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Quick Tips

Tech Tips: Vehicle Extrication Cutting

Let the tool do the work is something many have heard of the years. One mistake that is made during cutting operations with hydraulic tools is not letting the tool build up the pressure.

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Quick cutting tips

  1. Let the tool build pressure.
  2. Make 3 attempts to cut.
  3. Tool orientation can make the difference.
  4. Flip the tool upside-down.

Let the tool do the work is something many have heard of the years.  One mistake that is made during cutting operations with hydraulic tools is not letting the tool build up the pressure.  Below is a video of the B-Pillar of a 2014 BMW 330 being cut.  A brand new cutter was being used and the operator needed to allow the pressure to build to complete the cut.

After allowing the pressure to build what if it doesn’t cut thru?  You should always make 3 attempts to cut a pillar.  The first cut is your plan A location.  The second and third cuts are an inch or 2 higher and lower from the first cut.  The body structure of late model vehicles have pillars that vary in thickness and reinforcements may not run the entire length of the pillars.

B-Pillar-thickness-material-rescue

How do you attack the B-pillar with the cutters?  One method is to completely open the blades up and cut perpendicular to the side of the vehicle.  An alternative method is to limit the opening of the cutter blades and cut parallel with the side of the vehicle.

Last but not list.  Let your imagination be your guide.  Hydraulic tools can be used upside and held in almost any method as long as the operation never places themselves between the tool and the vehicle.  So feel free to flip the tool upside down, hold it high or low!

Mike Smith, Absolute Rescue's Editor in Chief, is a veteran of the fire/rescue service in Michigan, who also works in the automotive industry as a designer. Have an idea of suggestion for the site? Contact Mike here

Quick Tips

A different spin on Cracking the Egg

Cracking the Egg has its’ share of fans and critics.  Just remember training provides us with memory markers that we

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Cracking the Egg

The technique known as “Cracking the Egg” is interesting to method to gain patient access of a roof resting vehicle.  The video below from The Rescue Boss Facebook page replaces the cribbing that is normally used with a short Paratech strut.  Watch how the strut pivots art the base plate as the rear of the vehicle is lifted.

Cracking the Egg has its’ share of fans and critics.  Just remember training provides us with memory markers that we can draw from down the road and often use bits and pieces from different techniques during difficult or challenging rescues.

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Quick Tips

Stabilization and Electric Vehicles

The battery weight and location are important considerations for stabilization.

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One of the fastest methods of initial stabilization is to immobilize the vehicle by turning the 12-volt system OFF.  Securing the ignition is accomplished by obtaining the key fob or keys and put them in a rescue apparatus Furthest away from the scene.  Another quick, initial stabilization option are wheel chocks.

Chocks used during fire pumping operation are an excellent option. However, often a line is stretched off the apparatus and the engineer used the chocks on the apparatus.  Many extrication teams use two wheel chicks tied together with a rope.  Turtle Plastics has chicks that are lightweight and easy to deploy.

Stabilize the vehicle with cribbing, by removing air from the tires, or utilize the Lift Airbag Equipment for rescue.

Wheel chocks must match the size of the tires on the vehicle and used in pairs Tire size is designed to be proportional to the vehicle’s weight and size.

Three main factors affect the performance of wheel chocks:

  • The angle of the road surface, called slope or grade. Parking on an angle greater than 10 degrees increases the risk of the car rolling off or over the chock.
  • The size (height) of the wheel chock compared to the wheel height. Extra large wheel chocks are suitable for e.g. parked air craft where wind forces may come into effect.
  • The surface slip or friction of the road surface, as the wheel chock may slide downhill due to wet grass or ice. Increasing the size of the wheel chock will not necessary allow the parking on inclines greater than 30% gradient (16.6 degrees).
  • Keep in mind, the vehicle most likely will require full stabilization which should include cribbing and struts where necessary. Vehicles like a side resting vehicle or roof resting require struts to stabilize.

 

2017-qx60-hybrid-extrication-paratech

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Quick Tips

TECH TIP: Shorten the Strap

Often on side resting vehicles, once a strut is placed the fixed end of the ratchet strap is too long to tighten the strut.

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Ratchet Strap Handle

Often on side resting vehicles, once a strut is placed the fixed end of the ratchet strap is too long to tighten the strut. First off, if you are using a cluster hook set, use the smallest hook possible. Secondly, if possible use the hook on the fixed end of the ratchet strap. Finally, you can gain approximately 6 inches of space by folding the fixed end strap in half and attaching the hook on the handle as shown in the picture below.Rachet-Strap-Webbing-Handle-Side

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