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#278882 - 01/20/16 04:40 PM Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt...
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
http://abc7.com/entertainment/jamie-foxx-rescues-trapped-driver-from-fiery-wreck/1165185/

It sounds like Jamie Foxx was using scissors he got from somebody else. If those scissors had not been there, we would have had a much different outcome.
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#278884 - 01/21/16 12:11 AM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: ireckon]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: ireckon
http://abc7.com/entertainment/jamie-foxx-rescues-trapped-driver-from-fiery-wreck/1165185/

It sounds like Jamie Foxx was using scissors he got from somebody else. If those scissors had not been there, we would have had a much different outcome.


EMT snips worked fine and I think are even better for cutting webbing off someone. We use them for high rope work instead of knives as you are less likely to cut the wrong thing.

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#278886 - 01/21/16 06:51 AM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: ireckon]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2624
Loc: Big Sky Country
Very true! Having a useful tool can be the difference between life and death. I recall a couple years ago a man was hanged to death in England during a theater production. He was doing a scene where the character was being hung IIRC and he got caught in the ropes for real. People ran around frantically trying to find a knife but no one could produce one in time and he died.

I've always got a knife on me if I'm wearing pants. But this article reminds me that I need to purchase another rescue tool. I used to have a Houdini tool; it had a light, glass breaker and seatbelt cutter all in one. I transferred it from vehicle to vehicle for years, keeping it on a paracord around the steering column, but when I traded in my truck on my new car I forgot to grab it! mad
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#278888 - 01/21/16 07:29 AM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: ireckon]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
That's why I carry a sharp folding knife on me at all times wherever (legally) possible. I have been involved in several rescue situations where I needed to cut webbing or ropes quickly. For many years now my primary EDC has been a Spyderco Endura with the Wave feature. I really like the Wave because it lets me deploy the knife pretty much instantly and doesn't require any fine motor skills. Of course, keeping the blade hair-popping sharp helps, too. It cuts webbing like a demon. A serrated blade might be even better, but less versatile for other purposes.

I have several other seatbelt cutters and rescue tools but for some reason I find them less practical and less efficient in terms of sheer cutting performance.

Now I'm thinking EMT shears might be a really good idea in places where carrying a knife is prohibited. I don't really have a whole lot of good hands-on experience with EMT shears, though. The ones I've handled were mostly low quality, cheap imports, more or less disposable stuff that wouldn't handle tougher jobs very well. Does anyone have any good recommendations? I noticed Leatherman has come up with new EMT shears, too. A bit pricy IIRC, but seemed pretty sturdy and well thought-out.

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#278890 - 01/21/16 12:32 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Tom_L]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5329
Loc: SOCAL
A while back I picked up a Gaffers bag from CountyComm and a hook & loop attachment that allows me to keep EMT shears on the outside of the bag. FAK & trauma kit in the bag with other good things and a sharp on the outside where it can be reached quickly. The bag sits behind the seat in my truck. FWIW

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#278895 - 01/21/16 02:23 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: ireckon]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1774
For self-rescue, a seatbelt cutter should in my mind be mounted in a readily accessible location in the car and not in a bag/glovebox/trunk.

One of our partner company's has a training device: a car mounted in a special rig, which allows them to turn the car upside down (or any other angle) and use it to train people to get out of it. I had the opportunity to play with it. It's quite confusing when you are hanging upside down, and since you are hanging upside down in the seatbelt, things in your pockets and belt become very hard to access. Leaning over to the glovebox; forget about it. Bag stored somewhere in the car, during a flip things start becoming flying projectiles.

Donít under estimate the how disorientating flipping inside a vehicle is. I have also been trained twice in a helicopter crash simulator. After a 540 degree turn underwater, I keep getting out and on the surface and see the other side of the pool than I think I came out ofÖ

A good self rescue tool should be accessible in any possible position, while remaining in the seat. It should be securely mounted (use a tool with a proper mound, Velcro is not a proper mount), be big (easier to grab, especially when you are a bit shaky) and bright (even in daylight, you get a lot less light in the car if itís upside down). I like V shaped seatbelt cutters, because itís much harder to accidently cut yourself. My best experience is cutting at a 45 degree angle, in a slow but steady motion, while keeping the belt tight.

I personally have a spring loaded rescue tool with seatbelt cutter mounted on my door (lifehammer evolution), one old fashion hammer with cutter on the center console (lifehammer classic, as delivered by the car dealership) and a reqme on my car keys.

(as for glass, a centre punch/spring-loaded window punch will work under water while a regular hammer type might not work under water due to the water resistance and your ability to swing it)
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#278897 - 01/21/16 02:36 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Tjin]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5329
Loc: SOCAL
Very true, the bag behind the seat isn't for me. My seatbelt cutter is in a closed console attached to my seat; it will still be there after a crash/rollover. I've also been through the helo dunker, multiple times, excellent training.

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#278905 - 01/21/16 05:23 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: Tjin]
JeffMc Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 129
Loc: Northwest Florida
I have a bright yellow ResqMe seatbelt cutter/window punch on a loop of stretch cord around the turn indicator lever. It is snug and isn't going anywhere, even in a rollover or major collision. In addition, there's a Leatherman in the glovebox, a folder clipped to my pocket (usually) and a little SAK on my keyring, so I think I'm covered.

Over 3+ decades in the business, I've seen a few seatbelt buckles that were jammed closed, and more, since they are toward the center of the car, that were inaccessible due to either wreckage or other things, typically the patient's body, being in the way.

One of the main reasons for a seatbelt cutter, IMO, is to be able to exit the car as quickly as possible if it's still in the roadway, before another vehicle comes barreling along and slams into the wreck.

BTW, if a car was in a significant wreck but is being repaired for some reason instead of junked, any seatbelts that were in use at that time are done and must be replaced, even if they look undamaged. So be sure to include that in your insurance claim.

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#278906 - 01/21/16 05:37 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: JeffMc]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1774
Originally Posted By: JeffMc

BTW, if a car was in a significant wreck but is being repaired for some reason instead of junked, any seatbelts that were in use at that time are done and must be replaced, even if they look undamaged. So be sure to include that in your insurance claim.


Most modern cars are equipped with seatbelt tentioners (explosive that pulls the seatbelt tight). Only usable once.

A warning on the ResQme, occasionaly check the spring. I have had one were the spring got loose and the windows punch became useless. You could hear the spring rattle inside when you shake it.
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#278907 - 01/21/16 05:41 PM Re: Carry a blade that can cut through a seatbelt... [Re: ireckon]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Channeled Scablands
" I don't really have a whole lot of good hands-on experience with EMT shears, though. The ones I've handled were mostly low quality, cheap imports, more or less disposable stuff that wouldn't handle tougher jobs very well."

I just used my cheap import ones this morning trimming 16 gauge sheet metal to repair a front porch light enclosure. Tin snips weren't doing the job as the metal was a bit too thin for close to the edge trimming. Even cheap EMT snips cut through seat belt and climbing rope just fine. I keep some in each car along with my first aid kit, cpr barrier, vise grips and heavy vinyl coated gloves, for auto accidents.

You do have to use scissors correctly. Practice with wobbly cheap kids or EMT snips till you can cut any thickness of material. It is a matter of pushing the blades against each other sideways as well as up and down. One can even cut seatbelt with tiny thread snips if one practices.

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