Struts and Lights

We are rolling into a new year and new technology will be coming out in the equipment we buy and use. I will be hitting about six to right shows this year and have a chance to see some of these new things coming out that will help us in the rescue end of things. I can’t help on the fire end too much, as that is just not my forte. With tight budgets and time for training, we are always looking for equipment that will get the job done in an easy and safe manner. Be sure and shop around and don’t always just go with the old adage; we have used this for years, or the department next to us has had one for years, without looking at what else is out there.


Once again Res-Q-Jack has come out with a new strut that combines the lightweight characteristics of the square tubing with the advantage of no pins used in the Super X locking collars. This new strut, called the “Auto X” combines the lower square tubing with a round upper adjusting tube. This in turn now uses a locking collar, rather than a pin. It comes with several variations of adjustable straps that are mounted to the lower tube, depending on your needs and requirements. It has a narrow base with two “D” rings for attaching other straps or chains. The strap can even be configured with the secondary hook for those wanting to use the European configuration. However, I do find this to be pretty much useless in the real word. The ratchet strap can be set up with a slack management coil as well.

The strut has a detachable jack for up to 3000 pounds of lift. The jack will also mount on the right or left sides, rather than the middle. They come in a short and long version, the short measuring 42 inches collapsed, and the long at 54.5 inches. The long will extend to 87 inches and the short will extend to 64 inches. Both struts will take an extension, which will bring in line with the normal struts for height. The struts have an overall rating of 6500 pounds before failure, with an extension. The other nice thing about the new strut is the weight. The long weighs in at 35 pounds and the short weighs in at 32 pounds. These are a nice addition for those who are bit tighter for space and still need the great performance offered by the Res-Q-Jack struts.

For more information on their new Auto X, and other struts they offer, you can visit

Another cool thing I came across at the Colorado Fire Chief’s show is an inexpensive LED light that can be used with cones and for landing lights. Flare Alert LED Lighting has a round LED light in five colors; red, green, blue, amber and white. They only weigh eight ounces and can withstand a 20,000-pound crush. So, if you run over the light, it will probably be OK. The lights have a steady burn or a flash mode.

They run on four AA alkaline batteries, and in steady mode are good for up to 140 hours and in flash mode, good for 40 hours on the 0.5W version. In the 1.0W version, the flash lasts about 60 hours and the steady mode is good for 20 hours. The base of the light is magnetic, but have rubber feet to prevent scratching on vehicles. The lights have cone adaptors that allow them to slide in the top of a traffic cone. The cone adaptor will also screw into a base to make the light freestanding. The base also serves as a weight to use the lights for a landing zone. They offer just the beacons, or you can get kits from small to large. The small kit includes three lights while the large kit includes eight lights and accessories. With the lights coming in at just over $20, I thought that was pretty good when you look at the cost of flares and having to deal with one time use and disposal.

You can find out more on these beacon lights at

Hope your New Year came in with a bang and this year will be all that you want it to be.

If you have any questions or comments, please shoot me an email at Until next time, train hard, be safe, and know your equipment.

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