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Emergency (belt/webbing) Cutters

Discussion in 'Other Every Day Carry Items' started by kirbysdl, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. kirbysdl
    • In Omnia Paratus

    kirbysdl Loaded Pockets

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    Is it loyalty to Boker, easy retail availability, or another reason that makes you lean towards their products? If there are other options that fit your needs more accurately, it may be worth looking towards those as well. This thread has mentioned many non-folding models that are smaller. Many are also less expensive.
     
  2. batteur
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    I could get a ResQMe for 15€ shipped, yes. But then I would still have only one serrated knife. ;)
     
  3. toemke

    toemke Loaded Pockets

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    If you want a folding rescue cutter with glass breaker, you might want to check out the blackhawk hawkhook. It works on the same principle as the rescom, but also has a glass breaker.
     
  4. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks. Looks nice to me, but not nice to my pockets. At least not if I carry it in them with all these rough edges. And it costs as much as the Rescom. Perhaps I’ll really only get a ResQMe.
     
  5. chmsam

    chmsam Loaded Pockets

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    A few comments:

    I personally don't like serrated edges 'cause they tend to be "flesh aggressive" (i.e. they'll rip the living daylights out of skin next to what you want to cut) and they are not as easy to sharpen as plain edges. I can and do use both and sharpen them too but I prefer a plain edge.

    As for rescue tools and seatbelt cutters, they have to be maintained like any other tool but realistically speaking how many folks actually do that? Remember that "stainless" really should mean "stain less" and almost no steel is rustrpoof under all conditions.

    If you only carry a belt cutter, glass breaker, etc. when you are in the vehicle, what happens if you are in a wreck in someone else's vehicle? What if you come upon a wreck and you're not in the vehicle that has your gear?

    How many folks even here understand which steels are which and what a Rockwell number means? Knowing this info makes choosing the right tool for the right job a whole lot better and easier. Getting a steel that is too soft might mean it could be less expensive but also that it will probably not hold an edge as well or be as useful for one use than another.

    Finally, as they often teach folks working motorsports events, don't cut the belt(s) if a person is upside down in the vehicle. This is especially true of someone who is not conscious (I know many people like that who are still able to walk and talk and work but that's another topic). Cutting the belts when someone is upside down can very easily end up in causing head and neck injuries if you do not know what you are doing.
     
  6. BravoOscarFoxtrotHotel

    BravoOscarFoxtrotHotel Loaded Pockets

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    A very good point IMO. Car accidents are tricky for a number of reasons:

    Airbags should also not be underestimated when trying to help people in a car accident.

    A little story: I was in Kiel in the northern Part of Germany during the 2006 soccet world cup. One evening when we had a few beers with friends we heard screeching and a loud metallic BANG. Looking out the window it turned out that two cars had collided head on. I ran downstairs to see it I could help. As it was very late at night I was the first to get to one of the cars. The driver's door was jammed and wouldnt come open. I managed to open the passenger door and climbed in the car. The driver was unresponsive at first but them came around and started groaning. He did not have any obvious injuries apart from a bruise on the forehead, but I chose not to move him until help arrived. I looked around in the car and found that he was not wedged in anywhere so the fire brigade probably wouldn't have to cut him out.

    The driver started mumbling and stirred slightly and I started talking to him.

    At this point I realized that none of the airbags had deployed and I froze. The same instant a firefighter walked up to the car and yanked the stuck driver door open. I told him what I knew, he nodded and told me with a pressing tone "You may want to get out of the car RIGHT NOW." He explained to me that if driver's airbag is not deployed and if any of the electrics are damaged in there it may go off at any second. The best you can hope for when this happens while your head is in the way is a bad concussion, a ruptured ear drum and nasty headache. At worst you'd end up with a broken neck if the airbag hits you in the right spot.
    At that moment in time when I was inside the car my head was less than foot away from where the driver's airbag would come out....

    So if you ever get into a situation where you try to help, watch for deployed airbags and be extremely careful if they are still stowed, especially when you don't know at which speed the vehicles collided. I am not entirely sure but I think airbags are only deployed if a collision took place at a certain minimum speed of around 20 km/h (correct me if I am wrong please!).


    Disclaimer: I am neither a firefighter nor a rescue / medical professional. I just have some training and experience from past jobs that I had.

    Hope this helps any of you fine people at some point (although I hope nobody ever needs to use this knowledge in practice).
    :)

    --
    Sent from a Marconi wireless using Morse Code.
     
  7. baldenwonder

    baldenwonder Loaded Pockets

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    I have two breast pockets in my jacket and have a http://www.oscardelta.co.uk/v_cutter.html just incasr for cutting seatbelts and a SureFire EWP-01 pen that has a glass breaker in the tail cap. Both useful and do not take up lots of room.
     
  8. billybag
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    billybag Loaded Pockets

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    All this being said and understood, what in your opinion would be a good choice?

    I'm out here somewhere.
     
  9. ac7ss
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    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

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    Removing a person from a crashed vehicle should only be an emergency action. Post any significant crash there is a very real likelyhood of "hidden" injuries, as minor as a broken bone to spinal cord issues that can be complicated by moving the subject. Flooding or fire could be enough of a hazard to risk it. Other than that, let the professionals to their jobs.

