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dharrill

Big Shears

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Sorry, folks. This just reeks of whackerism. The fact remains, if you are breaking glass on a regular basis, then you simply suck at extrication assessment. It is just damn rare a window needs to be broken by ANYbody, fire or otherwise. I sense a lot of people who think otherwise are low-time rookies and volunteers who simply have not been around enough to realise that, as has been stated repeatedly here, if somebody is hurt THAT bad in the accident, the windows are already broken, totally invalidating the idea of doing so yourself.

This is just like one of the many medical procedures that get done by rookies and wankers because "they can," when they really don't need to. The actual need to break a window should arise in one's career about as regularly as the actual need to perform a cricothyrotomy. There are many, many more important and common eventualities to spend your time preparing for. Spend some time thinking about them and maybe -- just maybe -- you will someday be an adequate medic.

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Absolutely correct.

Extrication assessment is the same as medical assessment. Every consequence requires an action, and subsequent reaction.

You dont act without just cause. That being said, there is almost always a route out without breaking windows, let alone utilizing a rescue company for that matter. Unfortunately, we seem to have shifted into this simpleton mindset of rote routine for all rescues.

-Break windows

-Pop doors

-Cut posts

-Remove roof

-push dash

-watch ems extricate patient

-smoke cigars and admire another inappropriate cut vehicle

-tell lies about all the 3 year olds youve saved from fires in the week youve been in the fire/rescue service

-go home

....use your head out there and act with just cause. This is much too litigious of a society not to.

PRPG

9 years fire service

7 years rescue

8 years ems

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Sorry, folks. This just reeks of whackerism. The fact remains, if you are breaking glass on a regular basis, then you simply suck at extrication assessment. It is just damn rare a window needs to be broken by ANYbody, fire or otherwise. I sense a lot of people who think otherwise are low-time rookies and volunteers who simply have not been around enough to realise that, as has been stated repeatedly here, if somebody is hurt THAT bad in the accident, the windows are already broken, totally invalidating the idea of doing so yourself.

This is just like one of the many medical procedures that get done by rookies and wankers because "they can," when they really don't need to. The actual need to break a window should arise in one's career about as regularly as the actual need to perform a cricothyrotomy. There are many, many more important and common eventualities to spend your time preparing for. Spend some time thinking about them and maybe -- just maybe -- you will someday be an adequate medic.

I too am skeptical of the constant need to break glass and have a great deal of respect for your opinion Dust. That being said, how many vehicle extrications are you running a week over in the sandbox. The fact of the matter is that a car can roll into a ditch, making a roof roll impossible and the windows on the car may well still be intact. Now if I need to assess a patient while Fire is figuring out what they will be doing to extricate, what should I do? Stand outside the car and shout of the patient to check their own vitals? No. If it is impossible to open the doors (which in my opinion should not be done with a rolled car on its roof anyway) and the door glass is intact, it needs to be popped. Thats all. So far in one year, I have broken glass once and it was just a few days ago. The situation was as I described above. The option of waiting around is not always there. We may not be able, as EMS responders, to wait for Fire/Rescue to come up with a plan. It may be that we need immediate access to that patient. So to call anyone who breaks glass a wanker is a little ridiculous. Besides. if you spend your time standing around thinking and not getting to the patient, how exactly are you going to perform as an "adequate medic?" By the way, when I had my accident and the car ended up on its roof in the middle of the desert, the firefighter medic sorta thought it might be a good idea to break the window to gain access to me. I suppose he could have left me there until the glass disintegrated on its own, but I am much happier with my health since he decided to use his center punch. Not everyone works the way you do and yet thousands of lives are saved every year in auto accidents. The fact that everyone doesnt work the way you do does not make them a wanker and breaking glass has, I repeat, nothing to do with ones medical qualifications or skills. It was a slippery slope argument the first time you made it and now you are at the bottom. Also, the nature or severity of the patient injuries is not really an issue which necessarily follows to break or not to break. If the doors wont open and the patient cant open them for you, you need to get to that patient one way or that other, whether they have head lac or a broken neck. Just for the record, where do you stand on roof and dash rollbacks? You said you used your Big Shears to cut kevlar. How often is this necessary? Wouldnt a patient that severly injured have his kevlar blown away or would it be easier and less time consuming to cut the straps and lift the whole vest off? I am honestly asking, since I have no experience with military medicine. Im not really for dragging a patient out through a window I broke. But while Fire is setting up hydraulics to open the doors, I may wish to make initial patient contact and sometimes the only way to do that is through broken glass.

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I agree with Dustdevil, we have a lot of unnecessary activity by EMS in the ways of extrication. While it is obvious that if the patient is in immediate danger they should be extricated, a glass punch is the safe option. Regular trauma sheers in my knee pocket is fine with me. Personally never had to cut through anything harder then a Penny and a 50cent replacement cost cant be beat. Un-needed broken glass creates more hazard. I find with a little muscle most doors will open, if locked pop the glass on the door away from the patient and unlock there door for a safe extrication route (after checking all the handles of course.) I'm not saying it needs to be done, but FD once cut the wall out of a mobile home to get in, when the back door was open... so yes people do things because they can. (Its a mobile home for god sakes, why not just push?? not like it was Palm Harbor) If you want a window punch, buy a spring loaded pen punch, safest way for us amateur window breakers to do it. As far as big shear, I'll chuckle when I see you with them, along with everything else on your belt. (My window punch stays in the unit, don't need it much no need to carry it.)

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Absolutely correct.

Extrication assessment is the same as medical assessment. Every consequence requires an action, and subsequent reaction.

You dont act without just cause. That being said, there is almost always a route out without breaking windows, let alone utilizing a rescue company for that matter. Unfortunately, we seem to have shifted into this simpleton mindset of rote routine for all rescues.

-Break windows

-Pop doors

-Cut posts

-Remove roof

-push dash

-watch ems extricate patient

-smoke cigars and admire another inappropriate cut vehicle

-tell lies about all the 3 year olds youve saved from fires in the week youve been in the fire/rescue service

-go home

That's great!! And soo true.

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Seems to me that only time windows need to break is if you NEED to access pt. or roof is coming off.

And remember kids.......TRY before you PRY :roll:

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If you are that worried about breaking glass you should go buy a window punch and carry it with you while on duty. I carry mine while I am on the bus because it stays on my radio strap at all times and when I am at work I have to to wait for the volly fd to come so what ever I can do prior to them getting on scene I will do but like most have said the windows are usualy broken out from the incident.

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