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What kind of system are you using?

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  • What kind of system are you using?

    My department is in the process of purchasing a rescue system. I am trying to get a general idea of people's opinions of various kinds, like Amkus, Hurst, Holmatro, etc. If you have a rescue system, what make is it, what has your experience been with it (good, bad, problems, etc.), and what kind of system do you have (spreaders, cutters, rams, combo tool, power unit(s)?). Have you ever used a different make in the past, and if so, why did you switch? What is your overall recommendation?

  • #2
    We just rehabed our rescue. Stayed w/ Hurst. We now have a cutter and a spreader on each side of the rescue, each w/ its own generator. All four tools on 200 foot reels. We also have a full set of Hurst air bags, and Hurst rams. We carry two portable Hurst generators on the rescue for the rams, or backup to the generators mounted on the rescue. Hurst has always been great. We've never had a problem with them. People say that Hurst tools are heavier than the rest. Most likely, people are comparing the old Hurst tools to the new competitors tools. If you compare the latest Hurst to the latest others, Hurst is not much heavier, if at all. I've never seen a Hurst tool fail. I've seen other tools fail. I've never seen a Hurst tool fail to cut something. I've seen others bind up. This is my experience.

    Stay Safe

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    • #3
      OK here I go, I congratulate you for checking out peoples opinions, and you will find each and every tool has its fans and detractors. I will say this the person in the previous post brought up one good point, that is make sure you are comparing apples to apples, that is NEW tools to NEW tools, there has been lot competition lately in the rescue jaw field. NOTICE I saw rescue Jaw and not Hydraulics as there is now the POWERHAWK Option - Please note I am neither endorsing nor discounting the POWERHAWK but just including it in the whole mix. ALL of these tools have similarities and diferences, Diferences that you may not notice. We hear about 10,000 PSI and 5,000 PSI Systems each has there advantages and disadvantages, but beyond that you need to consider the "geometry of the tool" (be it hydraulic or otherwise) that geometry impacts the "Sweet spot" of the tools. Now this Sweet spot affects how the tool operates. This may or maynot be of imediate importance to you, but It can effect how someone that is used to running a Brand "H" tool may feel when he/she runs a Brand "A" not that either is a bad tool, just the opertors of each tool has (usually unknowingly) discoverd the Sweet Spot on the tool the most often use, So ther other tool may feel awkward or inadequate in any given situation. Please keep this in mind as you review all the facts. Another important factor is LOCAL SERVICE and SUPPORT. While it is good to conduct a broad based survey like this there are factors the need to be considered on a more local basis. How fast can you get repairs or a replacement tool when something goes wrong - and every tool can and does have its problems! Finally I consider what kind of training and who is doing it as a factor. considering some recent posts I would ask trainer if he or she has been certified by the company and if they are willing to give you a wirtten sylabis of what they trained you too. All to often you hear about how the instructor showed us how to cut part "X" and when we did and the Blades and /or the arms borke that the company did not back its tool as thie was seen as abuse. keep up the good work and I Look forward to see how each of us champion the tools that We feel are the BEST
      Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
      Carl D. Avery

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      • #4
        If you get the time, check the archives from this part of the Firehouse Forum. You will find MANY similar discussions and debates that will be helpful in your decision making process.

        As for my department, we have Phoenix tools. We operare a 35/25 "Rescue Tool", C/C Cutter, S/B Cutter and 60" "Super Ram" powered by a 4-cycle Briggs dual outlet pump.

        We upgraded to Phoenix from the Hurst which was the original tool for the department. We have switched the Hurst over to make it compatible with the new tools if need be. We have had no problems with the Phoenix. Our switch was based upon price and service.

        If you prefer low-pressure tools, you will be pleased with the Phoenix. But take some time to check into the archives and do some of the "homework assignments" you will come across. You will have these tools for a long time, so you want to be sure you select the one that best suits your own needs.
        Richard Nester
        Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

        "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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        • #5
          We are running Hurst. Their newest line of spreaders,cutters and rams. We have their first line also. The spreader was an 85 pound monster! I can tell you that Hurst uses a proprietary fluid: Esther phosphate.
          You cant use any other fluid in it. Unless its and emergency then you can use water but you have to have the tools flushed and cleaned. When all is said and done you will find that everyone has their preference based on familiarity and use. Get the reps out to your place and take them to a junk yard and have a showdown.

