We recently had a demo on a set of low pressure lift bags and after 20 years of only using high pressure bags I came to the realization that for most applications the low pressure bags are safer, and better suited for most practicle rescue applications. What is the general concensus about this?
I disagree. Most low-pressure air bag designs are not very stable in between the extreme ends of the inflation range - either completely inflated or completely flat. They are generally designed for high lifts - something that isn't needed in most rescue situations.
High pressure lift bags do what they are designed to do - make shorter lifts that create enough room to complete a heavy-lift rescue without excessive lift heights that destabilize the load. They are also designed to be stable through the entire operating range of the bag - if you need to stop a lift halfway through the lif theight of the bag, the result tends to be more solid than if you do the same with a low-pressure bag.
I agree with Ben here as well. I see more applications for a high pressure bag as opposed to a low pressure and for the majority of applications, the high pressure bag is more suitable. The basics in rescue operations is enough to do the job and for the most part the high pressure bags accomplish that.
I agree with Ben and John. We have both air bag systems on our rescue. They each have applications for which one is better suited than the other. But if I were to have to choose only one system, we use the high pressure bags more often in the fire service.