Extrication Tools, Cutters and Spreaders Tips

  • Set struts to 45 degrees

    By Mark van der Feyst When using rescue struts for vehicle extrications, a 45-degree angle is the best angle to establish vehicle stability and integrity. It will allow you to create the perfect tr...

  • Pin struts for safety

    By Mark van der Feyst Rescue struts are a great tool for vehicle crashes, structural collapses or other stabilization needs. Struts have two safety pins to secure the desired height or vertical pos...

  • Don't cut the battery cables

    By Mark van der Feyst A standard procedure for any vehicle accident is to isolate the battery source by cutting the cables. Although cutting the cables may be easier, it may cause more problems in ...

  • Overcoming the Nader bolt with a tennis ball

    By Mark van der Feyst When forcing open a passenger door on a vehicle, the toughest part of the operation is getting the door to separate from the Nader bolt. This latch can be a burden on the fire...

  • Why to use hand tools on extrications

    By Mark van der Feyst Hydraulic tools are prevalent on most vehicle-extrication operations. As effective as these tools are, they are not the only tools available. Hand tools have been pushed into ...

  • Use webbing when popping a passenger door

    By Mark van der Feyst When firefighters extricate a person from a vehicle by forcing open a passenger door, there is a large amount of potential energy waiting to be released when the door does giv...

  • Check the strut straps

    By Mark van der Feyst Rescue struts are becoming a very common item in most fire departments. These tools are great for stabilizing vehicles in any position. These tools work with webbing straps to...

  • Protect the victim

    By Mark van der Feyst During a vehicle crash, there may be a need to break glass to extricate the occupants. Whenever glass is to be broken, it is important to protect the occupants from the shards...

  • Outer and inner circles at MVCs

    By Mark van der Feyst Whenever responding to a motor vehicle accident, it is always good to establish the outer and inner perimeters. The outer perimeter is for the entire accident scene and the in...

  • Do not rely on a winch to stabilize a vehicle

    By Mark van der Feyst At times, winches can be used to secure an object or vehicle. If they are being used, they cannot be relied upon as being the only source for securement. The winch is a mechan...

  • Safe practices when stacking air bags

    By Mark van der Feyst Extrication air bag manufactures will recommend how many of their air bags can be stacked on top of each other. Usually the limit is two, but there are exceptions based upon t...

  • Choose and inspect extrication air bags

    By Mark van der Feyst Air bags are a great tool for the vehicle extrications. There are two types of air bags: high-pressure and low-pressure. Low-pressure air bags are typically used for lifting h...

  • Safe winch operations

    By Mark van der Feyst Some rescue companies have a motorized winch located on the front bumper of the apparatus or one that can be moved around the truck for certain location applications. A motori...

  • Survey the scene

    By Mark van der Feyst On a vehicle crash call that involved a car hitting a hydro pole in front of a library, the responding EMS crews did not conduct a scene survey. This was verified by EMS when ...

  • Duct tape the glass

    By Mark van der Feyst Vehicle rescue operations often require us to break and remove glass from all four sides of the vehicle. This is done to prevent glass particles from flying into the faces of ...

  • How to make a quick vehicle stabilization chock

    This quick chock is comprised of two pieces. The first piece is a platform of three or four 4×4 cribs, 18 inches long, screwed and glued together with a top plate of ½ plywood screwed on top of the...

  • Operational considerations in winter weather

    By Michael LeeOn-scene operations will be affected by a number of things. Remember that combustible gas meters may not work properly or will take longer to warm up in cold weather. Gasoline in pump...

  • Tackling car fires

    By Michael LeeFireRescue1 columnistVarious methods exist to open the hood of the vehicle on fire; the key is to ensure that the hoseline crew is ready to extinguish the fire when the hood is opened...

  • Electric shut-off procedures

    By Vincent DunnFire departments must establish preplanned emergency responses with local utility companies and train firefighters to do the electric shut-off procedures when it's needed at incident...

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