Extrication tools: What you want

Throwing off the constraints of money and physics, what improvements do you want to see in extrication tools?


We asked readers to throw off the constraints of money and physics and tell us what improvements they want to see in extrication tools. We asked them to dream of a day they weren't tethered to heavy, unwieldy cutters; noisy, underpowered spreaders; and wobbly stabilizers. And dream they did.

Whether it is something as seemingly impossible as a Star Trek teleporter or simply a lighter jaw, there's no shortage of suggested improvements.

[What tool improvements do you dream of? Email editor@firerescue1.com to share your thoughts.]

What extrication tools make your list of dream tools?
What extrication tools make your list of dream tools? (Photo/Dalan Zartman)

Here are 15 of our favorite suggestions — many of which we hope to see in the near future:

  1. "More boron cutting capabilities, light-weight, self-contained system." — Darren Boyer
  2. "Cutters that can round the end of the metals that we just cut. This way responders and patients don't get cut on the jagged edges." — Thomas Donofrio
  3. "Lighter tools with a lot more power." — Chris Chasteen
  4. "I would like to see straps to go around your shoulders. That way we aren't always holding them with our hands and wasting time to reposition our hands." — Matt Barhum
  5. "How about laser cutters." — Ed Thibault
  6. "Cohesive aerosol spray to act as a glass containment system. Portable micro-vibration cutter capable of quickly cutting laminated boron steel without risk of burns or ignition. Expanding aerogel foam for rapid in-place vehicle support and stabilization." — Harold Zwanepol
  7. "More training made available to rural departments. Lower prices." — William Hill
  8. "A computer and camera that automatically takes a picture of the vehicle upon arrival. The computer provides schematics to help cut it up; tells you where the airbags are and extrication strategies." — Alex Litchfield
  9. "Star Trek-style transporter." — Jason Hoffman
  10. "All tool manufacturers to use common connections, fluid and a standard for control locations, and lighting on tools." — Michael Bohnenkamp
  11. "A force field to hold back water, dirt or dampen fire. Other than that, an easily portable loading ramp that could be telescoped out (say 30 feet or so) right to the vehicle so the patient could be extricated, placed on the ramp and moved to the ambulance. They would not have to be hand carried up and down ditches and jostled to get them to the ambulance." — Linda Dee Rooney-Card
  12. "A device we can plug in upon arrival to an accident that kills the airbag system." — Norman Ray Langwell Jr.
  13. "Backboards that fold into a sitting position and straighten as you remove the seated patient and lock straight. The KED takes too long and does not work for every size and shape patient." — Jenn Warner
  14. "A water jet cutter that can be used around patients." — Daniel Smith
  15. "A razor wire type cutting device that wraps around the steering column, tightens and cuts straight through the column." — Kyle Weisenberger

This article was originally published in November 2012.

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