Columns, Equipment & Gear, Product Reviews, Special Topics

Hands On Product Reviews July 2015

Issue 7 and Volume 40.



Rapid Casualty Extrication

In an active shooter incident—or any other situation where the rapid removal of a victim is a matter of life and death—extrication equipment needs to be light-weight, easy-to-use and durable. A standard-issue item in the British Army, the Xtract2 from Kingfisher Medical is extremely lightweight and can be worn in a pouch on your uniform. Once deployed, simply logroll your patient onto the Xtract2. Next, pull the drawstring to adjust the Xtract2 around the victim and form a secure cocoon. The rescuer can now either drag the victim by attaching a strap to the Xtract2 or carry the victim by using the eight handles. The Xtract2 is constructed with an innovative textile that allows it to be dragged over most terrain without damage.

Dimensions: 12″ × 7″ × 5″ (packed)
Weight: Under 3 lbs.
Colors: Black or olive drab
Price: $299.95

Durable Folding Knife

After I experienced a knife folding on me while I was using it, I decided to only use knives that meet high standards for quality and safety if I’m going to carry and use one in a rescue situation. HK Knives uses the motto “no compromise” when referring to the quality, innovation and safety of their products. The HK AXIS Knife 14715BK is a folding knife that features the AXIS lock mechanism—it’s safe, reliable and won’t collapse during use. The clip-point blade is black-coated D2 steel with a plain cutting edge. The handle is textured black G-10 scales over a stainless steel frame liner and a reversible tip-up carry pocket clip. This knife provides a top-quality cutting edge with a comfortable grip design, making it ideal for rescue and tactical work.

Size: 8.34″ (open); 4.64″ (closed); 3.69″ (blade length)
Weight: 4.96 oz.
Price: $155.00

Securing Any Child

Approximately 620,000 children per year ride in ambulances while improperly restrained. The new full-range Ambulance Child Restraint (ACR4) from Quantum EMS offers a solution to this dangerous practice. The ACR4 is an innovative, flexible and fully adjustable pediatric harnessing system that includes the three standard restraints (small, medium and large) plus a new XS size that encompasses the 4–11 lbs. weight range. This ensures ambulances can safely and securely restrain all children (from 4–99 lbs.) during transport. Quick-release clips dock the ACR harness to any stretcher in the EMS market and the harness straps are color-coded for fast and easy application.

Weight: 5 lbs.
Dimensions: 26″ × 12″ × 8″
Price: $799.00

Modular BLS Course

The American Red Cross has rolled out a new BLS Course for Healthcare Providers. The material and objectives of this new course are consistent with the 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for CPR and emergency cardiovascular care and the format offers flexibility and modularity providing medical directors and educators the ability to custom-tailor the course to the specific needs of the learner. The new course emphasizes a team-based approach to resuscitation where critical thinking, team dynamic and reflection/debriefing are used to reinforce the learning experience. Three course options are available: a 4.5-hour instructor-led course, a 2.5-hour review course for learners with a current certification, and a challenge component for learners who wish to receive certification without attending a full course.

Course formats: Instructor-led or simulation learning
Price: Call for price

Innovative Response Unit

The Rapid Response Unit Medic Series from ESI Rapid Response can turn any domestic heavy-duty series pickup truck with a 6.5’ or 8’ bed into a fully customizable EMS rapid response unit. This weather-resistant body insert by Space-Kap features double wall construction with insulating barrier with a patented four-corner lever actuated tie-down for easy insertion and removal if needed. There’s single door access for first-out equipment, temperature-controlled IV and pharmaceutical storage units, and an automated, lighted rear slideout that protects from bad weather. Full 180-degree rear opening, 40/60 split rear doors with storage pockets, rear and side half or full-width pullout trays, and Luma Bar LED lighting are just some of the features that make this unit innovative and versatile. The complete rapid response body can be shipped to your location for your current vehicle or ESI can assist your service in securing a vehicle.

Color: Paint options available
to match your service’s needs
Warranty: 3 years
Price: Call for price


Enhanced Backboard Comfort

To backboard or not to backboard, that is the question. There’s still a lot of controversy. There are two things we know about backboarding: It’s uncomfortable for our patient and studies show there’s a risk of pressure sores in patients who spend too much time on one. TheBack Raft from Thomas EMS is a compact, affordable spinal stabilization air mattress that fills voids between the patient and the board, improving patient comfort and helping to remove the risk of pressure sores. The dual-action pump inflates the Back Raft in seconds and the new on/off valve makes pressure regulating easy. An adhesive strip along the bottom secures the Back Raft to the board. The Back Raft is compatible with any cot or backboard strap system and works on both 16″ and 18″ boards. It’s also 100% latex free and X-ray translucent.

Package size: 10″ × 12″ × ″
Price: $21.75 (Back Raft); $29.95
(Back Raft hand pump)