When you work in emergency response and find yourself in a critical extraction scenario, the last thing you want to worry about is your fire rescue equipment's quality and dependability. Rescue squads rely on well-built, long-lasting and durable equipment to aid in emergencies.
Our guide to the right rescue gear offers emergency responders a comprehensive checklist for extrication equipment, helping you know the best type of gear to use in specific rescue response situations. We’ll also discuss some benefits of fire rescue equipment maintenance to ensure you’re always ready to jump into action.
Extrication equipment is a category of hydraulic rescue tools used to quickly and effectively cut, shear, spread or ram structures apart to save the person inside. Popularly known as “the jaws of life,” hydraulic rescue tools include hydraulic cutters, spreaders, rams and multi-tools used to rip apart cars, planes and other confined spaces with compromised exits.
Usually, pressurized fluid powers hydraulic tools. A small gasoline engine connected to a hydraulic pump pressurizes the fluid, which then gets pumped through a hose and into the rescue tool.
Review the below firefighter rescue checklist of top extrication equipment.
Pentheon Tools by Holmatro
When searching for the best fire rescue gear, choose Pentheon Tools by Holmatro for your extrication equipment.
BGS is an exclusive dealer of Holmatro Rescue Equipment, servicing Louisiana. We carry Holmatro’s complete line of rescue gear, including Pentheon Tools — hydraulic rescue tools designed to be cordless and hoseless, providing a more convenient, user-friendly and safer way to operate extrication equipment. Pentheon Tools offer game-changing advanced technology that helps firefighters rescue people faster.
Below are four types of hydraulic rescue tools in the Pentheon line.
Hydraulic cutters are an essential rescue tool to have on your firefighter rescue checklist. As hydraulically powered shears, cutters are under enormous pressure, giving them the force to cut through steel.
Because of the power involved, the tool's cutting edges must withstand the pressure of shearing through solid steel or other metal surfaces. Hydraulic cutting teeth must also be durable and long-lasting to hold up under repeated rigorous conditions.
The design of Pentheon hydraulic cutters keeps rescuer ergonomics in mind, providing a 30-degree angle that allows crews to hold the tool at waist level as they cut through the vehicle. This feature also provides more distance between the crew member and the tool, allowing for more movement of the cutter to protect the person trapped inside.
Contact BGS today to inquire about Pentheon hydraulic cutters and get a quote.
The spreader is another vital hydraulic tool to have on your checklist of extrication equipment. Unlike a cutter, which delivers force in one closing motion, a spreader behaves the opposite way. A first responder can insert the tool's narrow tips into a tight space between the vehicle’s panels. The hydraulic pressure forces the tips into two arms via a spreading motion. Spreaders essentially pop apart materials so rescue crews can remove them and access the trapped individual.
Spreader design makes all the difference in their smooth, effective operation. Hydraulic spreaders by Pentheon Tools have outer teeth on the tips and higher teeth in the middle, allowing the tool to puncture the material at several different angles, increasing the surface contact ratio and improving functionality. The crew member can maintain a firmer grip as they spread the metal apart.
To learn more about Pentheon hydraulic spreaders, contact BGS today.
In cases where rescue crews need specialized tools beyond cutters or spreaders, hydraulic rams are up to the task. Firefighters use rams in a similar way as spreaders, but rather than forcing things apart, rams can fit into the space created, bracing the material open to provide even more room for rescuers to work in. Because rams allow for additional movement, they’re valuable in situations where the roof has collapsed or the dashboard has crumpled.
Rams use a high amount of hydraulic pressure compared to spreaders and cutters, which is why using a cordless version is ideal. Pentheon hydraulic rams feature a cordless design, along with end teeth to improve precision gripping. With a laser guide at the end of the tool, the tool allows rescue crews to properly position the ram from the get-go, reducing the need for repositioning, which wastes precious time.
Contact BGS today to get a quote on hydraulic rams.
Also known as combination tools, multi-tools are a two-in-one solution that performs spreading and cutting. Multi-tools are highly convenient in high-stress situations, allowing firefighters to carry fewer tools and save more time. Without the need to change tools, fire crews rescue people more efficiently.
First, rescuers use the tool’s tips to wedge the device into a vehicle door, spreading it apart. Once the seam pops apart and the blades are open, the crew member can reposition the blades into the cutting position. With the blades repositioned, the device engages in reverse, allowing crews to cut through the metal. Rescue personnel can repeat this same process as often as needed until they can free the victim.
The Pentheon multi-tool has interior teeth designed for better gripping to prevent the metal from moving outward during cutting. The tool’s iBolt technology also saves crews from tightening bolts after each use and has a narrower design to fit into tighter spaces.
Find out more about Pentheon hydraulic multi-tools by contacting BGS today.
Important Benefits of a Daily Check
Given the critical nature of the above-listed extrication tools, proper care and maintenance are essential to hydraulic rescue tool ownership. When they grab their tools to perform an extrication, rescue crews must depend on these devices to perform well under pressure. That’s why when you invest in extrication tools, you need to partner with a professional that can help you select the right rescue gear for your needs and take responsibility for ongoing maintenance.
