Fire Department Tool Questions


Old 04-11-03, 10:34 AM
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Question Fire Department Tool Questions

I'll bet there are some volunteer firemen here that can answer these 2 questions:

1. Early this morning I came across an automobile-truck-utility pole accident which resulted in some downed powerlines. No one was seriously injured. The volunteer fire department quickly arrived but before approaching the car they used a tool to check out the downed wires that were lying on the ground in their way. Afterwards they told me it is a "TAC Stick" and that it lets them know if electrical wires and powerlines are live or not. It looks like a small plastic baseball bat, runs on batteries, and lets out a LOUD wail when you point it at live wires - even from more than 100 feet away. Can someone explain how this tool works?

2. To get the woman out of the car they had to cut the door off, cut the steering wheel, cut through the window posts, and then jack or lift the steering column. They did all of this with one hydraulic tool, just changing adapters. I saw the name Hurst on the motor end of the tool. What kind of pressure does this tool exert to cut through those thick door hinges and window posts? Are those sharp cutting jaws made from special metals?

Thank you.
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Old 04-11-03, 10:50 AM
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The Hurst Tool is often called the "Jaws of Life" for the situations that it is used in.

Actually, car metal nowadays is pretty thin, and a reciprocating saw would probably go through it just about the same
Old 04-11-03, 01:52 PM
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I have a small "baseball bat" in my shirt pocket right now.

They used a non-contact voltage detector. It has the ability to detect voltage without current flowing or making contact with the wire. The small ones are quite popular for electrical service.
You could likely pick one up at HD for twenty bucks.
Old 04-11-03, 02:14 PM
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We have a Hurst Roadrunner combi-tool. It has a Spreading force of 12,000 lbs, a Pulling force of 10,00lbs, and a cutting force of 38,000lbs. We also have some little Hurst cutters, they are about the size of a hand drill and have a force of up to 13,000lbs.

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