Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 9:12 am
By Mark van der Feyst
One of the functions of a truck company is to ventilate and force openings within a structure. Some fire departments have rotary saws on their apparatuses to complement the equipment needed to ventilate buildings and to force different types of openings. This valuable tool, which has many benefits, such as portability and power, should be used more often.
The rotary saw can be carried anywhere on the fire ground, including to the roof of a building and up and down ladders. The rotary saw weighs between nine and 16 kilograms (20 and 35 pounds) without fuel. One firefighter can carry the saw either with the handles or using a strap attached to the saw. The strap can be made from webbing or even a used seatbelt. Having a strap frees the firefighter’s hands so that he or she can carry other tools or have both hands available for climbing a ladder. The rotary saw is portable enough that it can be used in small spaces, such as a trench for auto extrication purposes, provided there are no explosive gases present.
All rotary saws are powered by internal combustion engines – two-stroke, small gas engines. The small engines can range from 74 cubic centimetres (cc) to 119 cc in displacement with horsepower ranging from five horsepower (hp) to 8 hp. Due to this high output of power, the saw produces blade speeds from 4,700 revolutions per minute (r.p.m.) to 5,400 r.p.m. This allows the saw to cut through almost any type of material for which the blade is designed and rated. The blade size also varies from 30.5 to 40.5 centimetres (12 to 16 inches).
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