One of the coolest things about the fire service and the internet is how it has connected firefighters and techniques from around the world. I meet the CEO of Packexe, Andrew Orchard, at FDIC this year and he quickly showed how to use Packexe SMASH. Like almost any firefighter in the world I wanted to learn about Packexe SMASH and what it can do to improve the extrication process. Anything that can protect the patient or safety speed up the extrication process is worth a look. So I contacted Packexe and asked if they would send out a demo kit for me to test and review on the site and I managed to meet up with the CEO on his way to the North America Extrication Challenge. That’s a guy who believes in his product if he will fly in to demo it for you!
First off, step back and take a breath. Do not break that glass……yet that is! Packexe SMASH is a tool that can minimize the amount of glass sent into the occupant compartment or take the glass totally out of the equation by managing it. Late model vehicles, especially luxury vehicles are often equipped with laminated side glass on the driver and passenger front windows to reduce road noise. Here is where the term glass management can have two separate definitions. One school of thought is when the glass is broken into a bunch of small pieces all the glass is managed. I would agree. Another school thought is laminated glass and glass covered with Packexe SMASH is managed. I would also agree. In the video below, Paul Hasenmeier from FirstDueTackle.com is removing the door of this vehicle with the glass managed by the added strength that Packexe SMASH provided.
The video below is the Packexe SMASH product being applied to create a “sail” of seal of the passenger compartment from the windshield. Now I know we cover the patient with a blanket before we break any glass or cut the windshield. However, Packexe SMASH was able to completely seal off the windshield from the occupant compartment. Now no tool is completely perfect or the best choice for every situation. Just consider this a tool and technique for the mental toolbox.
Just in case you are thinking I’m a Packexe salesman, I’m not. I was given the opportunity to try out their products. However, I should sell their stuff, it sells its self! Will you use Packexe SMASH on every entrapment call, maybe but maybe not? The real questions are will you have Packexe SMASH on the truck and will you know how to use it? Packexe SMASH provides another tool to manage the glass.