Ability of current Rescue Tools to Cut, Shear and Bend High Strength Metal Alloys and Composite Materials

With the introduction of high strength metal alloys and composite materials into vehicles, we have found that current rescue tools do not have the ability to cut, shear or bend these materials.  The Fire Protection Research Foundation have task together a group to gather information regarding the issues being faced by fire and rescue personnel in the field.  1) Identify extrication scenarios where rescuers have faced high stength metal alloys and composite materials resulting in problems of cutting, shearing and bending using rescue tools.  2) Assess high strength metal alloys currently being used in vehicle manufacturing and future use in vehicles.  3) Develop a field inventory of powered rescue tools in use today according to their age and capabilities.  This will include air chisels, reciprocating/sawzalls, spreaders, O-cutters amd rams.


Please forward your comments, scenarios and information on your rescue tools (age of tool, operational ratings and type of tool). 

E-mail:  lewfirechief@yahoo.com


Thank you for participating and providing this information.  Be Safe!


Lewis R. Austin, Chairman

NFPA 1936 Standard on Powered Rescue Tools





Views: 1695

Replies to This Discussion

Departments with handheld saws should look at the Safety Blade. It's been tested on car doors, bulletproof glass, hockey puck locks and security gates, and it cuts like a champ on each.

The New York Fire Department's Squad 61 used a 12" Safety Blade on the March 12 tour bus crash on the New England Thruway to extricate survivors. They had to cut through aluminum, sheet metal, plastic and steel to do it. The Safety Blade ate through all of them. I've got photos of the aftermath here.

The Safety Blade is also safer than abrasive blades because it generates less sparks during cuts. The 14" and smaller blades are made of solid steel, which eliminates any chance of the blade shattering or losing a segment and possibly killing the saw operator.

In fact, the Safety Blade so safe that Brotherhood Instructors won't use any other blade to train its students. You can read their product review of the Safety Blade here.

If you need more information, I've included a link to the Safety Blade spec sheet here. It'll handle whatever extrication or rescue scenarios you throw at it.

Sean Daily
Desert Diamond Industries
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You're touting a sales pitch, not that "true and complete evaluation" that you talked about earlier.

Who sells a lot of tools is based on a sales pitch, period. Anyone that asks me to buy tools based on popularity is in fact, asking me to avoid actually doing my homework and spending my taxpayers' money based on a popularity contest.

So, do you sell Holmatro tools or something?

As for my comment about your experience, 28 years is meaningless if you can't reverse-engineer different tools, do an apples-to-apples comparison of the different features, and explain the differences in a neutral, unbiased, and coherent manner.

If you want to discuss meaningful facts, I'll be happy to do so. If you want to make a sales pitch, I'm not buying.
That completely eliminates the possibility of inspecting the side of the hose loop with the highest pressure and the highest probability of failure during use.

Out of interest Ben, good point, but I haven't heard of any failures of hoses. Is there official reports of any, regardless of manufacturer?
It was an older Hurst cutter, not sure of the model.
So not new technology tools? No wonder it couldn't do it....
"Official report", dunno.

Personally-witnessed hydraulic hose failures - many.
Anectodal reports of hydraulic hose failures - many.

Manufacturers that replace failed hoses - many.

Anything manmade can fail. The trick is to figure out how to work around the failure if it happens during an extrication so that you can still cut the patient free.

Twin-hose systems make the failure point obvious. In my book, that's a good thing.

The core system hides the failure. In my book, that's a bad thing.

Just got Genesis at our department. Everyone loves them and the dealer we went through worked with us to get them to a price we could afford.



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