When it comes to vehicle rescue, you will find one tool on my extrication tarp without fail. Take a guess....You got it, a sawzall. Investing in good quality sawzalls and blades cannot be stressed enough. A good quality sawzall/blade combo is worth its weight in gold on an entrapment scene. For example, let’s say that your department has budget issues and hasn’t replaced your hydraulic cutters in many many years. You respond to an MVC with entrapment on a newer vehicle (PS doesn’t have to be that new UHSS/Boron has been around for a while). When you arrive, your older hydraulic cutters won’t do the trick. You trip pie cutting and cut-around tactics with no success. Does a sawzall come to mind??? It should, and this video should show why.
With a good quality sawzall, UHSS/Boron posts can be cut in a timely manner. However, in relation to extrication, not all sawzalls or blades are equal. We recently did some testing and the proof is in the pudding. For timed intervals (1.5 minutes each) we ran numerous blade types/manufacturers against a Mercedes Boron B Pillar. The results varied from non-cutting to light scoring of the metal. At the end of the testing, only one blade made it through in our allotted time. As shown in the video, the only blade we found with consistent results was the Diablo Steel Demon Carbide Tipped “Gamechanger” for Exotic/UHSS metals. Mind you, this blade in the video had already made numerous cuts through the boron post prior to this video. The sawzall used was the Milwaukee “Fuel” Lithium Ion (Battery...YES I said battery). Remember, I am NO salesman for ANY tool/manufacturer. These results are just my personal opinion/findings. So get out there, get various blades and do some testing on your own. (PS. Most manufacturers do NOT recommend lubrication/cooling sawzall blades anymore).
ISAAC FRAZIER is a Special Operations Lieutenant with St. Johns County Florida’s Heavy Rescue “Squad 4”. First due to the deadliest stretch of roadway in the nation, Frazier teaches from personal street experience providing tried and true tactics. Frazier is the owner of Tactical Advantage Training and creator of the course Tactical Extrication. Frazier travels nationally sharing his passion teaching fire and extrication courses. Frazier is a FDIC lecturer, FDIC Lead HOT Instructor, Fire Engineering Contributor, Fire Officer II, FL Paramedic, Special Operations Officer, Florida State Instructor, FLUSAR Tech, Diver, and FL Hazmat Tech. www.TrainTacticalAdvantage.com