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  • Bucket mounted ventilation saw?

    I was curious if there was any information on such a device. My Lt. asked me to find whatever I could about either building or buying some kind of arm which would allow for roof ventilation while staying within the bucket. After doing many drills leaning out of the bucket door (while strapped in of course) we were hoping there was a faster way to make the cuts and simply use a long hook to pull the pieces up, being it's safer then having a FF lean outside the buckets walls, and hopefully faster.

  • #2
    Although such a device would make things a ton safer, which I'm very much in favor of, I think the safety increase would only be on the surface.

    Having opened many a roof with a saw, there's no way I could have felt the structural members or really known where the saw blade was had I not had my hands directly on it to get the feedback. With the strength of the saws nowadays, there's no way to tell what the saw is going through if you're using some kind of device that removes the FF from the saw. Mechanical arms would decrease feedback, so you couldn't tell if you hit some kind of retrofitted structural member from a remodel. Which could cause a collapse of course, which would be quite bad, and decrease safety on the whole for everyone else. Where I used to run up outside of Philly, PA, we had tons of 100+ year old houses that had been renovated, and on one fire we went to we found 4 roofs. Instead of tearing out the old ones, they laid 1x2s and playwood over the old roof(s) and put down new shingles.

    I believe the most important tool on the fireground is the FF and his brain. Using your senses to get feedback on a fire is the most important thing a FF can do, and however safe this type of device might make the guys in the bucket, the overall safety effect might not be there. But then again, that's just my opinion, and you might be on to something. If you can't find one, make one up. You might be on to the next great thing to happen to firefighting.

    Good Luck & Stay Safe.
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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    • #3
      Good question! My first thought was one of those robotic arms used by the power companies to trim branches near power lines (in a smaller version) but after reading BC79's reponse I would have to agree it is very important to feel the blade feedback to know what you are cutting.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the responses first of all, bought up a few good points I'll have to bring up when I speak to her. BC, unfortunatly I can't think of any way to get around what you said, we were already wondering how we would know when we hit a joist, let alone some of the things you mentioned. Even on a pole the FF is disconnected so I can't imagine how he'd do with something like what we're thinking up. We'll take a look at it but with the biggest problem in the way I'm not sure whether it'll happen even if we have a design drawn up.

        Engine, we were thinking the same thing, or even a pneumatic arm that would be able to let the FF swing it around and position it, but given the extra weight and force being put on the bucket it would only be so useful and could probably only be worked with the bucket at a relativly low height, otherwise you could risk shaking the whole thing apart.

        Thanks for the info, I'll let everyone know if we do ever come up with a working design.

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        • #5
          I did see a demo of a cobra cutter mounted on a Bronto Firelift. The system used a high pressure cutter not a saw to make the cuts. By using water mixed with a media it blasted through shingle and the plywood. It was not left in one place long enough to make it through structural beams. I am not sure if it can be retrofitted to existing ladders. As for cast I am not sure but with an $750,000 tower whats a few more dollars?

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          • #6
            Interesting, I'll have to find some more info on that cutter, do you know of a homepage for it? It hopefully wouldn't be too hard to fit onto a bucket but Ive never seen the system so it might be.

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            • #7
              First thing that came to my mind was a "weed-eater" style chain saw, with the saw on the end of a shaft, (better known as a pole saw) but the bar is too short, and the 2smoke engine is probably too weak. Just my 2 cents worth.

              Here is an electric version of the Pole saw: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...ategoryId=1467
              Service is the rent you pay for having space on earth.

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              • #8
                Cobra Cutter

                Here's the link to the website for the Cobra Cutter mentioned above

                http://www.ccs-cobra.com/

                It looks interesting but..................

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HFRH28
                  First thing that came to my mind was a "weed-eater" style chain saw, with the saw on the end of a shaft, (better known as a pole saw) but the bar is too short, and the 2smoke engine is probably too weak. Just my 2 cents worth.

                  Here is an electric version of the Pole saw: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...ategoryId=1467
                  We actually tried a little bit more powerful version of a pole saw, 2HP I believe, even it couldn't do the job properly. It would cut with the right blade, but it did so so slowly and kept on jamming that it was worthless, the operator was so tired after using it from having to press so hard on the pole for enough bite that it would take a second person up there to pull the roof off. Does look like a good idea, but I'm thinking a K12 on a pole is a little too heavy

                  Bulldog, interesting but. . . what? I'm actually goign to present that system to my Lt. so any bad news on it would be appreciated I was actually curious if anyone here has actually used the system before? Thanks for the homepage link, its alot of help.

