Struts improve safety in vehicle responses

By Josh Arnett
McPherson Sentinel – September 30, 2016

Moundridge firefighters have a new set of equipment that can improve safety for residents and emergency responders alike.

The fire department obtained a set of struts in mid-August that can be used to stabilize vehicles when responding to rollover accidents, or other situations in which a vehicle may be unsteady. The braces consist of a metal footing that attaches to the cylindrical strut, which come in 2-foot and 4-foot lengths that can support up to 15.4 tons each.

The strut lengths can also be adjusted as needed. Moundridge Fire is the only department in McPherson County with this equipment.

“We’ll use them mainly for vehicle extractions and trench rescues. It’s a pretty handy tool,” said Moundridge Fire Lt. Rhett Neufeld.

The struts can’t be used to lift heavy objects, but can support heavy objects to keep them stable while emergency personnel work.

“We can use this on anything from a small family vehicle to a loaded semi,” Neufeld said.

As part of the purchase, Moundridge firefighters received training on how to use the struts in an emergency situation. Once deployed, the struts will allow emergency responders to focus efforts on helping people in need, instead of providing stabilization by hand.

“It takes two people to set up. It’s very quick and easy,” Neufeld said. “When they’re up, they lock, so you don’t need people constantly watching and shoring them up. Once set up, they do all the work.”

Neufeld said the department hasn’t had to use the struts yet, but when the need arises, they will be available.

“It’s better equipment, and it’s more efficient,” Neufeld said. “They’re going to improve safety for the people we help, and for the firefighters too.”

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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