Safe and secure: ensuring firefighter safety and tool longevity


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PAC’S versatile tool mounting solutions are helping departments to ensure firefighter safety and tool longevity

Firefighting rescue tools and hand tools can be large and awkward and if they are unmounted or unrestrained they can fall from a truck. An organised and mounted set of tools can reduce injuries to firefighters. A tool mount can also improve response time by enabling firefighters to find what they need quickly, as well as improving the time it takes to restock the truck and identify what is missing or what has not yet been put back in its spot and reduce the time to do an inventory check.

Properly mounted tools can increase the tool life because an unmounted tool rolling around in a compartment could be subject to extra wear and tear well beyond its normal use. Some of these tools are expensive and critical to have and so improving that tool life and keeping that tool in good working order.

Key considerations for choosing a mount

First and foremost you should know the weight and load rating of what you are trying to secure. A department should always consider the value of the tool they are securing. Performance Advantage Company’s (PAC) brackets are heavy duty and can withstand serious abuse. They are tested with the knowledge that they are going to see heavy use during their lifetime.

Also important is how quickly you can retrieve tools from the mount. You want to look at how well tool mounts can be visible in dark applications, how quickly and easily you can retrieve the product by releasing the straps and whether they are easy to grip in all situations and all weather conditions.

Finally, when you are considering a tool mount system, your department may acquire new tools for different situations and the compartment’s organisation system may need to be reconfigured. The tool mounting system must be able adapt because the tools themselves adapt. Different manufacturers have a different design and so the amount of space tools will take up in the truck will vary.

Unmounted tool problems

Injuries are the most serious issue when it comes to unmounted tools. We have had several customer interactions where there was a tool behind a closed door which fell on an unsuspecting firefighter at the scene of an emergency. These injuries strain the resources of the rescue team at the site.

One of the things tool mounts are designed to do is reduce the time it takes render aid. When a vehicle shows up with the team and with the equipment properly trained, one of the things they should have is their tool mounted because it improves response time as the time it takes to find what you need is reduced drastically. This is critical to get patients the aid that they need quickly and properly. Having unmounted tools can cause increased response time, meaning critical time is lost because firefighting teams cannot find what they are looking for. There could also be damage sustained to the tools from rolling around unfixed whilst in transit.

New to the market

Recent PAC products that have been really well received are our Mini Loks. These are smaller friction locking clamps than have been available before. They accommodate smaller hand tools, such as flashlights and small handle tools, than previously solutions could hold.

We have some new low profile locking brackets called the Super Flex line. They are for extinguishers and struts. We have an extinguisher mount kit that also works with oxygen bottles and two of our newer items are a shallow rectangular pocket kit for non-traditional rescue tools.

PAC has also just introduced a bucket mount. In the US, a 5-gallon bucket is a common item found in all industries from fire to farming. We have found that buckets are a widely used tool used to carry loose equipment such as absorbent material or salt. Buckets are a very useful tool but there were no mounts on the market for them, so we created one for vehicles. This mount can also hold traffic cones.

Regional differences

There are of course different types of vehicles and different types of equipment in different regions, not to mention different budgets. There are a wide variety of factors that go into tool mounting solution that would be selected, but in general PAC’s products are so versatile and adjustable that it really does not matter what industry or area you are in: the tools that you are going to carry are more than likely going to be able to be supported or held and secured by our versatile product line.

We are also mounting tools on a variety of non-traditional fire vehicles including motorcycles and fire boats. We have even worked with some departments in Asian countries that have turned transit vans into rescue vehicles or built their own fire trucks.

Finding solution for every situation

A lot of people think of us as a company that provides products to end users, or to a dealer network, but we actually are becoming more and more a resource to vehicle OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) where they need some type of a mount for the product that they make.

We were also recently approached by a customer who makes unique nozzles who needed to come up with a mount system as his nozzles were all different diameters and had different handles. He used our Jumbo Lock 1070 to hold his tools and developed a platform using our mount.

This article was originally published in the August edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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