation providing extra safety for rescuers when cutting charged parts of all kinds. The tools are being sold under the Hurst Centaur brand.

    As sales of hybrid vehicles rise rapidly, rescue crews are increasingly exposed to accidents involving the fuel-efficient vehicles. And with up to 500 volts running through some wires in the vehicles, as opposed to 12 volts in traditional cars, there is a growing concern that rescue workers are at risk when extricating victims at an accident scene. It is this concern that prompted the engineers at Jaws of Life to develop a rescue tool designed to meet the challenges of dealing with electrically charged components.

    "There is a real need for rescue workers to take extra precautions when dealing with hybrid vehicles," states Bob Linster, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Hurst. "At Hurst, we believe we have a responsibility to manufacture tools that not only save the lives of victims but that also protect the lives of the emergency responders."

    The Cen SC14 Fi Combination tool and the Cen C9 Fi Cutter tool are safer for an object voltage of 1500 V DC or 1000 AC. All tool components coming in contact with the operator, such as handles, valves and actuators, are covered with non-conductive insulated materials. What's more, the insulation reacts to electrical exposure visually. Both tools are lightweight and compact and possess the easy operation features popularized by the Hurst Centaur Rescue Tool brand.

    About Centaur Rescue Tools

    Centaur Rescue Tools and Hurst Jaws of Life(R) are a divisions of Hale Products Inc. Hale Products Inc. is the world's leading provider of emergency services in applications such as defense, rescue, firefighting, and industry. Hale Products' trademarks include Jaws of Life, Hale Pumps, Hurst, Godiva Pumps, FoamMaster, and CAFSMaster. With manufacturing and sales facilities in England, Germany, and Singapore, Hale Products is the largest manufacturer of products in its categories to the emergency services worldwide. Hale Products is a unit of IDEX Corporation, a manufacturer of proprietary fluid handling and industrial products. IDEX shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IEX .

    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2...02/147306.html
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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  2. #2
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    Nifty, good to know that Hurst is on top of the market again. I don't care for the Centaur line at all, but it's innovation at it's best. Though, when you think about it, if you expose as everyone should be, there should be no need for tools like this.
    FF/NREMT-B

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  3. #3
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    Hello!

    These tools are on the market in germany for some time now. The idea is not bad as long as you don't know the anatomy of hybrid vehicles and the safety devices built into these vehicles.

    In my opinion there is no need for insulated rescue tools when you work on hybrid vehicles. Fist of all, the safety devices of the car turns of the hybrid system in case of a severe accident with airbag deployment, 2nd: the electric lines do not run through our normal cut zones and could be identified easiely and 3rd: There are easy deactivation procedures that could reduce the risk even more.

    How would you extricate the patient from a car you could only work on with insulated tools?
    Jorg Heck
    Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria
    http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

  4. #4
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    You have to assume these will work as long as the insulation is not damaged AT ALL and they are kept completely free of any foreign materials that could conduct electricity (try to do that when you are doing a job in a rain storm! ). I am not sure I agree with using a tool that could give you a false sense of security. We work in a world of worst case scenarios. If you can mitigate the hazard before you put a tool in a position to take a potential electrical shock, you are much better off in the long run.
    Last edited by MetalMedic; 11-04-2005 at 04:23 PM.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    In my opinion there is no need for insulated rescue tools when you work on hybrid vehicles.
    Ditto.

    but it's innovation at it's best
    IMO, insulating something for electrical use is far from anything innovative. There are lots of tools out there that are already insulated so it's just copying something someone else did, albeit with a "rescue" tool. I'm thinking something along the line of the Holmatro "Core" concept is a little more innovative. And I've been using Hurst tools since the late 70's.
    "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?

  6. #6
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    I don't want to preach but I have to...

    I am all for innovation, new products, etc, but the thing that bothers me about a product like this is the false sense of security for newer guys. To many people get that invincible feeling... "Oh I won't get electricuted, the tool will protect me" No it won't, it will help to protect you when combined with proper knowledge, awareness and training. I mean, you turnout gear doesn't keep you from getting burned in all scenarios does it? No it reduces the potential for burn injuries.

    Like MetalMedic stated, the insulation is only good if it is intact in perfect condition. Any break in the insulation exposes you to hazard and right there you have introduced a variable into it that takes you back to relying on your training and not on the tool itself. For the way some of us are forced to store our equipment jammed in compartments, etc I just don't feel comfortable relying completely on the tool to protect me.

  7. #7
    Forum Member firefightergtp's Avatar
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    Seems to me like Hurst is attempting to take advantage of all of those firefighter's not yet educated in hybrid vehicles and their redundant safety systems. Cutting the 12V line in a hybrid vehicle will disable the whole system. While you must choke the vehicle and stabilize it on every call, no matter hybrid or not.

    Where the heck are you cutting anyway that you need to have an insulated tool!!?? Most high voltage lines run near the center of the vehicle on the underbody. While in some cases you may be working under their, fuel lines pose a similiar hazard when working in a situation as that.

