Saturday, March 5, 2011

CPR Prompt: An Essential Piece to Any First Aid Kit

     Item: Mini CPR Prompt Audio Rescue Aid
          Included: 3 AAA Energizer e^2 batteries
     Price: $19.95
     Make: foreign
     Dimensions: 3.5" long x 1.5" wide x .5" thick
     Features: Adult, baby, & child CPR choices, lanyard loop, pause capabilities, low battery indicator
     Run time: 8 hours
     Time in testing: 4 months
     Design/Intention/Application: CPR aid

    A week after CPR certification, most people find themselves asking " How many rescue breaths do I give?" or " How many compressions should be given?". CPR like any other skill needs to be practiced and refreshed, and the CPR Prompt will help you with just that.
    With its small package, the Mini Prompt (or MP for short) can be taken anywhere, as it can even be attached to a keychain. It allows you to not only refresh yourself anywhere, but it can be used as an actual aid during CPR.

     As you can see (check out the photo link for more) the MP has six large buttons for easy use under stress. Upon pressing the on/off switch, it will ask you to press the adult, baby, or child buttons. Upon doing so, the MP will guide you through deciding wether or not to give CPR, and CPR if needed (you can listen to the pre-cpr, and adult CPR audio at the Photo link below). For those who have a better memory/are better brushed up, you can go at your own pace. Let's say you are using the MP and you've completed the pre-cpr process and you determine CPR is necessary, you can go ahead and hit the CPR key before it is done walking you through the pre-CPR process (this can be done at any time).

     Besides a small package and large buttons, this item automatically will verbally indicate the battery status when it is low. Don't mistake this for just a tape recording with a speaker, because inside it has a microprocessor. Upon un-pausing the device, the microprocessor at certain steps determines how many previous steps to repeat if they are important. This allows for a smooth continuation of the CPR process. The MP is also meets international guidelines for CPR and ECC.

     When it comes to construction. However, the MP was not designed to be shock proof. It is certainly not waterproof and the plastic isn't hefty enough to be shock proof. So this product would be fine to sit in your household or carry first aid kit, but maybe not such a viable option for outdoor use. Not that it wouldn't hold up or you shouldn't bring it, but that if you hadn't brushed up and you needed it, and it failed, you could easily be SOL. So this brings me to the point that this item is a great aid, and should not be used as a crutch. Just to prove the point, when I bought this back in December of 2010, the batteries had a use by 2009 data on them. Not that they weren't working, but if I never had noticed and let them sit, they could have easily failed me in an emergency.

    So all in all for roughly twenty dollars this product is ideal for any first aid kit. If you are looking for one, they are certainly hard to find. I only know of this one brand which only makes larger models too. You can check out their website below.

     One can then understand why I would rate this at a 10 out or 10.

     CPR Prompt
     Buff Shop-
     CPR/ECC Guidlines

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gerber Strap Cutter

     Item: Gerber Strap Cutter
          Included: malice clip & sheath          
     Price Range: $14.00
     Make: Domestic
     Blade steel: 420HC Stainless steel black
     Dimensions: 4.25" Long x 1.5" Wide x <0.25" Thick, 3.0 oz (sheathless)
     Weight: 2.25 oz
     Features: Glass Breaker, lanyard whole, jimping, ergonomic design
     (finger loop, curved grip), molle compatible, injection molded plastic sheath
     Time in testing: 2 months
     Design intention/Application: Primary- Rescue Hook; Secondary- gut hook

     While this may be the first rescue hook that I've purchased, it could easily be the last. What makes this so? Well, at $14 dollars, you get a rescue hook that is super sharp, lightweight, and in medium size frame. The design of the frame give this cutter an advantage over any other strap cutter; it allows for a secure grip even with gloves (shooting style gloves of course). Under stress, this level of grip would be superior. Whether or not you need all that surface is debatable, but I'd certainly rather have it, especially since it is not that big. 

     At this price, its closest competitors would be the Benchmade model 5 ($15-25) & 7 ($20-30) rescue hooks. While I've only used the model 5, I feel it is too small and while the model 7 is larger (it is similar to the Gerber, that is in terms of size and weight) it still doesn't have a glass breaker . 

      Its attachment system is funky in a way, as it uses what looks like a belt clip for molle attachment and what looks like a belt clip for a molle attachment. Make sure to look at the photo link, because you will find that both the seatbelt and molle systems aren't very snug. Personally, I wouldn't mind the molle system bad when secured upside down. This seatbelt malice clip is so-so as well. While it holds the cutter up on the belt, it is easily slid up and down the belt especially during belt retraction. As you can see in the pictures, it is a hard plastic sheath which holds the cutter in by friction. One might argue that the Benchmade nylon sheaths would be nicer (their seatbelt one certainly seems better). Along with the large grasping whole, this friction/whole combination allows for an easy and more importantly fast deployment. The only downside to this is the akwardness of their attachment systems. It is certainly tradeoff which you'll have decide (speed vs. flat lying). 

    In regards to competition, in my opinion (for what its worth) this rescue hook is slightly superior. At such a low price point it includes a two attachment systems, a sharp blade, a very functional frame, a glass breaker, and is made in the USA. However it does seem that the model 7 has a better seat belt system and more importantly possible better edge retention. Looking at their website, you can see their tests and how they believe it is superior. We will probably never know the truth in this as we don't have lab equipment to test this. 
     So at this moment in time, the Gerber strap cutter is my choice in rescue tools and receives a 9.5 (-.5 for the attachment systems) out of 10. 

    Gerber's Specs
    Gear Buyer's Guide Overview 
    Nutnfancy's Rescue 5 Review 
    Benchmade 7 Specs