10 March 2014
The Hampshire Fire & Rescue team put the Hi-Lift® First Responder™ Jack through its paces at an open trial day at its state of the art Eastleigh Headquarters.
The Hampshire RTC Extrication Team, who are the current UK vehicle extrication champions, opened up the invite to demonstrate and test the jack to members of the USAR team, along with Emergency Services Times, with Arbil Limited, the official and exclusive importer of Hi-Lift® for the UK also in attendance.
Trevor Griffin, Watch Manager, Hampshire Fire and Rescue explains the details of the day,
“We pride ourselves on being open with all of our testing and trialling of products. We want to share the knowledge of any of our trials as our primary objective is always to build on and improve the founding’s for safe, timely and patient focused extrications in emergency situations.’ Griffin continues,
‘We had first come across the Hi-Lift® First Responder™ when at a TERC International event where an American team was using the product. These kinds of event are great for sharing product knowledge and picking up ideas for new pieces of kit. This was when we then got in touch with the team at Arbil, the exclusive UK distributor, to see about putting the jack through our own trials.”
The Hampshire team had set up the day to put the jack through a host of test scenarios, including vehicle entrapment, vehicle stabilisation and lifting along with creating access and egress for patient removal. Griffin explains the scenario tests for the jack.
“We bought this kit primarily for its stabilisation and lifting capabilities. We wanted to use the testing to see just how quickly the jack could implement this. We firstly trialled the jack to secure a vehicle in a mocked up road traffic accident, where the vehicle had partly mounted concrete bollards. There is obviously blocking units that can be used to stabilise a vehicle, however this can be timely and whilst placing the lower blocks, there is always a risk that the vehicle could still subside causing safety concerns. The jacks were implemented in pairs and raised in tandem. The team had secured the vehicle within seconds.’ Griffins continues,
‘The simplicity of this product is one of its key strengths. It’s very much grab and go, with no need for fuel or power. The second trial, which was demonstrated using both a vehicle and trailer entrapment, highlighted just how quickly an under vehicle entrapped patient can be released. Our trial showed from point of arriving at site, the extrication could take place within two minutes. A key bonus for Rapid Intervention Teams”
The First Responder was designed as a multi use extraction tool at a fraction of the cost of expensive hydraulic tools.
Hi-Lift® do promote this product as a multiple use extraction tool that can also be used for gaining access to compressed compartments, create access and egress for patient removal and also winching. The Hampshire team also put these uses to the test. Griffin explains,
“We tested the Jack in access and egress scenarios on a Ford Focus. Many services will have a vast array of hydraulic tools to hand to use, but we wanted to trial this jack alone – to see just how capable it was when left to just its own devices.’ Griffin details the success,
‘The success of the jack does depend on the vehicle it is being used on. The jack performed at its best on the vehicle when in use to extend the boot space for an emergency egress point. The access and egress scenarios were not why we purchased the jack, but it was a worthwhile learning curve to test its performance in these areas as well – as in some instances, smaller service units may only have limited equipment to hand, or on a large scale emergency job, you need to put all the equipment you have to the best use, so this is a multi-tool but its core strength for us lies in its first gap, first intervention and stabilisation qualities”
The Hampshire team have now taken 10 of the Hi-Lift® First Responder™ Jacks to roll out to its units. Should anyone want to contact the Hampshire team to gain further info around the product, Trevor Griffin can be contacted on: 02380 644000. The team will also be in attendance and are hosting The UKRO Southern Regional Extrication & Trauma Challenge on 26th April at the Eastleigh HQ where further information and trialling of the jack can be arranged.
The First Responder Jack is exclusively available through Arbil Limited. For more information around the product, simply visit: http://www.arbil.co.uk/4x4/commercial/fire-and-rescue/