BGS can take care of the annual upkeep and repair needs for your Holmatro hydraulic rescue tools. Our experts can also make recommendations for proper tool use and provide tool training to maximize the use of these devices, which in turn helps improve longevity, reduce wear, mitigate breakage and ultimately reduce downtime.
Learn more about BGS extrication equipment services.
Our firefighter rescue equipment checklist includes the personal protective equipment firefighters need to wear while performing their duties. Firefighting PPE must be effective at protecting crew members from the hazards of the job, and be functional, long-lasting, convenient to wear and comfortable.
Firefighting PPE must offer complete protection against various threats. Firefighter PPE needs to protect crews against contact with fire, while keeping them safe from severe injury or illness due to exposure to the elements, corrosive chemical burns or contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Dangerous and toxic carcinogens are also a threat, so protection against these particles is another factor.
From head protection to hand protection to full-body coverings, firefighting PPE is comprehensive and requires thorough consideration when selecting the right gear.
Bunker Gear Garments
For your crew’s firefighting garments, choose Bunker Gear garments and PPE. Since 1999, BGS has specialized in providing top-quality PPE for industrial and municipal firefighting crews. We create specialized made-to-order gear to meet your needs, from mix-and-match outer shells to thermal linings to moisture barriers and other specialty options.
Review the below list of our top firefighting garments and PPE options or learn more about buying bunker gear and PPE from BGS.
Fire helmets are vital PPE for firefighting crews. To protect rescue crews from heat and head injuries, helmets must feature durable, heat-proof materials. Firefighter helmets also keep crews from getting wet from spraying fire hoses.
Fire helmets are also typically hi-vis, including bright colors in yellow, red or orange, which often signifies team member rank.
BGS carries Bullard fire helmets, a leading brand of fire and rescue helmets designed for extreme durability and optimal comfort with customizations to meet your team’s needs.
Firefighting coats, also called bunker jackets, must protect rescue crew members from extreme heat and other conditions. To properly protect firefighters, bunker jackets need multiple layers of fabric, including an outer shell, an inner moisture barrier and a thermal lining. The outer shell and the thermal layer serve as the heat protection shield, while the moisture barrier keeps crews dry from sprayed water. This layer also prevents injury from steam burns.
Honeywell First Responder Products sells industry-leading coats designed for optimal protection and lightweight comfort. Contact BGS today to learn more about the Honeywell line of firefighter coats we carry.
When you're putting together the best turnout gear, don't forget about pants. Like firefighting coats, bunker pants also have three layers of protective material. Bunker pant construction needs to keep functionality top of mind, including allowing for movement and comfort so crews can shave time off of their ability to respond in critical scenarios.
Honeywell designs turnout pants to be low-waisted to increase flexibility at the hips and waist to promote better mobility and reach without restriction. Honeywell's garments are also lightweight to help reduce the load and stress on crew members.
Reach out to BGS today to learn more about firefighting pants from Honeywell.
Firefighting gloves protect crews from injury so they can safely operate their tools and do their jobs quickly and without restraint. As part of firefighting PPE, the gloves need to be leather or other cut-resistant material. As with all PPE, firefighting gloves must have insulation that protects wearers' hands from heat exposure.
To provide full protection, the gloves must cover the entire hand and stretch past the wrist, so firefighters can achieve optimal mobility without worrying about exposed patches of skin.
BGS is the exclusive dealer of Innotex, a manufacturer of high-quality PPE gloves. Contact BGS today to get a free quote on Innotex gloves.
Firefighting boots are waterproof, heat-resistant and must withstand abrasion. They must also protect crews from chemical exposure, blood and bodily fluids. To achieve this protection, firefighting boots often feature steel reinforcements, particularly in the toes and soles. When surrounded by debris and sharp objects, firefighters need the ability to step anywhere without worrying about punctures.
For top-of-the-line bunker boots, choose Haix Boots, which are German-engineered products offering superior protection. Contact us today to get a quote on Haix Boots from BGS.
Firefighting hoods are integral components of a rescue crew’s PPE. Material technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, offering innovative new ways to design thermal protective garments, including hoods. Research conducted by the FDNY found that high-quality hood material protects against thermal exposure to the head, face and neck and reduces the accumulation of carcinogenic particulate matter in these areas. Today, the NFPA distinguishes between protective and non-protective hood materials.
Protective barrier hoods today offer thermal and particulate protection. Manufacturers like Innotex, Majestic, Ricochet and Viking are industry leaders in developing protective barrier hoods that offer thermal resistance and particulate protection. Contact BGS today to learn more about selecting the best protective hood for your fire crew.
For non-fire rescue operations, other types of PPE should be on your extrication equipment checklist. Non-fire rescue situations have different protection requirements for keeping crews safe.
BGS carries the below brands and products that provide essential rescue PPE in non-fire situations involving extrication alone.
