Updated on July 18th, 2019
When a large SUV landed upside down after a crash, rescue crews had to use special tools to free the vehicle occupants.
Rescue teams show up to emergency calls every day that involve jammed car doors, occupants who are pinned underneath heavy objects or to clear large debris.
Rescue vehicles are packed with extraction tools such as hydraulic spreaders, cutters, and rams as well as other advanced equipment designed for heavy extraction.
1. Heavy Rescue Equipment Requires Special Training
Teams using the highly specialized heavy lifting vehicles and equipment must participate in training. Participants learn new and advanced techniques of stabilizing vehicles and debris at the same time.
Typical training includes how to pack, carry, load, and use hydraulic rescue tools, stabilization kits, jacks, chain hoists, pneumatic chisels, impact drivers, cutting saws, and more.
After completing the training, rescue squads are certified to work with the specialized extrication equipment and other HAZMAT response equipment.
2. Demand For Easy To Transport Tools
As helpful as the heavy extraction equipment can be in an accident, first response teams also need compact tools and equipment on board since space is at a premium.
Weight is also a factor because large extraction tools can be hard to transport on helicopters or across uneven ground. Lifting bags are deployed flat and filled with compressed air once in position.
They’re especially useful in flat or uneven spaces where a traditional car jack is too heavy or would be unstable.
For example, a rescue crew rappelling down a hillside to extricate someone trapped under a heavy item can easily carry and deploy heavy lift air bags to lift objects so that teams can remove a trapped person to safety.
3. Lifting Bags Are Easy To Operate And Can Require Less Space For Storage
As rescues get more complex, there is a rising demand for small and convenient tools for emergency responders.
Lifting bags can be carried by hand and deployed in tight, low-clearance surface areas where using a chain hoist or conventional jack is difficult.
They’re easy to carry and relatively lightweight, as compared to their heavy rescue conventional equipment counterparts. Lifting bags slide into small spaces and operate on uneven surfaces where other equipment would be unstable.
It’s a lot less effort for a team to place and use, which could reduce rescue times. They’re also adaptable outside of rescue operations in situations like warehousing, car repair, and construction.
Rescue teams constantly face emergencies that require extraordinary efforts. First responders face uncertainty on a daily basis, not knowing if they’ll be helping a hiker trapped on a cliff, or rescuing a person trapped underneath a rolled SUV.
Having a choice of heavy rescue equipment and lightweight, adaptable lifting tools like airbags give the teams the best chance for a favorable outcome.
The flexibility and adaptability of lightweight tools like lifting bags allow the team to carry more supplies without adding significant weight or space requirements.
These advanced capabilities allow rescue teams to respond to the unknown with the best possible chance for success.