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  • Struts Take Too Long...

    Received this "complaint" from a firefighter in the southeast about strut stabilization systems taking too long and being too complex to set up.

    My dept.recently purchased some kind of "jig-saw,kickstand"
    type of device. I failed to get the name of the product,so I'm kind of vague there. It entails significant construction time & intricate pinning as far as length.

    Isn't that counter-productive? My service area is 55 square miles of 90% farm/rural roads,so,we get alot of cars in ditches,creeks and what not. I recently attended extrication classes, most of which
    used very aggressive & modern techniques that I tried to bring back to my dept. w/ no luck or at best tepid response.

    What do you suggest for side resting or standing cars for upright stab? Maybe I'm wrong,but,it seems that simple wins every time. I strongly believe in the K.I.S.S. theory.

    Here's my reply.....
    A tensioned buttress stabilization system is the best for side-resting or roof-resting vehicle stabilization. If a department has a tensioned buttress stabilization system that requires assembly at the scene prior to use, then I always suggest that they try to pre-set the unit as much as possible. Rig it up somewhat connected so only a minimum of effort is required to get it in service.

    Although I like KISS, nothing beats a pair of struts to stabilize a vehicle. So, my suggestion, make it work and try to out live those who are less forward thinking than you are.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  • #2
    strut assembly time

    I would have to agree that struts do take a few extra minutes to set up. The few extra minutes it takes is paid in return by the rock-solid stabilization they provide. We just started using telescoping struts in our inventory and use them more and more as proficiency increases. We will crib first with wedges/stepchocks/blocks and then when the initial stabilization is secured, we will reinforce that with the struts. We don't rely on the struts by themselves - always in conjunction with our stache of cribbing.

    They are well worth the money and time spent on a set. The uses are many - not just for auto stabilization anymore.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have seen these problem at schools and competitions. Some manufucturers in an attempt to make their tool more valuable have loaded them with options. Not necessarily a bad thing, but let us all remember Efficientcy is a key to our success at any rescue. The more options offered may let us use the tool in more situations, but if it stiffles our efficentcy then the value can actually be deminished. Two points can address this, Thorough training and practice with the units so that all the crews know how to assemble the right components in a timely fashion is vital, Secondly and more importantly, do some research on the web and of course do some HANDS ON TRAINING before you buy, there are many options out their for strut Stabilization. I know of at least one manufacturer of a Strut/Ground Pad system that will let you try them out for 30 days in your home department before you spend a dime. You will have to make up your own mind about which one or ones to choose, Some systems do and actually can copliment each other. But RESEARCH and Do TRY before YOU BUY to get the system that works best for the people working in the street to use. I also have to agree with Mr. Moore that these systems are by far and away the best way to stabilize a car on its side, and in some other situations too
      Last edited by Carl Avery; 10-02-2003, 10:11 AM.
      Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
      Carl D. Avery

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, tension buttresses/struts ("kickstands") are worth their weight in gold when used in the necessary and practical situation used by the right (trained) individuals. As stated above when you have an overturned turned particularly one on it's side they are invaluable in completely stabilizing a car "almost" always. (never say never and never say always). A buddy of mine and myself are in the final design and fabrication phase of some struts that are VERY simple for all our Firefighters to use. He is the master welder and I made the basic design. Our goal was make KISS (keep it simple struts). Once the promo's are done I will post photos here in the forum to get evals from the Hood (brotherHood that is)

        Be safe.

        fraternally, JW
        "Making Sense with Common Sense"
        Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
        ( [email protected]) Jordan Sr.

        Comment


        • #5
          A few years ago, the Fallon-Churchill Fire Dept in Nevada made their own struts and published the "blueprint" in another magazine - FireRescue. They also have pictures of it in use on their website. We made ours from this same blueprint and the total cost for four of them was under $550. They aren't rated or listed but they still work well and are in keeping with the "KISS" methodology.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not sure about the brand the individual in question uses, but we are happy with what we have. Yes at first they were a little time consuming to setup and heaven forbid we had to use a little brain power to think it through first, but in the end they are a piece of cake and I wouldn't ever give them up. They save so much space compared to carrying loads of long 4x4 and 4x6 that still might not be the right size and need to be cut (setup a saw, measure, cut... talk about time consuming!

            Anyway, as with anything else, train with them repeatedly and everytime it gets easier and faster. If this guy is hopped up about the classes he attended and the training he has perhaps he could invest a little more time and learn the system inside and out then maybe it won't be time consuming and complex to setup.

            I love when guys would rather complain about something they used once(or in a lot of cases observed from a distance) than take the time to train on them and see their usefulness and value.

            Stay Safe!

