Thread: Air Knife

  1. #1
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    Default Air Knife

    Any departments using an air knife and vacuum system for trench rescue? If so, are you having good luck with them?

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    Question

    I've asked this question also, without much response. I'd like to determine it it has usefulness in such material as shelled corn, smaller wood chips, and the like.

    Potentially a good method of removing engulfing material in some circumstances.
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
    BIG RIG RESCUE

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    While my department does not own an airknife, I have worked with one during a training session many years ago. It worked well even in hard soil, however, I personally didn't see it do what a shovel won't. It also required a pretty hefty air supply. Like I said this was about 12 years ago, so they could have gotten better.

    As far as the vac truck goes. We do have these available through our water and sewer division as well as through private vendors. Very good resource to have. They can be difficult to use due to not the fact that the tubes don't have handles to assist in manuvering. There is a commercial tip available with handle to fix this problem. I do not remember who makes it or what it is called, but the picture in the ad looked like it would work fairly well.

    Hope this helps!

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    http://www.rescuevacsystems.com/index.htm
    This is the company that makes the hoses for use in rescue. In combination with an air knife it will shorten the digging time by close to 80%.
    It is excellent for granular material, although their is a potential for static buildup. Rescue vac is working on a grounding system that I have not seen yet.
    Even without the vacume truck an air knife will speed things along. The air knife works from a construction compressor. To date I don't know of any other source.
    On a side note the air tools run off of the large compressor is going to be the future of rescue tools, great power, light weight and proven by decades of construction professionals.

    We have used the rescue vac on a rescue and recovery just last fall, and it was great. Their is no comparisson between hand digging and the rescue vac.

    I hope that helps you out, any other questions just ask
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    Default Air Knife

    My department responded to Wheaton's trench incident. We have the air knife and some large diameter hose to attach to a vacum truck. We have been to demonstrations for trench and found the Rescue Vac to work great. Since the Wheaton incident we have installed a Boss air compressor on our TRT Semi. It works great. The compressor is small enough that fits on the side of the semi. We are now looking into a manifold to run air driven tools. I hope this helps.
    Last edited by medic2001; 05-05-2006 at 03:24 PM.

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    The air knife works great except in clay or shale we have 2 and we work them with the larger vac trucks. They do work well with mulch and lose granular material but you need a good hi velocity vac truck. There is a company that make one with a water jet and that was a mess they came a did a demo for us a few yrs back. Some of the public works departments have bought them.
    ec

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    Default Supersuckers

    I work as a Safety Professional in the construction/oilfield. It would be good to research in your area if there are any Supersuckers. These put vac trucks to shame, although they cannot take as big of a load, but if they don't have to go far to dump it, it would be the cats meeow for trench rescue. These things can suck a 7 inch 5 pound rock like its nobody's buisness, with about 40' of hose. The only downside of these is the flashpoint of the dirt/product cannot be under 100. If you live in or around a big city you can bet someone has some of these. They come with different size lines, 8 and 6, are they hard to handle .... you betcha, the guys put ropes on the end of the hose to move it around and one guy backs him up moving the hose around, and you want to keep your feet away from the end of the hose!
    Burn<br />LT/EMT/Inst />Central Mat-Su FD<br />Wasilla Alaska

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    Before the vac truck and air knife was developed for the fireservice many different sizes and configurations were tried. The standard vac truck is the best for our use.
    http://www.rescuevacsystems.com/index.htm
    You have to use some sort of safety device like distrubuted by Rescue Vac. Operating with a straight pipe for the vacume system is dangerous and should not be used. With the wide spread use of the vac system you would be hard to justify yourself in an accident utilizing straight hose.

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