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  • Hydraulic vs. Saws

    Happy Holidays to all. This past year I moved to a new area and a new company. I have been a firefighter for 14 years, many of them as a line officer. I used both Hurst and Holmotro rescue tools. I loved the Holmotro because of the brute force and the non toxic fluid. (We had a Hurst tool burst on two of our members) The new company uses Sawzalls as their primary extrication tool. (Vertical patient removal) My question is two-fold. Is this a better way? and with the new model vehicles out, is there more of a danger doing roof removals vs door pops and side outs? I think so.

    [This message has been edited by 86Rescuetech (edited 02-02-2001).]

  • #2
    We use both, and they are both equal in my opinion. Sawzalls work great for cutting all the posts on a car. We have found titanium in the roof of some newer vehicles and it will use up your best blade you have in approx 3" of cutting. have extras.

    ------------------
    Barry Butrymowicz FF/EMT
    The views expressed above in no way represent the views of Mountain Ambulance Service or Riverview Fire Department.

    Remember if it is bleeding-bandage it, if it is on fire-put it out.
    and extricate when you have to.

    Comment


    • #3
      [QUOTE]i have worked on a number of older as well as the newer spaceframe vehicles and find on the older cars hydraulic tool works better,i guess the design of the vehicle as well as the weight holds true.but with the newer vehicles,its diffucult to find good purchase points.i find the use of a good sawsall works wonders.but good stabilization is paramount.stay safe bros and happy holidays

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      • #4
        We use both hydraulic and saw-zalls. If you have the manpower then have one on hydraulic and one on a sawzall. But if you can use two hydraulics together and if you feel more comfortable and just plain used to it. Then use 'em up. As long as you have the capability to use both at the same time.

        I think it is more personal preference.

        ------------------
        Fishers Fire Dept.
        FF/Medic
        Local 416

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        • #5
          In my volunteer department about 80% of our calls are MVA's. I have have found that using a combination of Sawzalls and hydraulics works best. Like any extrication, some tools work best under certian situations. It is real hard to displace a door with a sawzall!!
          Our officers make sure that both tools are used on scene. If we have to take a roof off, they make sure that both tools are going at the same time. This not only speeds up the extrication, but it puts both tools into play.
          I have found that one major draw-back with sawzalls is that they create a lot of noise, which can be very stressfull to whomever we are extricating. hydraulics tools, I have found, create much less noise.
          But the question still stands, "which one is better." My answer, is that the extrication and availability of tools decide.

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          • #6
            I BELIEVE THAT SIMULTANEOUS USAGE OF HYDRAULICS AND THE 'CIP SAW IS ADVANTAGEOUS.
            ALSO DON'T FORGET PORTA-POWERS, HI-LIFT JACKS
            AND COME-ALONGS. THE MAIN THING IS NOT "OVER-EXTRICATING" YOUR PATIENTS. IF THE DOOR DOESN'T NEED REMOVED, DON'T REMOVE IT. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONVERSE WITH YOU.

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            • #7
              R.G. good point, a well planned and orchestrated Extrication Team working efficently is the Second most powerful Rescue tool on the Scene, Second only to YOUR BRAIN - actually it is an extention of your Brain. DO NOT GET LOST in TOOLS! KNOWLEDGE, ORGANIZATION, TEAM WORK make the Rescue Successful. As far as not overextricating, I agree, but you must be careful then, Make the HOLE you need to get the patient out with nose toes and belly button in a straigh line. I agree DO NOT OVER DO, But DO NOT UNDER DO Either

              ------------------
              Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
              Carl D. Avery

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              • #8
                Our dept. uses both simultaneously also. The good thing about the vertical patient removal is, if they are still in the sitting position, I think it provides for less chance of twisting the spinal column. If you take them out the door it is more difficult to maintain that straight line that Carl speaks of. Just my opinion.

                ------------------
                Eddie C. - a.k.a - PTFD21
                ECarn21's Homefire Page
                Local 3008
                "Doin' it for lives n' property"

                Comment


                • #9
                  While I agree with the up and out concept of a Quick roof removal , recline the seat (if you can and most do now-a-days) and slide in a back board and out you go, KED or Oregon or what ever type of device you may use too. One of the challenges we are facing now are the side impact curtins and such. One of the Ideas is to do an "Halo Cut" that is leaving the side and front roof rail intact and removing the center "skin" (a good Job for a cip saw or another Oldie but a goodie, the air chisel). If you do go for a ROOF REMOVAL make sure you "Strip before you Rip" what is that you say, It means make sure you peel away interior Body pannels to check and see where curtins, canisters and seat belt pretensioners are. So what is the point in reference to the subject. There is NO ONE TOOL that does it ALL. In todays EXTRICATION WORLD we need a variety of tools for different task and the Knowledge to know when and where to use what. Coupled wiht good organization and Succesfull and Efficient Extrications become the routine!

                  ------------------
                  Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
                  Carl D. Avery

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is human nature to want to use the system that one has seen work before even if you may have heard of another (better) way. Generally it is easier to apply the standard working system in any department than to try too hard to convert everyone to another way. By the time you have everyone understanding the better way you would have had the patient out the standard way. Any experienced Firefighter knows there is a time when things just don't work, recognising these times early, and having more tricks up your sleeve that are practiced and ready to go can save the day. I would live with what your department practices but try to ensure everyone maintains other equipment skills for the day Plan A doesn't work
                    Jim Maclean NZ

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                    • #11
                      Old habits die hard, introducing new ideas can be a chore around my station (maybe yours is better in that respect). I have heard the hydralic tools are "the extrication tool" everywhere. They each have their place,using them togather or seperately. I have used them both, man that recip'blows the hydralics away in spots.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        While Looking over the post I saw the term Human Nature! Another obsversation about HuMAN nature is POWER! If it wasn't for MORE POWER who in the world would have heard of Tim the TOOLMAN (too bad there ain't Binford spreader) So most of us are Drawn to SPREADER, CUTTER, RAM -systems (Had to put it that way for my Friends that use the POWERHAWK [which BTW supports the Milwaukee 18 volt cip Saw]) and in Honesty they can do an awful Lot in Skilled hands, but the same can be said for cip sawz too, and for a Lot cheaper, Are the equals? NO! Are they options? YES! Are there times when one is better than the other? YES! If you are a TRULY well equiped and well versed RESCUE TEAM, YOU better HAVE BOTH and Know how to use them!!!

                        ------------------
                        Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
                        Carl D. Avery

                        [This message has been edited by Carl Avery (edited 02-01-2001).]

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                        • #13
                          Thank you all for the information on this post. I am learning the "cip saw way" and I do like it. There are still some concerns with total roof removal and the new safety systems. Again thanks for the input. Be Safe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In my opinion both tools are necessary to handle a variety of rescue situations. I'm not sure I agree with using the Sawzall as the pimary extrication tool. It's a great tool don't get me wrong. There are many situations where it's really the ONLY tool to to use. But primarly i'm still a hydraulic tool man myself. I also agree with the thought of using the in combination. In some situations the sawzall will do a better job on one part of the car and the cutters a better job on others. If it works use it! In my experience the saw works easier to do some jobs on newer cars because the metal is thinner and there is nothing solid to push against using hydraulic tools. in contrast the older vehicles with thicker steel can bog down a saw when trying to ask it for too much. In conclusion, I like 'em both, use 'em both, and think neither one can replace the other!

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