            Comment


            • #7
              I just got back from Ottawa Canada where I spent 5 days at the "World Extrication Comp" 29 of the top teams in the world each ran 3 times over a 3 day period. I can tell you that EVERY team that had to deal with a side resting vehicle used some type of strut devise. Most of them were blue, but a few other colors got mixed in. I must whole heartedly agree that the strut industry has gotten way too complicated and way too expensive for some departments. Just how complicated do you need to make a triangle? I can tell you that a simple 4x4 type strut system can be set up solid in under 2 minutes, most times around 1 minute. I have the video and photos to prove this. I sometimes get busted on here for being commercial, but take this as educational .... TRY BEFORE YOU BUY !!! As far as the "Tons of lumber" comment ...if you consider 2 - 3 foot and 2- 5 foot pieces a "ton" then I have a bridge to sell you. 95% of your strut needs can be filled by this selection. NO field cutting needed, NO field measuring needed. I have well over a thousand sets of tools out across the US and Canada, I have hundreds of pictures and videos showing positive results. I can give you names of TERC team captians that will use nothing else. Maybe if "It takes too long" or its "Too complicated" you bought the wrong system for your needs.

              Mike @ Zmagrescue.com

              Comment


              • #8
                First Let me start out by saying that I know Mike, AKA ZMAG and I am his friend. Now let me say this, Blue, Yellow, Black - Multi colored is not the key. Mike of couse supports his products, with good reason as he documented. I hope as you read his post You could see the good recomendations he made for Struts and all rescue tools for that matter. I cannot emphasize how important it is to TRY before you buy! It is vital to do your research. MAKE sure all the glitz and glamor offered by others really does work and more important is workable by you and your team at Zero: Dark Thirty! PLEASE do not get blown away by ANY salesman that baffles you with the brilance of there tools, that does not let YOU play with them and make sure YOU can accomplish all they promise you
                Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
                Carl D. Avery

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow aren't we sensitive.... I don't remember mentioning ground pads.

                  Do I consider the numbers you mentioned for lumber quantities a ton, no not on their own, but when coupled with all of the equipment we carry on a combination piece of apparatus in today's do more with less budgets, the struts we have take up less space than what you mentioned, specifically the five-footers. I don't have a place to put 1 - 5 footer on the apparatus we use for vehicle rescue let alone the 4 we would need to be equal with the quantity of struts we carry. Yeah. I could put them on the hose bed and be screwed when I need a hydrant or I could fabricate a storage solution to go under my hosebed as suggested by a previous discussion and when I come up short on a hose lay because I now carry less hose, it's going to suck knowing you used to have it until you started carrying this wood. I'm not 100% against lumber long boards if you have a way to carry them with out sacrificing something else along the way. I don't have that luxury so we went with struts. If I had a full heavy rescue with transverse compartments or coffin boxes up top, I would load it up with lumber as a suplement (and just to make nice I would probably order a couple of ground pads since I do like the concept but don't have room for the wood and besides, it's always good to have options at a rescue job).

                  With that said, the theory of try before you buy mentioned earlier is VERY valid. Use them, train with them (both with and without the rep) and then figure out where you are going to carry them. The rep may offer you all the bells and whistles in the world, but if you don't have room for them on your rigs then what good are they at the station?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FFTrainer
                    Wow aren't we sensitive.... I don't remember mentioning ground pads.
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    With that said, the theory of try before you buy mentioned earlier is VERY valid. Use them, train with them (both with and without the rep) and then figure out where you are going to carry them. The rep may offer you all the bells and whistles in the world, but if you don't have room for them on your rigs then what good are they at the station?
                    Hey, Sorry if I sounded sensitive, Though Mike ZMAG Schmidt is my buddy and the department I am leaving carries and uses them (THE TRUE BLUE RESCUE TOOL) on our rescue pumper, I do not and would not limit anyone from considering "pure" struts(BTW I have another friend on the Left coast that produces an EXCELLENT "pure" Strut). In the same breath I do feel you have to consider all your option.

                    I do have to AGREE with the Try before you buy principle. Remember the salesperson is there to do a Job, Their job is to sell you their product. While they may be very educational in their presentations, they will always be geared to sales. So I stroungly second the above post that is Play with them with the sales man there and when he is not there to be sure this is the product you want and can use
                    Last edited by Carl Avery; 10-06-2003, 08:18 PM.
                    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
                    Carl D. Avery

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Remember the salesperson is there to do a Job, Their job is to sell you their product. While they may be very educational in their presentations, they will always be geared to sales."

                      Not all salespeople are ALWAYS geared to sales.

                      I bring many years of training and experience with me to demos and training sessions. Not everything we talk about or train is "for sale" of my truck. I gear my presentations to the department, listen to what they want, offer suggestions and opinions (gets me in trouble at times), I will tell the "potential" customer if their thought process is in "far left field".

                      I do agree that there ARE salespeople that will tell you anything to sell the product. The now infamous statement of "I can drink this hydraulic fluid" is one of the best.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Regarding struts taking too long. Here's typical comments we get back from those using Res-Q-Jack adjustable struts and jack struts:

                        "T-171 crew immediately deployed the RES-Q-Jack system and completely stabilized that vehicle within 90 seconds. The patient was then accessed and extricated on a longboard from the damaged cab of the pickup." Training Mgr. at a TX dept.

                        "I thought it would be difficult to learn and get skilled with, but it is very easy to use! We continue to practice and as you said "if you can't stabilize the vehicle in 2 minutes, you're doing something wrong." It actually works that well...."
                        Bob Borseth, Captain, Chippewa Fire District

                        and there's plenty more comments that repeat the same message. It all boils down to training. If you don't train, don't bother.

                        Let us know if we can help in any training needs.

                        RES-Q-JACK

                        Comment

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