Assessment of Powered Rescue Tool Capabilities

Published on February 27, 2012
Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Assessment of Powered Rescue Tool Capabilities with High-Strength Alloys and Composite Materials"
Author: Casey C. Grant, P.E. and Brian Merrifield
Date of issue: December 2011


Powered rescue tools are commonly used by emergency first responders to extricate trapped victims from crashed motor vehicles, and a large inventory of these tools exists throughout today’s emergency response community. Recent years have seen improved auto manufacturing processes that have resulted in the proliferation of high-strength metal alloys and composite materials resistant to existing powered rescue tools.

This project identifies, collects, and assesses various informational aspects of this topic involving high-strength metal alloys and composite materials that are challenging the performance of the present generation of powered rescue tools. This includes consideration of vehicle extrication scenarios, clarification on the use of these high-strength materials, review of the existing field inventory of powered rescue tools, and recommendation to address identified knowledge gaps.

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