We spent a morning with Packexe Smash CEO Andrew Orchard at a scrap yard in Michigan to demo a glass management product. Mr. Orchard is not a firefighter, but seems to get what we do. He put his money where his mouth is by flying in from the UK to show us what his product is all about and to make sure we understood the application. He even left us a bunch of Smash to use at upcoming classes and new terminology unrelated to the fire service. We’ll explain the later over a beer after training. Smitty from Boron Extrication set us up with a bunch of cars to test the product and get some tool time in.
To be perfectly honest, I had not thought much about glass management other than yelling “glass” or covering a victim/rescuer with a blanket before smashing a window out. After thinking about it for a little while…when glass breaks – dust and fragmented pieces fly everywhere including: down your gloves, pants, and into the area where you are working. My first thoughts were that this is another time consuming task that we don’t have time or personnel for. Using the product changed my definition of glass management. Will we use Smash on every wreck – No. Will Smash help us manage glass and protect rescuers and victims sometimes – Yes. After a little practice, the application is not time consuming at all and the value seems worth a few seconds.