Question: I figured that I would pose this question to the proper people, the people who designed and manufactured the rescue 42 system. Is this a proper use for your system? I suspect not, but I want to hear it from the professionals before I set someone straight. Thank you very much.
Fire Lieutenant, Station 822
Prince George’s County Fire/EMS, Maryland
Answer: (by Tim O’Connell, president of Rescue 42): Rescue 42 struts are designed to handle light structural rescue. In fact the heads of the struts are designed to do exactly what your struts are doing by supporting the edges of a 2X6,8, 10, etc. The two small notches are for driving nails to prevent the head from sliding if the load shifts (we live in earthquake country).
The height of the struts in the picture appears to be 5′, and the struts are double pinned which gives each strut a maximum working load of 11,000 lbs (with a 2:1 safety factor on top of that). This provides a safe load capacity of 22,000 lbs between the two struts which I believe is much more that what is needed in this application. Looking at the size of the joists, I assume that this is a multi-story building. It is hard to see what load bearing structures (besides the brick) were knocked out (if any). The head of the bed is against a load bearing wall.
In my opinion, putting in a couple of struts was the appropriate action. My guess is that if these were 4X4’s, everyone would be happy. In fact these two struts are stronger that wood 4X4’s would be, with no chance that there is a knot or crack hiding in the wood. So this looks OK to me. I have included a photo of another department (right) who found themselves in a similar situation.
What IS incorrect in this picture is that the crew used yellow composite pins to double pin the base. The second pin in the bases needs to be another steel base plate pin which is long enough to reach completely across the steel “ears” on the base plate.