    IMO: the tool you can carry as often as you wish to is the one to use. My ResQMe lives on my car keys and is always ready when I could need it. I have other tools that can do the job, but none are as "at the ready" as it is.

    Sent from a remote location using smoke signals.
     
  10. toemke

    toemke Loaded Pockets

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    My professional opinion is that serrated knives with a blunt tip (Spyderco Assist or Victorinox Rescue tool) are far more reliable for cutting seatbelts and other entanglements. A V-cutter or rescue hook have to be kept razor sharp for it to work flawlessly, while a serrated edge will even have a good cutting performance if blunt. It's a good practice to keep a resQme or similar in the car but only if it never has been used before to cut anything! I like combo blades like the blackhawk hawkhook or the boker rescom, since the serrated part can be used to make the initial cut (the hardest part for hooks, that's why they need to be razor sharp) and the hook for a quick pull to complete the cut.
    BUT, I don't think you need to carry around a special rescue cutter in fear of running into a traffic accident, IF you have a well sharpened plain edge EDC blade. A sharp plain edge knife will cut even seatbelts easily and you will be able to find a length of the seatbelt, that isn't right on the trapped persons body, so cutting the belt without stabbing the victim is possible.

    Very important! An airbag that hasn't deployed in a crash is a serious hazard to the victim and the rescuer. I've heard a horror story where a firefighter climbed into the car with a screw driver and the exploding airbag caused the ff to stab the victim... This might just be an urban legend in firefighter circles, but easily could happen. That's why we have special airbag covers, to give more security while working in a car.

    Finally, (most importantly) ONLY try to get somebody out of a car if otherwise he would be in immediate danger!!! I can't stress this one out enough!
    A layperson simply can't size up the injuries some might have obtained even through a low velocity crash. So by yanking somebody out of a car, you may send somebody to the wheelchair, while with the right techniques and equipment injuries can be minimized. LET THE PROFFESIONALS DO THEIR JOB!
    But of course if the car is on fire or a similar hazard is threatening the life of the trapped person, go ahead get him out.
     
  11. toemke

    toemke Loaded Pockets

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    Saw this one just after I posted, nicely pointed out!

    Another thought: In most cases a belt cutter has little to no use at all. If the car door isn't wedged it, the car won't be deformed enough that you can't reach the belt release button easily. If the the door is wedged in, safe extraction isn't possible until it has been removed by the fire department, so it makes no sense putting the seatbeltcutter to use before this is done.
    So cutting the seatbelt AND breaking the window only makes sense in life threatening scenarios, when you need to make a quick extraction through the window.
     
  12. ac7ss
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    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

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    Modern seat belt fittings are MORE likely to jam and require a cutout. (Why do you think that the FAA requires "old style" metal to metal seatbelt clasps?) I work in transit and we have to cut the wheelchair straps on occasion because of the new plastic buckles.
     
  13. toemke

    toemke Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I haven't run into this problem yet.
     
    TheRunner likes this.
  14. Kones

    Kones Loaded Pockets

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    Not a dedicated tool, but my Leatherman Charge has one

    [​IMG]
     
  15. chmsam

    chmsam Loaded Pockets

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    Since I have been using knives and sharpening them for 50+ years and also I tend to let the stress get to me after the trauma and the drama is well over, I'd be comfortable to use whatever I have at hand.

    I also learned that old age and treachery will most often overcome youth and optimism so my choice is mine alone. I probably would recommend something different to someone who has less experience in the harshness of life and in dealing with Murphy and his law.

    An easy to use and hard to screw up option would be something blunt tipped and curved. While I am not normally fond of serrations in this case they could make sense. Serrations just allow for more of an edge in the same length of blade and often allow for at least some portion of the blade to remain sharp longer. A CRKT Bear Claw with a blunt tip and serrated edge fits that bill and isn't expensive but I'm sure there are others.

    As mentioned before the dedicated belt cutters with a V groove do need to be maintained. I find it very easy to do so with a ceramic sharpener. They can be sharpened much like any edge but learn how to do that first before you try taking an edge ot a V cutter.
     
  16. Halligan

    Halligan Loaded Pockets

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    Stay clear of undeployed air bags. One thing that you can do before we arrive is DC the 12V battery (if you can do it safely, etc, etc._) Check out this video or google Dayton air bag incident to see the force of an airbag when someone is close to it
     
  17. billybag
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    billybag Loaded Pockets

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    I've been hit twice with an airbag.
    Both times in MVA's definitely helped reduce injury, definitely not fun.
     
  18. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    Today a Böker Rescom fixed showed up to stay with me. Bigger and heavier than I imagined. Let’s see where to store it and if I find a use for it.
     
  19. indigo_wolf

    indigo_wolf AKA Breezy

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    Due to the "bigger and heavier" comment, is it safe to assume you snagged this fixed version rather than the folding version?

    ATB,
    Sam
     
  20. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    I carry a Blackhawk Hawkhook: http://www.blackhawk.com/product/HawkHook,685,1447.htm I think I got it at Wally World for about $25.00. Great piece of gear with many uses. The only thing I don't like about it after carrying it daily for about three years is that the pocket clip's black coating has chipped off.