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          • #6
            I will not discuss the differences between tools but will only offer my thoughts ont the tools I am used to using. We have the Amkus Ultimate system on our squad. Our reserve squad has an older Amkus system. I have never experienced any major problems with our tools. The Ultimate System is extremely fast. It does take a lot of practice to use properly as with any tool. Especially when you are used to using a slower tool. I have yet to find anything we could not cut. A couple of years ago while at a regional extrication competition, we cut a 1970's nova completely in half across the car. Including taking off the doors, and roof we came in under 20 minutes. This was demo and not the scenario though, just playing with some new tools the dealer had. Amkus also has a speedway cutter now which is great with its large cutting blades. You can run six tools at once with the Ultimate. We run five and use the sixth to power the winch. We also carry a simo pump which can run two more tools. You should have the dealers of the different tools come out so you can try them. Good Luck deciding.
            THE ABOVE REFLECTS MY OPINIONS AND IN NO WAY REFLECTS THOSE OF MY DEPARTMENT.

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            • #7
              I WORK AT 2 FIRE DEPT 1 HAS ALL HURST EQ AND THE 2ND HAS AMKUS.USING BOTH TOOL'S ALOT I THINK THAT AMKUS HAS MORE POWER. ANY TOOL IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE ONE USING IT

              [ 11-08-2001: Message edited by: BENJIE FARMER ]
              BENJIE FARMER

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              • #8
                My department uses the Genesis System. One of our stations had the original Hurst and the other station had an Amkus. Myself and 2 other Firefighters attended a class put on by Howell Rescue in Dayton and brought back a lot of information. When we tried to "spread the wealth" with what we learned, we were pretty much "shot down"by one of our officers because, according to him, Hurst was the best. A few years later, that same officer attended the same class and he came back trying to pass along all this information. Needless to say, we weren't happy. I t was one of those situations where someone else had to experience it to believe it.

                When it came time for us to purchase our new tools, we did heavy research and had companyies bring out their tools for demonstrations and for hands on training. We looked at roughly 5-6 different brands and we decided on the Genesis. Our department purchased 2 sets, with each set consisting of a spreader, cutter, ram, ram extension kit, and the power unit. THe power units can only run 1 tool at a time, but they have connections for 2 so all you have to do id flip the switch to change tools.

                One of our neighboring departments also decided on the Genesis system, with the only differences being they also got airbags and they went with the power unit that can run 2 tools simultaneously.

                As someone else said, you will get all kinds of answers in this post as to which is the "best". The best thing you can do is to do a lot of research, but not just on the tools themselves. You need to have good service agreements (ex. if tool breaks, how long until you get a loaner) and also research what your mutual aid companies use. That was part of the reason our neighboring department decided on the Genesis. And remember, you will never have the "best" rescue tools, but you need to have what works best with you.
                The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
                IACOJ

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by firenresq77:[EDITED]
                  <STRONG>As someone else said, you will get all kinds of answers in this post as to which is the "best". The best thing you can do is to do a lot of research, but not just on the tools themselves. You need to have good service agreements (ex. if tool breaks, how long until you get a loaner) and also research what your mutual aid companies use. And remember, you will never have the "best" rescue tools, but you need to have what works best with you.</STRONG>
                  How I agree! the tool does not make the rescuer, the rescuer makes the TOOL! One thing that can and does make the biggest and most measureable difference is TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING! try as many tools as you can get your hands on, see what your team Likes , make sure it can be well maintianed, and make sure the sales team backs it UP!GET SOME good training, Drill, drill, drill and then train some more! You will make the Biggest difference in the outcomes of your patients if you accomplish this suggestion


                  [ 11-12-2001: Message edited by: Carl Avery ]
                  Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
                  Carl D. Avery

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