Connect with us


Lifting Maze – DIY Rescue Drill Prop

A maze that firefighters have to maneuver so a ball gets from the starting point to the end. This provides an opportunity to put different tools in the hands of some firefighters.



A couple weeks ago Andrew Brassard shared a prop idea that he made. Essentially, it is a maze that firefighters have to maneuver so a ball gets from the starting point to the end. Brass made his out of steel and Grant Light put one together with wood. I took the opportunity to put hand tools, a torch, and a welder in the hands of some firefighters.


The prop didn’t take long to make and was cheap to build since we used scrap steel.

Here are the rules I gave to the crews:

  • Use every lifting tool on your engine at least once. For us it included: pry bars, wedges, high-lift jack, bottle jack, airbags, spreaders, portapower.
  • No touching the prop with your hands
  • No banging the prop with a tool to get the ball to move
  • No blowing on the ball to get it to move (late rule add, but firefighters are innovative)
  • If you lift an inch, you crib an inch

The crews have been working around 40 minutes to move the ball through the maze. Some of the observations and teaching points from the training include:

  • Communications between the crew is essential. Sometimes two lifts at nearly simultaneous times were needed to prevent the ball from becoming trapped.
  • Teamwork is important.
  • The boss needs to have a vision for where the ball needs to go. Multiple ideas may work, but which one is fastest and safest?
  • Understand where your equipment is located on the rig and how it works. The spreaders may be fast, but the portapower or bottle jack may be better for precision lifts.

School Bus

HydroFusion Ram

HydraFusion Struts used as ram for a dash roll?



HydraFusion Strut Ram

The HydraFusion Struts were a game changer when PARATECH released the lifting/stabilizing device a few years back at FDIC. Rescuers can lift up to 10 U.S. Tons (9 metric tons) and to stabilize up to 20,000 lbs. with the tool. However, PARATECH’s HydraFusion Struts are not limited to just those two functions. The HydraFusion Struts can move metal!

I first ran across pictures of HydraFusion Struts used as ram from pictures that Brock Archer (Advanced Extrication) and Randy Schmitz ( Founder/Owner of Schmitz Mittz). Last weekend at Crunchtime Extrication, Paratech had one of their trailers at the training event and I had the chance to try a dash roll with a HydraFusion Strut. Take a look at the video below.

A few quick points:

  • You can put the HydraFusion Strut in place to reduce any dash movement during reliefs cuts.
  • HydraFusion Strut are portable and can be moved quickly to a vehicle hundreds of feet of the roadway.
  • Depending on the length of the HydraFusion Strut used, strut extensions can be used to optimize dash movement.
  • Using a HydraFusion Strut as a ram is an option, not always the option.
Below  are a few pictures from the Advanced Heavy Rescue Symposium in Calgary, Alberta, that show HydraFusion Struts used a ram during bus extrication to displace a roof.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue Reading

Rope Rescue

Hunter/Tree Climber Rescue

Hunting season is right around the corner in most parts of the United States. Have you trained on rescuing a stranded hunter hanging in their harness after a fall?



Tree Climber Rescue

Checkout the two videos below with some great game plans and tips on rescuing someone out of a tree or hanging in a harness after falling out of a hunting blind.

Harness Induced Pathology is a silent killer in High Angle Rope Rescue, it can also be known as Harness hanging syndrome, Suspension Trauma, Suspension Induced Shock, and Etc.

Skeletal-muscle pump

Did you know that your muscle help pump the blood thru your body? The skeletal-muscle pump is a collection of skeletal muscles that aid the heart in the circulation of blood. It is especially important in increasing venous return to the heart, but may also play a role in arterial blood flow.

Reference material:

Below is a PowerPoint on the effects of falling.

Continue Reading


Outboard Motor Information

The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team shared the video below on their Facebook page of useful information on outboard motor.



Outboard Motor

The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team shared the video below on their Facebook page of useful information on outboard motor.

The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team has a great Standard Operating Guidelines and Training Manual.

Continue Reading

Sponsored By

Training Content Partner