TEEX coordinated an assessment and validation of hydraulic rescue tools on April 20-21 as part of a national program to evaluate homeland security equipment for emergency responders. The System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders — SAVER — program is a collaborative effort of the Department of Homeland Security and several agencies and components of The Texas A&M University System.
Hydraulic rescue tools are used by emergency responders primarily for extracting victims trapped as a result of a vehicle crash, but the tools also have applications for industrial response, forcible entry and search and rescue. TEEX and the Texas Transportation Institute conducted assessments of equipment from six manufacturers, including hydraulic pumps and hydraulic-powered cutters, spreaders and rams.
Testing was conducted at the Texas A&M Riverside Campus. Police, fire and EMS technicians from across the United States rated the equipment performance in five separate tasks during controlled scenarios involving crash vehicles.
“Responders used checklists to rate the human factors, performance parameters and compatibility issues during an operational application,” said Bob McKee, Division Director of TEEX Urban Search & Rescue. “This information will be used by the emergency response community to help decision-makers select and purchase the appropriate responder equipment.”