|Amkus Rescue Systems debuts a new cutter with specially designed blades that cut rather than crush metal, as straight blades have a tendency to do. (Fire Apparatus Photo)|
Fire-Dex showcased its FX-Gear with improved leg design, seamless collar and a removable drag harness.
Rescue tools, water purifiers, polypropylene toolboxes and turnout gear were among some of the innovative products exhibited at last month’s annual Fire Department Instructors Conference.
There was even a fire extinguisher training trailer using laser-driven digital technology.
Almost every year Holmatro Rescue Equipment introduces a new hydraulic tool, and this time the company had a hi-tech bolt cutter that uses its patented CORE technology, which means it has one hydraulic line connection and is hot swappable.
Holmatro Bolt Cutter
The tool, which has cutting jaws that open nearly one inch, are designed to easily cut through 3/4-inch re-bar, padlocks with a 7/16-inch shank and 5/16-inch chain.
It has a working pressure of 10,500 psi, a cutting force of 43,480 pounds, and weighs 16.8 pounds ready for use. It also has an adjustable, rotating handle.
Amkus Rescue Systems also had a new cutting tool, called AMK-21A, which features blades that resemble lobster claws. According to Amkus, the blades are designed to eliminate metal crushing during extrications, as is often found with the use of flat blade tools.
The AMK-21A is 25.8 inches long, weighs 35 pounds ready to use, has a 5.3-inch cutter opening, a maximum cutting force of 110,000 pounds and a rated input pressure of 10,500 psi.
As with other Amkus cutters, the AMK-21A has a 360-degree rotating handle with eight position locks, allowing the rescuers to place the handle in the best position for the desired cutting action.
In addition to its extensive showing of fire pumps, apparatus and firefighting equipment, W.S. Darley & Co., which is celebrating its 100th year in the fire service, had a collection of water purification systems on display.
Darley PuriFire Systems
A total of six PuriFire Systems have been developed by Darley to help first responders establish and maintain potable water supplies in emergency situations. The systems are made for military and municipal applications.
The PuriFire system can be integrated with pumps on fire apparatus to supply municipal water systems. It can also be used as a portable self-contained unit.
The PuriFire Model 5S10F, which weighs 214 pounds, has a capability of processing 10 gpm operating at 300 psi, uses ultraviolet light for disinfection and has a reusable/washable filter. It also has an ion exchange media filter, a reverse osmosis membrane and a CBRNE module.
Not far from the Darley booth, United Plastic Fabricating, better known as UPF, had a skid unit on display and several varieties of Polyboxes being shown.
The advantages of the boxes are they are lighter in weight, rust proof, corrosion resistant and strong, said Bill Bruns, UPF’s vice president of sales and marketing, who said the polypropylene boxes have become very popular in the fire service. They can be used to store and tote rescue tools and equipment and specialized boxes can be used for air-bottle storage, EMS and defibrillator applications and turnout gear.
Fire-Dex, one of the nation’s largest firefighter turnout gear manufacturers, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and showcased its new FX Gear, featuring three components for comfort and safety – ergonomic leg design, a drag rescue device and seamless collar.
“FX Gear gives firefighters the freedom of movement they need,” said Bill Burke, Fire-Dex president. “This gear is unlike anything else on the market.”
The new design features trouser legs that are shaped in a forward firefighting position, allowing an increased range of movement.
A drag rescue device is incorporated in the turnout gear, but is removable for cleaning to reduce the potential for damage to the turnout gear caused by webbing.
A seamless collar means a smaller size and improved interface with the SCBA face mask, according to the maker.
Turnout gear wasn’t needed in BullEx’s emergency response training trailer at FDIC, but with simulated digital fire, smoke generators and infrared heaters mounted on the ceiling those going through it certainly got a taste of realistic fire conditions.
The 20-foot “immersive training environment” trailer houses two scenarios, one simulating a work place industrial room fire and the other a typical stove and kitchen fire.
The BullEx Training Trailer
Ryan O’Donnell, chief executive officer BullEx Digital Safety, based in Troy, N.Y., led many people through the trailer showing them its features and teaching them the proper extinguisher use and fire safety tips.
The trailer is designed for fire departments and fire safety educators, providing them with a safe and mess-free method of fire extinguisher training using laser-driven digital technology. Digital flames interact with the actions of the trainee and the sweeping of the laser extinguisher. Left unchecked, the fire grows to a simulated roll-over condition with growing heat, smoke and Class A fire crackling sounds.
“We tried to make it as realistic as possible,” said O’Donnell. “Even the extinguishers run out.”
Trainees must also complete a variety of related tasks, including pulling fire alarm boxes, disconnecting electricity and calling for help on 911.
“If the trainees are not successful with using multiple extinguishers, we make sure they know enough to get out,” he said, motioning to a rear exit door.
BullEx expects to provide the response training environments to corporations, universities, hospitals, fire departments, and govern-ment agencies.