Firefighters, police forces and urban search and rescue teams need the best tools for their demanding jobs. Saving lives and effective extrication is all about functionality and reliability of equipment.
Hydraulic-powered tools first came to the fire and rescue service from the racetrack. Port-a-power spreaders and cutters, along with hydraulic jacks, were the first mechanical extrication tools to find a place on fire and rescue vehicles. The big leap in hydraulic-powered extrication equipment came with the introduction of Hurst’s Jaws of Life – first used in 1963 as a tool to free racing-car drivers from their crashed vehicles.
The Hurst Rescue Tool was invented by George Hurst, circa 1961, after he viewed a stock car race accident in which it took workers over an hour to remove an injured driver from his car. Previously rescuers often used circular saws for vehicle extrication, but these suffered from several drawbacks. Saws can create sparks, which could start a fire, create loud sounds, stress the victim(s), and often cut slowly. Alternatively, rescuers could try to pry open the vehicle doors with a crowbar or Halligan bar, but this could compromise the stability of the vehicle, injure the victims further, or inadvertently trigger the airbags of the vehicle.
Modern rescue operations demand highly specialised equipment that is designed for the task in hand. None more so than hydraulic rescue equipment, which has changed radically in the last 25 years. A seemingly small design change or improved construction method greatly improves a tool’s operational performance. In parallel there has been a huge change in the construction of vehicles, meaning that rescuers have had to refine their skills to face up to the challenge of ever more sophisticated vehicles. Thankfully, the latest generation of hydraulic rescue equipment provides the rescuer with everything they need to overcome these challenges, safely and effectively.
Ogura portable hydraulic rescue tools
Ogura battery-powered hydraulic tools are a good example of sector-leading, cutting, spreading and forced-entry tools. These tools are tough, powerful and portable pieces of equipment used by rescue, police and firefighter teams. Ogura was the first manufacturer in the world to develop a full range of truly portable, lightweight and powerful battery-powered hydraulic cutting, spreading and lifting tools.
From the dedicated ORC handheld bar cutters to the revolutionary BC300BL combo tool, Ogura tools are designed to reach remote and inaccessible places. Ogura has applied over 80 years’ experience in hydraulic engineering to develop this versatile range of groundbreaking bar-cutting, door-busting, bolt-breaking, roof-cutting tools. Fire and rescue services, airport fire teams, police, military and specialist urban search and rescue teams the world over are saving lives with this hydraulic rescue tool range.
Established in 1928 as a manufacturer of industrial products, Ogura has a long history of developing extremely reliable and hard-working hydraulic tools for the construction, fabrication and metal-working industry. In 1999 Ogura applied their knowledge of industrial hydraulics to the rescue and emergency services market to produce the first generation HRS Modular System. The range has now matured into an extensive series of tools.
All Ogura tools use the patented 400 bar pump, which gives incredible power-to-weight performance, despite the sleek, compact design. Powered by the excellent Makita Li-ion 18V battery pack, Ogura tools are the only manufacturer licensed to use Makita motors and batteries.
HRS modular rescue system
The Ogura HRS battery-powered Hydraulic Rescue System is a portable, lightweight, compact and extremely versatile series of cutting, spreading and forced-entry tools. It brings together the power and strength that is required for modern rescue situations but allows for the compactness and portability required for stowage and movements. Totally modular in nature, the HRS system allows users to select only those tools suited to their tasks, thereby allowing professionals the freedom to purpose-build their battery-powered rescue system. With the HRS system, simplicity is the key due to the nature of its ‘closed’ hydraulic system, maintenance and training requirements are minimal. The HRS Pump has been recently upgraded to incorporate a larger oil reservoir, meaning it can now offer a 200mm (8in) door-opening tool.
Innovative new Ogura RP series
Ogura’s new RP (Removable Power) series is the latest in the line of Ogura portable hydraulic rescue tools. This flagship series is stronger and more powerful than previous models. It is powered by a removable power source, meaning any tool can be operated at any time and in any position. The RP series delivers the tool strength required for modern-day rescues, with a small compact power unit that allows reduced stowage options.
- Interchangeable head units: All the head units are interchangeable. The robust quick-change coupling system allows the head units to be securely attached to the motor unit and quickly exchanged, allowing an appropriate head unit to be selected on site for a particular application.
- Lightweight battery-powered design: Compact battery design and combined weight of 14.7kg makes tools ideal for use in remote locations.
- Easy portability and compact design: No fumes or trailing hoses along with portability and compact design all quick working in confined spaces.
- Long-life brushless motor: There are no carbon brushes in the motor resulting in longer tool life, cooler and more efficient running. Unlike conventional motors the brushless motor does not require regular replacement of carbon brushes.
Li-ion battery technology
All Ogura tools use the amazing Makita 18V Li-ion battery, which in recent tests carried out by Ogura prove that the new Li-ion units suffer a discharge rate of only 9% after 500 days in storage. Ogura is the only manufacturer of rescue tools with access to Makita batteries. Tests prove that the batteries used on Ogura tools have at least twice the life of other power-tool batteries. Intelligent charging means that each individual battery has its own charge profile dependent on use. This extends battery life, increases durability and means 30% more cuts per charge. Recharge time is only 22 minutes. Both in-vehicle and mains-powered chargers are available.
Vimpex is the sole European distributor for the Ogura range of battery-powered hydraulic cutting, spreading and forced-entry equipment and the Robopak battery backup system.
Vimpex staff are trained in the demonstration, service and repair of all tools and equipment we sell. We are the European warranty repair and service agent for all Ogura rescue and industrial tools.
Established in 1994, Vimpex is a specialist supplier of firefighting and rescue equipment as well as accessories and associated products to the emergency services (EMS), police, fire, USAR and military markets. We are active members of several trade bodies including FIRESA and the FIA. Our management systems, sales activities and service and repair operations are all accredited to ISO9001:2002.
The Vimpex Training Academy delivers world-class learning and accredited Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for your team. We conduct on-site training using your own equipment that is approved by The Institution of Fire Engineers and The United Kingdom Rescue Organisation, delivered by some of the world’s leading rescue experts at a competitive price point.
For more information, go to www.vimpex.co.uk