Old School vs. New School Extrication

The extrication world has changed over the years in more ways than one.  Vehicle construction, tool technology, and an evolution of techniques has created both challenges and advancements for rescue personnel.  As you read this post and watch the video below, reflect on some old school techniques that still work, but also embrace technology in the extrication world.

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The video below is a bare bones basic example that old school extrication techniques still work today if needed.  Chances are slim that you will need to cut an A post with a hack saw, but try it sometime and show the new recruits some of the techniques used in the past prior to hydraulic, pneumatic, and electric tools.


Video from training with the Franklin Twp. FD and surrounding departments on 6-23-12.  Phil Burden (SC) made a great point after seeing this video about spraying a soap solution at the saw blade during the cutting operation.

Not everyone has the resources of multiple hydraulic tools available to them, so when there is a tool failure or more than one extrication going on at the scene, we must have the ability to get the job done utilizing alternative methods. It may be a situation that doesn’t allow the use of hydraulics due to location or something unusual about the scene, so the training the student has done utilizing alternative methods will be invaluable in producing a safe and fast extrication. ~ JD Vasbinder (Columbus)

 At your next extrication training use a porta power, chains, come-a-longs, air chisels, impact wrench, high-lift jack, and any other tool you can think of to perform the extrication tasks.

On the flip side of the first part of this post are resources that can help you out at your extrication scenes such as the Crash Recovery System.  New vehicle technology has created hazards that firefighters need to be aware of prior to cutting, pushing, prying, and lifting vehicles.

The vehicles on the road today are different than years past and we can’t necessarily walk up and start cutting without taking a peak behind the plastic first.

For regular updates on new vehicle technology including alternative fuels/power and high strength steels check out Boron Extrication.

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