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  • Amkus Cutter Incidents

    I'm not trying to open a can of worms, but I have heard of what appears to be an on going problem, and has recently hit home for me.

    Has anyone been involved in, or heard of rescuers getting hurt by the Amkus speedway cutter? I have heard of three people so far, one in NJ, one in upstate NY, one in PA, and most recently, my friend in MD.

    Apparently what is happening is when the operator is carrying the tool, they are inadvertenly opening the valve, causing the blades to close on unsuspecting rescuers.

    I have the utmost respect for Amkus and their products, I'm just looking for others that have had a simular problem. If you haven't, please be carefull when carrying this cutter, AND NEVER,EVER PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE BLADE AREA.

    <br />THANKS, AND BE SAFE OUT THERE!!

  • #2
    YES >>>> There have been several people hurt that i have heard of in the past. Amkus is not the only brand that has this type danger's of injury the users or friends that are standing around. twist crip controls are the weakest, worst idea on the market. I was hoping NFPA would do something with the safety factors in rescue tools,such as banning the twist crips control's. That just my thought. STAY SAFE !!

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    • #3
      I think this applies to all tools, not just Amkus brand. Yes, the way the tool is made makes it possible to actuate the tool if you carry it by its control valve.

      The tool should be carried/moved CLOSED and carried by its handle, not the control valve.

      I think training and being familiar with the equipment you use can prevent this type of situation from occurring.

      Common sense goes a long way too. You should never be between the tool and another object, let alone 2 parts of the tool (jaws, blades, etc.). Our Amkus system operates about 4x faster than standard Amkus pumps, and we have not had a problem with this on calls or during training because everyone has been educated about the operation of the tools and system.

      Another nice feature of our system is that the safety officer can stand by the incident and control tool power via the "Pendant Controller." Thus when tools are not actually engaged in a cutting/speading operation, they are powered down. The switches on the controller are color-coded to the preconnected tool lines, so it can all be done by color. "Power up red, shut down blue, power up yellow." This the best setup I've seen.

      And for what it's worth, I love the speedway cutters. Great tool when used correctly.
      Last edited by Resq14; 05-24-2011, 05:11 AM.
      God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
      Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
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      • #4
        Let me get this straight..... You are saying that the tool is being carried by the twist grip valve controller while moving about and it is causing the cutter to close on someone's hands??

        HELLO?! does this concern anyone other than me? Why are you carrying a tool such as this in this manner while the pump is running?

        Why, and/or how, are anyone's hands getting near the cutter when the pump is running?

        It soumds to me like someone needs to get control of the scene, do some serious training before you respond again, and implement a safety officer in your response plans.

        Your questions seems slanted towards a problem with the Amkus brand of equipment. By your description, it seems to me that the user has been improperly trained. If this is the case, the brand of tool is irrelevant, and the risks are going to be there for many other brands of tools.

        If you are familiar with this type of tool (and I am), you should know that the valve rotates in either direction, allowing fluid to move in either direction if the pump is running and the pump valve is open. This tool should NEVER be carried by the valve, but rather by the handle on the middle of the tool. The tool operator should be aware of his surroundings and the tool he is operating AT ALL TIMES.

        I am sorry your friend has been hurt. Let's hope that he is the last to be hurt in this manner.
        Dan Martelle

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        • #5
          sCCARESCUE,

          Just to give you an idea about that cutter, it's handle is the control valve, there is no other way to carry that tool. I have used on myself for 12 years w/o a problem, but I do think that the design is poor. THIS IS STILL NO EXCUSE TO HAVE YOUR HANDS ANYWHERE NEAR THE BLADES.

          For those of you that have heard of simular incidents, I'm interested in knowing what the tool type was, and why the incident occured. I'm just hoping to learn from mistakes from the past to prevent injuries of the future.

          I'm not opposed to twist valve type controls, I just have heard 4 incidents involving the same tool. Coincidence or PROBLEM??

          PLAY SAFE!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Well. It kind of sounds like some stupid actions have been taking place. For one if you buy AMKUS equipment chances are you have shut offs on the pump to the tools you select. So before you try carrying something maybe you should turn it off at the pump. Carry it closed, then it will only be able to open? Sounds like a simple solution. I don't think this is any falt on the equipment itself but lack of training with the equipment. When you get something new like that you get a couple of cars and cut them up and use the old ones at scenes just practice with the new ones until you feel comfortable.

            I feel the same way with FAST teams. That we must try to solve things at the route of the problem, not the result of lack of training.
            Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
            Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
            Randolph Fire Co. Inc

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            • #7
              [quote]AND NEVER,EVER PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE BLADE AREA <hr></blockquote><br />I thought we were all smarter than this.

              I've been an Amkus user for quite a while and the only danger I've seen from the twist grip control is when the tool moves and pins the hand on the control against something. I have seen an inexperienced operator get his fingers wedged against the dash so hard he couldn't reverse the twist grip to get himself loose. Newbies have to be shown to anticipate how the tool is going to react and develop a healthy respect for what it can do for you and to you.
              _________DILLIGAF

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              • #8
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a D-handle an option for these cutter bodies? I know we had one at one point, but it was changed over to a simple handle that projects perpendicular to the cutter body. Supposedly this was the "incorrect" handle for cutters. We currently have the D-handle on our model C-15 combitool

                Anyone know anything more about Amkus D-handles?
                God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
                Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
                Click this to search FH Forums!

                Comment


                • #9
                  First of all let's wish the MD firefighter a speedy recovery, and a rapid return to work. WLynch hit the nail right on the head. KEEP YOUR HANDS, FINGERS, FEET, WHATEVER, AWAY FROM THE BLADES. The control valve is a dead-man control valve. Let go and it returns to neutral. You can carry the tool by the control valve by simply sliding your hand back to the (Non-Rotating)base of the valve. JAS claims that the twist grip is the problem. NOT SO. Training is the answer. Several tools on the market have the same style of control valve, and without the proper training they probably could create the same hazard. Ten8-Ten19 talked about the inexperienced operator trapping his fingers in the dash with the control valve. Inexperienced operator, or Inexperienced trainer? Try placing the control valve towards the exterior of the car, then if or when it twists, it can't trap your fingers. When cutting the top of a "B" post, invert the cutter, so if it does twist, you don't trap your fingers. Just some helpful ideas. I've used the AMKUS tools for 14 years now, and I have to agree with all of you. Training and Experience is the key. Know your tools. Be Safe.

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                  • #10
                    Squadman... You have more experience using the tools than I do but I still think that most of the time it is not convenient to invert the cutter. It just doesn't feel right. I know, neither does a crushed finger. The key thing I try to get across to new people is to be aware the tool's gonna move and you better be ready for it.

                    Thanks for your suggestions and I'll keep them in mind.

                    [ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: Ten8_Ten19 ]</p>
                    _________DILLIGAF

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