I saw a video on YouTube of Chicago Fire cutting 2 people out of an overturned car.  I noticed they had some really neat electric rescue tools.  Does anyone know what make/model these are?  What about experience with this brand or any other brand?  I know electric motors can be pretty powerful.  Plus, you aren't tethered to the truck, no hydraulic lines to rupture or come off, and they are quieter since you don't have to have a generator running.  They seem to be a really decent replacement to the hydraulic tools we use now.  Just want some opinions and thoughts on the idea.  Thanks.

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Look on their website and you should be able to find the number.  Of course you can call.  Never heard of a fire house anywhere in the country that didn't have a public telephone.  Fire houses are there to assist the public so they need to be able to get a hold of them some how.


Ask the boys in Detroit if anyone is going to be answering the phone.

I may have misread your post/intentions Moose.  It just sounded like you were concerned these tools weren't up to the task at hand.  I agree with Chief Sharp that as fire fighters, we always need to have options.  I think the multiple batteries and the possibility to plug the electric tools in with an extension cord actually provide slightly more options than hydraulic.  We had a rookie disconnect the wrong tool once when he was asked to switch tools on the end of a line.  The valve was still open for the tool he disconnected.  Lost all our hydraulic fluid.  There was no more using the tools off that truck.  Had to wait for the portable set to get done on the other car before we could finish on the first car.  Not a fun time.  Good discussion here.  Love the debate.  Means people are thinking, which is exactly what we all should do.

Brain, I would not write off battery powered tools in our profession. I have been down in Jersey where they use them and have had a chance to use them.The guys down their like them. They are nice but like everything in our tool bags they have there limitations. I had  some of our younger guys laugh at me during a extrication class we had a couple of years ago. They went for the Homotro tool and i grabbed 2 air bottles and a big red tool box and 2 hose lines. By the time they had every thing hooked up and ready to go i used some old air tools and had a door off and a seat sitting on the ground. We need anything we can afford to buy to get the job done; but we can not get tunnel vision and think one tool will fit every situation we run across. I would like to hear what other departments that have these battery power tools have to say. This is a great question you have asked. Thanks

If you're going to be cutting through boron, HSLA, HSS, UHSS I would be grabbing the tool that I know is going to work and that would be a pneumatic Hurst (with appropriate cutter).  A LOT of cars (Volvo and Porsche to name two) use a lot of the above components to lighten AND strengthen a car's frame.  If it took 2 1/2 hrs to cut out a patient in a Volvo and the Hurst didn't work, you don't have the right cutters, there are new ones designed to cut through the hardened alloy steels.

The electric tools have the same force as the hydraulics from the research I've done.  So, the new alloys would come down to having the right tips/cutting edges on your tools.  You're right that there are different ones for different situations.

Derek, I agree, go back up and read my last post, you will find you even quoted me a few times...lol

There are many tools to use to accomplish thousands of different tasks, it just takes the properly trained firefighter making the right decisions after a sizeup to choose the tool they are comfortable with and will do the job.

I agree, we had a drill 2 weeks ago at our station with a donated car.  I put our rescue randy in the driver seat and had the town highway crumple up the front of the car so the dash, steering wheel were pinning randy's legs.  The IC of the drill told a few guys to take the windows out to prepare to remove the roof.  They went looking for all of the gadgets in our rescue tool bag like window punches and window saws...I ripped the antennae off the roof and snapped it in the corner of the window, took me 12 seconds and they were still rummaging through the tool bag.

This is a good discussion and I hope we have more like it, keeps us mentally alert.

Stay Safe

Your tools are only as good as the people who use them. Practice, practice, practice.  Drill using all of the tools not just the big ones. These tools needs to be checked every day. We use hydraulic, electric, and battery. All of these need to be kept in the best condition possible. I have seen people who dislike battery operated tools, only because they didn't keep the batteries fully charged. When you drill start small and use a 100 dollar reciprocating saw with a metal blade. Build up to the heavy stuff including a heavy tonnage wrecker. Used correctly you should be able to extricate in twenty minutes or less. Call for help when you need it, don't wait until your out of ideas. I could write a book on this subject, it is too large to explain in one article.

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