SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - SEPTEMBER 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 69 of 87

Safety expert David Morgan from TNT Rescue discusses the advantages of having extraction teams and the right tools during SCORE races Morgan holds a spreader tool that is battery powered and easy to use. The heavy-duty hydraulic tools on the TNT Rescue truck operate at 10,000 psi and are hooked to a 100-ft. hose. Morgan is an experienced fire fighter and rescue technician who trains fire and race teams in the use and operation of occupant extraction tools. Race vehicles are built to withstand rollovers and collisions, but from time to time, drivers need to be extracted from their vehicles with tools like the Jaws of Life. Bringing this level of safety equipment is the goal for Dave Morgan, west coast regional manager at TNT Rescue, who has recently been providing the TNT Rescue Ford F-350 truck and extraction equipment to SCORE races. “TNT Racing is a 25-year-old, family run business that is based in Wisconsin and specializes in making extrication tools for fire departments and rescue services all over the world,” says Morgan. “We were approached by SCORE to help out with rescue tools that are placed in the support helicopters at each race. At this time, we have battery operated rescue tools on the emergency helicopter and they were actually used at this year’s SCORE Baja 500 race.” After an incident, TNT Rescue saw how important it was to have extraction tools at the race and decided as a company, to support SCORE’s needs at the SCORE Baja 1000 race in November. “The TNT Rescue truck will continue to be a ground resource at the Baja 1000 and our role will be to support and provide assistance during the race,” said Morgan. “We’re still not sure of the logistics, but we’re going to focus on the roads from Ensenada to La Paz. This is where the highest potential for accidents can occur with chase trucks and support vehicles trying to get to the next pit stop to meet the race vehicle.” According to Morgan, the likelihood of an accident where vehicle occupants will need to be extricated will be on the highways, not necessarily on the race course. “The reality is that race vehicles are very well built and have to meet lots of safety regulations,” says Morgan. “Generally when there’s a rollover or collision, the drivers and navigators often survive pretty well. It’s the chase and support vehicles, however, that often get into accidents on the highway. They tend to speed down the road to meet up with the team and can end up in a serious collision.” If that happens, the TNT Rescue truck will be working to provide assistance, as local fire departments don’t always have the right tools to extricate vehicle occupants. “One of the issues we see down in Baja is that the smaller volunteer fire departments don’t have a big budget for rescue tools; if they have them at all,” says Morgan. “If they do come across a traffic collision with a later model car, it will be very hard to rescue those occupants.” Morgan emphasizes that rescue tools have changed over the years to meet up with new materials used to strengthen modern vehicle cabs. “Today’s new car technology utilizes advanced metals,” says Morgan. “These are put into the parts of the vehicle that are going to protect the occupant. Since this reinforced advanced steel is stronger, older extraction tools aren’t going to work. With advanced materials, our rescue tools have been kept up to date with the types of metals that car manufacturers are using to make their vehicles stronger.” One of the other issues that TNT Rescue has to deal with at events like the SCORE Baja 1000, is the distance and time it takes to reach the scene of an accident. “In the fire department, there is what is described as the Golden Hour that is defined as the hour it takes to extricate a vehicle occupant, package them up, and send them to the emergency room,” says Morgan. “Because a race like the SCORE Baja 1000 covers a lot of distance, it may take two or three hours for us to reach the scene. Having some tools in the support helicopter will help with that, but I’d really like to see teams carry at least one extraction tool if possible.” TNT Rescue offers high-pressure hydraulic extraction tools for extreme cases, but with the latest technology in battery operated rescue tools, the need for hydraulics or pumps aren’t necessary. “With a battery powered tool, it would be very easy for a chase truck to have a couple of them in their truck as they take up less space,” said Morgan. “These tools operate off of a 28-volt Milwaukee battery and are rechargeable. In my opinion, it would be an asset to that team and are now relatively affordable.” “At some point, we would like to see more than one rescue truck dedicated to each SCORE race,” says Morgan. One of the tools he recommends is the Storm Series Combination Tool which is a battery powered and features a spreader and cutter in one. “Until more teams have these tools available in their chase trucks, TNT Rescue will provide the support for the races and will train any team who wants to learn how to use these tools,” says Morgan. “Operating the tool is very simple, but you have to know where to place it on the vehicle. You have to know how the tool is going to react with the vehicle. Every cut or spread that you make has an opposite reaction, so it’s important to know what’s going to happen on late or early model vehicles. Good training is essential.” SJ Source TNT Rescue

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