Several years ago, whilst on holiday, I went to see a Four Tops tribute act. When they took to the stage, there were five of them and they opened with ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ In this instance, the poor imitation was obvious and comical, but what happens when imitation is more subtle and equates to an unacceptable compromise of your own safety, and that of those you are there to help?
It is now more than 10 years since we launched Packexe Smash into the fire and rescue industry with one simple aim: to make glass management safer, quicker and more rescuer and patient centred.
Packexe Smash has been specifically designed to be applied to vehicle windows, whether toughened or laminated. The glass can then be left in situ or removed in a controlled manner by the rescuer. Application is quick and easy using its patented applicator. Its perforated design and various size options means it is suitable for all sizes from small quarter lights to large windscreens. It is proven to make glass 42% stronger and therefore greatly reduce the risk of uncontrolled breakage and the associated hazards such as glass fragments and silica dust. Glass fragments not only pose the obvious risk of cuts and damage to personal protective equipment but can contaminate medical equipment and also enter a patient’s open wounds, potentially leading to infection. Silica dust is a respiratory hazard and applying Packexe Smash will ensure that if glass is broken or cut in a controlled manner, the amount of dust is kept to an absolute minimum. Our success means that Packexe Smash is now not only a trade name but also a verb; during an extrication you will often hear ‘Packexe that window!’ This term, however, is now applied to products that are clearly not Packexe Smash.
Whilst competition in any industry is healthy and indeed welcomed, the increased use of adhesive film that is not designed for glass management during vehicle extrication is a genuine concern, and it is important that organisations understand the implications of using products that are not intended for use in risk critical situations.
These products, like Packexe Smash, were originally designed for use in other markets (e.g. building, decorating), but unlike its competitors, Packexe Smash has been specifically adapted and changed to meet the needs of technical rescue. We do not simply produce a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
It is clear that front-line crews are unhappy with being provided with adhesive film products that are not fit for purpose. Many have reported that it performs so poorly, they simply revert to older (more outdated) glass-management techniques, which compromises safety and can also extend the extrication process. The non-branded film they are being supplied is simply left on the truck. But why does it perform so badly?
It is all about product design and, specifically, the adhesive properties. In tests we conducted on non-branded film products we found them to be up to 72% less adhesive than Packexe Smash. They use a water-based adhesive, rather than solvent based which is more suited to this application. 72% is a substantial difference in performance. Would you choose a hydraulic rescue tool that was 72% slower?
For more than a decade we have developed and refined Packexe Smash specifically for extrication. This work has been based on the feedback from rescue organisations, teams and individuals from all over the world; we have listened to the experts. In more than 60 countries and in over half of the fire and rescue services in the UK, it has become the product of choice for glass management due to its unrivalled performance. We would be naive to not expect any competition in the market, but end users should be aware that not all adhesive films are made equally, and we are proud to have worked so closely with the fire and rescue industry to become the go-to choice for rescue professionals.
If you would like any more information on Packexe Smash, or our other rescue products, as the real Four Tops would say, please Reach Out!
Andrew Orchard – CEO Packexe.
For more information, go to www.packexe.co.uk