Extraction Zones

By ADAM MICHAEL WEISS and MICHAEL FORTE

Extraction Zones is a smart device application created by Extraction Zones LLC, which is comprised of Adam Weiss, a Las Vegas firefighter, and Michael Forte, a technology entrepreneur. The application was designed to create a safer and more efficient working environment for extrication professionals while increasing the speed and efficiency of freeing patients from vehicles and delivering them into an environment where they can receive emergency medical care.

The extraction tools used by first responders are extremely powerful and essential to saving the lives of car collision victims. However, as cars become more and more complex, emergency personnel have to exercise even more caution when using these tools. It is critical that they have the most uptodate information on the location of the safe cut zones on each individual car model to protect themselves and the victims from harm. Stateoftheart safety innovations are great for passengers riding in modern vehicles, but these innovations can severely injure or even fatally wound extrication professionals if they fail to understand and respect them. Extrication professionals need a simple and easytouse blueprint that delivers results in an expedited and efficient manner within seconds. The Extraction Zones application uses patentpending technology to provide location information for air bags, seat belt pretensions, electric and propulsion systems, structural reinforcements, and other key components for the most popular standard fuel, hybrid, and electric vehicles in the United States.

It is nearly impossible for most people to comprehend the stress and intensity first responders face at a crash site. The goal was to build an application that required very little thought to navigate, regardless of the users’ adrenaline levels. The app offers a unique user experience that allows the extrication professional to navigate to the vehicle of choice using the fewest possible clicks. When you arrive at the vehicle page, the information is presented in an efficient and effective manner. No superfluous data are displayed, and all critical components are clearly defined.

Photo courtesy of Extraction Zones, LLC.

Extraction Zones uses a colorcoding system that helps you quickly distinguish among the different components even if you have only a few seconds to glance back and forth at the diagram. Some other imperative features include eliminating a startup splash screen; getting you to the information faster; allowing you to select and deselect layers so you can see the critical components you need at any given time; and the ability to zoom in and out quickly. A choice between day and nightvision modes is available; regardless of the lighting conditions, the diagrams are always clear and identifiable. The application also provides notes for each specific vehicle directly from the vehicle manufacturer’s Emergency Response Guide. These notes help inform first responders about specific points of interest that are critical to safety and success. An example of these notes includes the specific steps a vehicle manufacturer recommends to deactivate the supplemental restraint system as well as the highvoltage system within its hybrid vehicle and what types of extinguishment method and agent would be appropriate for a specific vehicle. This is extremely important information because each vehicle manufacturer recommends different procedures for shutting down the highvoltage electrical system and the supplemental restraint system. Taking field user reviews and recommendations very seriously, Extraction Zones LLC is committed to making critical changes and advancements for today’s first responders.

Two things have happened that make this technology absolutely critical. One is the sheer number of different vehicles on the road at any given time. When a first responder arrives on the scene of an accident, he must immediately identify and then search for the vehicle through hundreds of possible makes, models, and years. This application takes a huge database of information, yet you can find the exact car that you are searching for within three clicks. Second, as technology advances, the vehicle safety systems become increasingly complicated. Vehicle manufacturers are creating cars with highstrength steelreinforced sides and extremely dangerous highvoltage cables that run through the entire vehicle. One wrong cut could seriously injure the rescuer and the passenger trapped in the car.

Extraction Zones was released in January 2011 and is already being used by extrication professionals in more than 50 countries on all six inhabitable continents.

ADAM MICHAEL WEISS has been a firefighter/paramedic for the Clark County Fire Department in Las Vegas, Nevada, since 2005. He has an associate degree in fire science from College of the Canyons and a bachelor’s degree in public safety administration from Grand Canyon University.

MICHAEL FORTE is a serial entrepreneur based in Austin, Texas, and is founder and CEO of App Hive LLC. Forte and Weiss are also the founders of Extraction Zones LLC.

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