- Lakeland: As a leader in PPE for hazardous occupations, including rescue and firefighting personnel, Lakeland has a reputation for high-quality protective equipment. For industrial and municipal rescue crews, BGS offers various extrication gear from Lakeland. Extrication PPE garment options from Lakeland include separate coats, pants and coveralls.
- Ricochet: For reliable and durable non-fire extrication garments and PPE, choose Ricochet products, available through BGS. One of the leading extrication garment options available from Ricochet is the Out Front Tech Rescue/USAR Coat. The Out Front coat has a durable, abrasion-resistant outer shell that offers a moisture barrier. Designed without a thermal barrier, the coat is lightweight and comfortable, allowing for improved mobility.
- Viking: Viking is an international manufacturer of fire and non-fire garments and PPE. In its line of turnout gear, Viking offers a range of coats and pants available in several different material options. For example, Viking Shield coats and pants have multiple layers of material, including a GORE moisture barrier and a SIGMA lightweight outer shell. Contact BGS to learn more about extrication garments from Viking.
- Extrication gloves: When rescue crews need protective gloves in non-fire situations, they can rely on HexArmor Hi-Vis Extrication Gloves. These gloves provide visual safety and can also protect crews from impact blows, thanks to an impact absorption system integrated into the back. These long-lasting gloves have a built-in reinforcement layer in the thumb and index finger. BGS carries HexArmor extrication gloves in sizes ranging from extra small to double extra large.
In addition to hydraulic extrication tools, fire protection PPE and non-extrication PPE garments, firefighting crews also need various handheld tools on their extrication equipment checklist. Handheld tools range from specialty seatbelt cutters to glass punchers, allowing crews to quickly and safely access victims by removing obstacles to fast extrication.
Below are some of the top handheld tools for extrication that BGS offers to industrial and municipal fire crews.
- Car escape tool: As an all-in-one seatbelt cutter and window punch, the resqme car escape tool is a convenient solution for rescue personnel to keep on hand at all times, even when not on the job. Originally developed as a professional tool for first responders, the resqme has become a worldwide consumer favorite, carried by motorists as an emergency device that’s convenient to fasten on a keychain. These devices also make great gifts for emergency responders and safety-conscious people to give to their friends and family members.
- Ultimate escape hammer: Similar to the resqme car escape tool, the resqhammer is a two-in-one seatbelt cutter and window breaker, designed to allow motorists to easily cut themselves free of jammed seat belts and then extricate themselves using the steel window hammer. Like the car escape tool, the resqhammer is an ideal tool for first responders and their families to keep on them at all times, providing a convenient and effective handheld tool they can use whenever needed.
- Helmet-mounted lights: In an emergency, there’s nothing worse than the inability to navigate your way through the scene. Having proper lighting available in dark spaces or during nighttime emergencies is critical to being effective in extrication scenarios. Helmet-mounted LED lights from Bullard are a convenient and effective way to help crews see in dark and smoky settings. Heat-resistant glass encases the LEDs themselves, so crews never have to worry about them malfunctioning in firefighting situations.
- Snagger tool: To help firefighters handle active fire hoses safely and with better control, they can use a snagger tool with a tungsten carbide tip from AJ Stone. Snagger tools can replace multiple other tools by rolling several functionalities into one. As a lightweight, handheld tool, the snagger is an easy piece of gear for crews to keep on their person without worrying about getting weighed down. Contact BGS today to learn more about getting snagger tools for your crew.
- Window punch: Window punches are essential handheld tools for extrication. First responders carry window punches to quickly break tempered glass and open car doors for extrication. Holmatro builds window punches with heat-treated steel and a quick-release spring mechanism that delivers controlled breaking force to the window. With an attachable clip, the window punch can always be within arm’s reach on a rescue crew member’s gear.
- Glass cutter: When extrication crews need to access a trapped victim through the windshield, they need the right glass saw to cut apart the window. The Glass Master Windshield Saw from FF1 Firefighter is a manual handheld extrication tool that cuts through glass in no time, so you can rescue people faster. With no electrical or hydraulic parts, the Glass Master is also safe to use in underwater operations.
- Window cutter: Another windshield cutting tool for crews to carry at all times is the Rhyno Windshield Cutter. As a battery-operated tool, the Rhyno Windshield Cutter is a fast-charging device that delivers rapid cutting strokes to laminated windshields, increasing extrication speed.
- Air lifting bags: A final tool rescue crews should carry is an air lift bag. Air lifting bags from Paratech are innovative bags designed with safety in mind. With a 15-year service life, Paratech ensures the longevity of its air lifting bags for emergency crews. Air lifting with Paratech products is the safest and simplest way to lift or shift the weights of up to 89 tons per load.
For a quote on all these handheld extrication tools and more, contact BGS today.
Choose Bunker Gear Specialists for Firefighter Rescue Equipment
When you need high-quality, reliable and innovative extrication equipment for your rescue teams, trust BGS to supply you with industry-leading hydraulic rescue tools, PPE, handheld tools and more. BGS is the exclusive distributor of some of the top manufacturers and products in the world, serving all of Louisiana and parts of Mississippi.