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Here is a picture, albeit not great quality, of the high voltage cable on a GM Silverado Hybrid pickup. Notice how it's on the outside of the frame rail.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "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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    WOW ! This is great, now we can cut an energized vehicle. Not sure what we will do after that, can't touch it with anything other then the insulated tool. Gonna have a real tough time getting the occupants on to a backboard using only the "insulated tools". Can anyone say "Cheap marketing ploy"... Face it guys this is total BS.
    Zmag

  10. #10
    Forum Member firemanpat29's Avatar
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    looks like just a way to write a bid spec and leave everyone else out.

  11. #11
    Sta22BeaverCoPA
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    I saw the tool at FDIC, a waste of money.

    Just drive a stake thru its heart and keep doing rescue the way we have. DC the battery (12 volt that is for now, watch for the new improved 40 volt battery coming to a store near you). I can't remember having to remove the engine for a rescue, but I'm sure someone has. Doing a floor entry might be a little invigorating if you touch the orange cable.

    But anyway you do the rescue as standard procedure for your department. We've already learned to work around the airbags and we will have to do the same for the hybrid. The manufacturers aren't going to give you a skeleton key to shut the system down. Just be careful and don't melt the fillings out of your teeth or fry your nipple rings.

    Ge safe out there ! Everyone goes home !
    Last edited by rmoore; 11-18-2005 at 05:30 PM.

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    Gotta agree with beaver. I've done a lot of research & training on hybrid
    thay are not that bad at all.

  13. #13
    Sta22BeaverCoPA
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    I've taught vehicle extrication quite a while and you just need to pay attention and work safely around the vehicle.

    Remember what you've been taught. In firefighting you respect the fire and are aware of what it can do to you if you slip up so you approach it in different ways. The same thing goes with vehicle rescue, respect the car, but don't be afraid of it.
    Last edited by rmoore; 11-18-2005 at 05:32 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    I actually read Zmag's post. He is against this vehicle and in favor of doing things the educated way vs. relying on a marketing ploy.

    He makes a VERY valid point. If the tool is insulated for hybrid vehicles, that's just wonderful, but what about the EMT trying to do c-spine or once you have gained access how you boarding the patient if the vehicle is energized and now even worse you have exposed high voltage since you have cut through it.

    DC the batteries and observe your air bag deployment safety zones... rely on your knowledge and ability not some bell and whistle on a tool.
    Last edited by rmoore; 11-18-2005 at 05:32 PM.

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    Man, now you have me confused. My sarcasim was directed at the marketing ploy launched to take advantage of fear and the uneducated. "O my God, these high voltage cars are going to kill us, Auntie Em, Auntie Em what should we do" Even if the car is hot, and even if we have a new high tech "insulated" tool we still can not perform a complete extrication and proper patient care (the real reason we are there ...right?)

    No harm done by Mark, he knows I can always bust on him about previous employers. ... We DO go way back, don't we.

    Zmag

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    The concept behind having an insulated tool is to protect the firefighter in case of an accidental contact with an energized line. The fact of the matter is that in most cases these lines are not going to interfer with normal extrication. However, extrication is never textbook, so it is possible to cut an energized line. In the event that this happens, the tool has a rubber boot on it that turns from red to yellow. If the tool turns yellow, the firefighter will need to disable the electrical system. I find it interesting that there are so many people upset with the idea of providing an extra measure of security. Of course I am no expert, just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by SpokaneRep; 11-11-2005 at 05:45 PM.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    providing an extra measure of security
    That is not a problem, where the problem lies is in the people that belive they are now secure because of the 1 tool involved in an extrication and not realizing what they are truly dealing with. The problem is making people think they are safe, because of 1 tool, when they are not. The problem is not fully educating people and selling them a "false protection" instead.
    "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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    Bones,
    Actually, any reputable Hurst dealer will go to great lengths to make sure the end users know the features and limitations of the tools they offer, usually including free training with the department. Do you have an example of a Hurst dealer selling these tools and telling departments that the tool exempts them from any risk? If so, Im sure Idex would like to hear about it. When I put my turnouts on, I dont expect them to allow me to walk into a burning house and check my brain at the door. Same holds true with extrication tools.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    SpokaneRep, no, I am very happy with my Hurst dealer (Guardian Equipment) and would recommend them to anyone. But when I see a "sales pitch" as stated in the article above, it gives people an inaccurate "warm and fuzzy" feeling. I'm also willing to bet, when a department replaces their cutters with newer models, they don't always take advantage of dealer training for the simple fact "we know how to use them, we were trained on the last set, cutters are cutters - what's different".
    "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?

  20. #20
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    In my opinion it doesnít matter what kind of rescue tools you are using. What matters is the training the rescuer has had. Knowledge is priceless. Treat every vehicle as a hot zone and you cannot go wrong. Every vehicle is different and every accident is different, but if we stay educated we cannot go wrong.

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