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                  • #10
                    But............

                    I haven't used the Cobra system for fire service but do have experience with High Pressure water cutting and cleaning for Industrial uses. High pressure water with abrasive can cut anything as Cobra states but without appropriate feed speed (rate across material) you can cut a lot behind what you want. There is also a significant personnel safety issue especially when it's hand held. If it can cut wood metal etx so fast imagine what it can do to skin! Also high pressure waer injected into the skin can cause severe infections. With just water (No abrasive) it's much safer but also much slower. Also in industrial environment the abrasive is injected at the head so the water feed equipment isn't worn by the abrasive, the water is feed as high pressure while the abrasive is feed at low pressure until it reaches the cutting head. With abrasive mixed with water I imagine the maintenance would be very high.

                    Just my opinion based on Industrial work but I feel there are many issues to look at before adoption.

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                    • #11
                      Good points to bring up, we were worried that if we bought the portable system it might become a safety hazard, the consensus is that we'd keep the unit on some kind of mount on the bucket, but until we get the wand I'm really not sure whether thats possible or not. I wasn't aware that the water had alot of oer penetration though, I assumed ( no wonder I'm in the dark) that the water gets significantly slowed down once it begins cutting and just drips down, assuming you dont hold it in a spot you've just cut through already, but I guess this isn't the case. Guess it wouldnt be a good thing if we had an attic apartment while we were cuttin.

                      Never thuoght of the abrasive wearing the wands bore, I'm assuming that isn't a cheap part to replace either, thanks for the heads up on that I'll make sure to pose that question to a rep if we go for a demo.

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                      • #12
                        Cobra Cutter

                        I just read the propaganda on the Cobra Cutter... wow. Seems like a very cool way to vent a roof, amongsth other things. Very interesting.

                        Last edited by Resq14; 08-21-2003, 02:50 PM.
                        God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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                        • #13
                          I have wondered about such a device quite often. The tree trimming companies in our area use a hydraulic powered high speed disk saw (similar size to a 7-8" circluar saw blade)on an approx. 6ft fiberglass pole. While I have never handled one of these myself, the guys that you see running them often hold them in one hand (yeah I know...not exactly safe) so they must not be too heavy or anything and they cut through 2-3" tree limbs like a hot knife through butter. I doubt any of the apparatus mfgrs would be very thrilled about adding an auxilliary hydraulic port to their aerials, but seems like it wouldn't be too hard of an addition. With a max of 3-4" of penetration, the risk of cutting thru supporting members would probably be minimal. Anyway, just some food for thought.

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                          • #14
                            And just like the Ventmaster or some other depth guard devices, something could be made to change the depth on that blade to something shallow enough that nicking a support member wouldn't compromise structural integrity, just like what's on a circular sa now. Range from .5" to about 3" ought to be more than enough. And while I haven't seen hydraulic lines up at the end of a bucket, there sure are pneumatic (breathing air) ports. I mean if Hurst and Holmatro are making rescue tools that can run off of air, why not something similar here? Hmmmmmm.......
                            Brian P. Vickers
                            www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                            Emergency Services Consulting
                            Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                            Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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                            • #15
                              I read this thread a while back and didn't have time to post, but I too thought of the hydraulic powered pole saws. One point to remember in the design of said system - The hydraulic lines from the truck to the bucket are going to suffer the same effects of friction & gravity that your pre-piped waterway suffers. Thus you will have to make sure that the plumbing can supply the needed pressure AND VOLUME that the saw requires.

                              That's why we have such small diameter hoses on the hydraulic rescue tools - they use a lot of pressure but not much volume so we can get by with the small hose.

                              In this case I think that pneumatic is going to be the way to go as Air will not suffer the same problems. It's something you already have a source of (be it piped to the bucket or carried in an SCBA bottle).

                              Try doing a google search for "pneumatic chain saw" or "pneumatic pole saw" - pretty interesting stuff.

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                              Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
                              Stephen
                              FF/Paramedic
                              Instructor

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