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USEING AIR CHISELS FOR EXTRICATION

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  • USEING AIR CHISELS FOR EXTRICATION

    I would like to here from anyone that is using air chisels.I know that they are quite load but they do work .Our dept. had one a few years back and it got broke and was not replaced.I would like to know if it would really be worth having a new air chisel on the truck.

  • #2
    I have never used an air chisel on an emergency dispatched MVA, but I have used one several times during training evolutions. I think that they work great. they are a very functional tool if your other tools are already in use or if you have mulitple vehicles involved and the second Rescue hasn't arrived yet. Me and another guy had a car torn apart within a minute of the guys who had cutters, spreaders and rams. Our car was identical to theirs and all we had was a saws all, duck-billed port-a-power and an air chisel. A good suggestion is to mount a regulator to an old air pack. This way you dont have to worry about your bottle rolling around on the ground while you are cutting. You can get a solid ten minutes of cutting out of a Scot 2200 @ 90-100psi (sheet metal) and seven or eight minutes @150 psi (A, B, C posts, cutting around nader pin, through the floor etc.)

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    • #3
      Thank you for reply
      You have some good ideas and we will keep them in mind
      stay safe

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      • #4
        Is it worth it? In our case, yes it is.

        We use it quite often.

        Check out the 300psi from Howell Rescue Systems, the little 90psi auto shop ones leave a lot to be disired.

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        • #5
          I have had the pleasure of working for two departments in my nine years of experience. I also instruct for the fire service program in okla.. We have used cheisels at both departments and train with them in extrication classes.
          The one thing I would have to say about them is to take them out of the bax and have them hooked up either on a back pack or build a dolly too carry at least two bottles and all your chisels to the scene at one time. I have found that we only use tools that are easy and quick to access so make your setup as quick and easy as you can or it will not be used.
          And in closing, train with it, it because the best tools used by will only perform as well as the user can make them function.
          Be Safe

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          • #6
            The last time I used a air chisel was about 2 years ago, the car was on its side in a ditch and the medic said that they wanted the roof off. I worked purfect we layed the roof down and got her out of the car, real easy. Get another one you never know when you will need and better to have it then not to have it.

            Have a good day and be safe.

            Joe
            Local 3905

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            • #7
              Air chisels have their place just as any other tool. Hydraulic tools, recip. saws, etc. have pros and cons. The air chisels are good in some cases for cars on their sides for entry thorugh the roof. They can work well for loosening the ground if you need to remove it versus the car. We have used one to gain access to a patient's leg that was trapped by a post hole digger. We lossened/removed the dirt around his leg and extricated it from the auger.

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              • #8
                I would hate to part with our air chisel on our crash rig. Not that it is used very often, but it is one of those tools that is perfect for special situations. The car roof is an obvious one. School busses and aircraft are two other unusual situations where I see them as being a tool of choice.

                ------------------
                Richard Nester
                Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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                • #9
                  If you don't have, get, but do not go with anything less than high pressure, like the one from Howell and anything less will have a hard time handling the situation and the demands you will place on it. I say that because you now have another extrication tool to use when you have that multi vehicle M.V.A..

                  A con against the air chiesel is the noise. You have to be talking to your patient and let them know what's going to happen, otherwise you will scare the living daylights out of them even more.

                  We have used ours for just about everything, but more for those non-typical applications. Sheet metal removal and those hard to reach areas.

                  We had one of those this past September. We had some girls who put their car into a large white pine sideways and the passenger became a "pig in a blaket" with the door wrapped around her. That side impact bar had the door as tight as a spring and I couldn't get to the tube mounts with anything but the air chisel. I was able to get in there and cut off the mounts. Once free the door popped right off.

                  The air chisel saved that girl, because I still wonder what we would have done without it.

                  Elmer "Andy" Anderson, NREMT
                  Mountain Ambulance Service http://www.rescue70.org

                  "Train the way you fight, fight the way you train!"

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                  • #10
                    My most recent use of an air chisel was on a 2-vehicle MVA with a car up on it's side and the other car with it's front end against the roof of car #1. We used the air chisel to cut the sheet metal of the roof all the way across right in front of the B-posts, then used the cutters to snip the sides and the A-posts, and we took the roof from B-posts forward all the way off. While a little unorthodox, it was a quick way to get the patient out quickly.

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                    • #11
                      Another vote for having one on the truck. We carry both a body-shop variety chisel and a Paratech PakHammer-90, and I wouldn't ever give up the PakHammer. It's big, loud, and really eats up the air, but cuts through sheet metal like a hot knife through butter. Opening roofs is no challange at all, even when you run into several good-sized cross braces like found on some SUV roofs. We had one case where our primary hydraulic tool power unit failed, and we were still able to remove a door by simply cutting away the sheet metal around the Nader pin side of the door, in a remarkably short amount of time. Since then, we have often employed the chisel in door-removal situations where the door sheet metal is exceptionally flimsy (more and more frequent) and the spreaders just keep tearing away at the skin. It is also very good at breaking up masonry materials, shearing bolts, and can be used with a clay spade for trench work. As stated above, it's not a cure-all, just another blade in the swiss-army knife on wheels called the rescue truck. More importantly, train often with whatever you have. Stay safe.

                      ------------------
                      R.A. Ricciuti, Firefighter
                      Mt. Lebanon Fire Department
                      www.mtlfd.org

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                      • #12
                        i know this reply is a little late, but... I have been in the service for 18 years, and in this time the airchisel work that i have seen done is either in trainingor competition. the place you might find a need is in the school bus extrication setting. a very important tool for window frame removal. again like heavy hydraulics, sawzalls, etc... there are quite a few companies out there that manufacture air chisels. like microwave ovens the is usually one parent company manufacturing for the rest. ie... chicago pneumatic who also builds for ajax, craftsman and a few others. the problem with air chisels is that the newer more effective models use anywhere between 60-300 psi which equates to major air consumption on the high end. this means having plenty of reserve at the scene. best suggestion, call the different manufacturers and ask them to send demo tools for your department to evaluate. here are some brands available now: ajax, top gun, howell rescue systems quikcut, chicago pneumatic, craftsman.. good luck.......

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                        • #13
                          I would like to thank all for your input, it sounds like its time to replace our air chisel.

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                          • #14
                            Yea, I'd replace it. We carry one on our engine. It doesn't get used a lot, but it has its place. We have a heavy rescue from one of our mutual aid companies running on our crashes, but the air chisel allows us the option of getting started on an extrication while they are in transit, or to take care of less complicated extrications by ourselves. We try to keep it really simple...just plug it into the air outlet on the engine and get going. Works well.

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                            • #15
                              Our pumper rescue has 100 ft of air hose on a reel. The supply comes off the truck air system. You must run about 1200 rpms to keep the air supply up. Great for rescues off the highway instead of carrying air bottles and changing them every few minutes. You can live without an air chiesel.It is just another tool to make your job easier.

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