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What makes it a "RESCUE" tool / knife / thingy ? 3381

No Life Club Posts: 2,423 Rule #9 - Never go anywhere without a knife.
What makes it a "RESCUE" tool / knife / thingy ?
« on: March 13, 2009, 03:54:35 PM »
Recently a lot of manufacturers  have gotten on to the "RESCUE" bandwagon with their wares. Just because it has a serrated blade, weighs more than it's non rescue counterpart, is brightly colored, has a strap or a lanyard, etc.  really does not make it fall into the specialized category of a rescue implement / tool.

What is it that makes the item deserve the "RESCUE" label? A lot of it is hype and a lot is marketing savy from the manufacturer. Look at how much more a tool is specialized and labeled as such can bring a premium price. Just because it has some of the previously mentioned attributes does it mean it really is better and deserving of more of your money? Just because Joe the Fireman ( not the plumber ) invented it or endorsed it  does that make it "worthy" or blessed to have a specialized tool category assigned to it.

Here is a perfect example - when I first went into EOD in the mid 1960's the toolkit you had to take on a call consisted of: a pair of side cutters, a single edged razor blade, a small inspection mirror and a pair of RayBan sunglasses ( in case the bomb went off while you were bending over it you would not get blinded from the flash ) and it all fit in your pockets. Look at the specialized tool industry that has evolved in the past 40+ plus years - robots, water canons, x-ray capabilities, etc. and a lot of companies are getting rich selling this " EOD labeled stuff".  Is it really needed - I say no, is it nice to have - I say yes. The point is just because it's specialized they can pedal it to a select group of people ( same with any RESCUE labeled device) and charge more money for it than a none labeled product that will do the same job.

Why do I carry a 45 ?
Because they don't make a 46 !
No Life Club Posts: 3,592 Supreme Planetary Overlord trainee
Re: What makes it a "RESCUE" tool / knife / thingy ?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 04:18:32 PM »
I couldn't agree more.I went into public safety in the '80s before the RESCUE bandwagon started rolling hot and heavy,and at that time the tools of the trade hadn't changed much from the time you started.I think you and I,and everybody else in police/fire/EMS agree the best tool is the one between our ears.

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,028 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: What makes it a "RESCUE" tool / knife / thingy ?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 04:31:08 PM »
Hell, I've been saying the best tool is the one between your ears for years- unfortunately with so many people nowadays that tool is a defective knockoff!  :P

I agree that many Rescue type tools nowadays are re-branded "normal" tools with bright orange or yellow handles.  Perhaps the most obvious example of this is the professional series from CRKT.  Many of those models are identical to the regular line models, only with orange handles instead of black or grey.

In my mind, what makes a good rescue tool is something that is purpose designed for safety, with no compromises for regular utility.  A tool like the Houdini series from Benchmade, the ResQMe or the Vic Rescue Tool are perfect examples of that- yes, you could probably use the Rescue Tool as an EDC knife if you aren't an EMT, firefighter or other first responder type, but the glass breaker kind of gets in the way of the blade, the glass saw isn't useful for anything but windshields etc.    Given it's size, you'd be better off EDCing a standard OHT or one of Leatherman's Crater or Expanse knives to get the blade and screwdrivers, which are the only general use items on the Rescue.  The ReQMe and ERT-1/Houdini Pro are virtually useless for day to day tasks, but could prove invaluable in an emergency situation.

Let's face it, when the poo hits the fan, you want to make as few compromises as possible.  That to me at least, is what compromises a Rescue Tool, and makes something worthy of the label.  After that, I don't care what color the handles are!


Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,998 Aggressive in defence
Re: What makes it a "RESCUE" tool / knife / thingy ?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 10:55:50 AM »
This is a good question  :think:  For me the most important thing is a blunt tip . Put yourself in a rescue situation in the dark and maybe chuck some foul weather in too  >:D Your driving along and the car infront of you swerves to miss a Deer , looses control and turns upside down into a water filled ditch  :o
Before you know it your up to your waist in freezing cold water next to the upturned car and trying to get the occupent/s out . In that situation a glass breaker would be very nice but in a pinch the corner of a full size multi would have to do . No time to cover the window with tape here .Obviously you wouldn't break a window if it fully submerged under the water ( unless you have no choice ) . Next you may have to cut the seat belt if it won't come undone and this is where a blint tip comes in . Imagine poking a very sharp blade about in the wet and dark trying to get between the casualty and the seat belt , you may have to push hard aswell . I don't need to explain what could happen if you slip  :(

Of course this is just one type of rescue but I think Vehicle rescue is probably one that most members could find themselves in .

But there are many other types of rescue and a glass breaker wouldn't be much good up a mountain of out in the sea . But a Blunt tip blade is IMO a must have .

On our lifeboat we used to have this huge Diving knife , I reckon you could have killed a wale with it . But as a rescue knife it was usless and has now been replace with a Spyderco Atlantic Salt left in the open position and stored in a Kydex sheath ( Thank you Mojofilter  :salute: ) that is bolted to the centre console of the boat .In this case its yellow handle is very usefull as th bottom of the boat is orange with black cables and other equipment so it stands out very well .

So for me a Rescue knife must have a blunt tip blade , be serrated and easily opened and accessed .I think the blade should be at least 3 inchs.I also think it should be paired with a full size multitool . Not all rescues involve cutting clothing and equipment away from casualties. Things still break , jam and go wrong on rescues just as they do in normal life . My Swisstool has seen far more use on rescues then any other knife .




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