Benchmade’s 8Hook EMS tool had no problem severing seatbelts in one smooth motion.

Survival today is an encyclopedia of disciplines, including advanced medical techniques. In this school from which no one graduates, the tools a practitioner needs become more numerous and complex as his skills increase. Benchmade’s 8 Hook is designed to meet the needs of emergency medical professionals for whom survival is an occupation, not for themselves, but for people who urgently need them. When you’re lying against the roof of an overturned car in a muddy ditch, in intense pain, unable to move, with cold rain blowing in through shattered windows, the first person you want to see isn’t a police officer or even a doctor; the professional you want to see running out of the storm is a paramedic with a jump-kit medical bag. And the better equipped the paramedic, the more efficiently he or she can get a victim cleaned up, stabilized, and speeding toward the medical miracles of a modern hospital.

In recognition of its specialization, I handed-off the 8Hook to the paramedics and EMT’s of Allied Emergency Medical Services. They used the tool under actual conditions for three weeks on one of their Advanced Life Support ambulances. During this period the 8Hook Medical tool saw enough human tragedy to spawn a prime-time television series. Paramedics agreed that the 8Hook’s best feature was its O-2 bottle wrench. Oxygen is an ambulance’s most-used commodity, but with pressures up to 2,000 psi the containers are potential bombs, and pure oxygen is odorless and explosive enough to send a space shuttle into orbit. For that reason, O-2 bottles are not equipped with valve handles but with stems that require more torque than strong fingers can apply.

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July 2010

Benchmade’s 8Hook EMS tool had no problem severing seatbelts in one smooth motion. Survival…