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Cutdown Tools Used with Suicide Attempts

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Connie Hoppe Posted: Tue, Aug 1 2006 1:30 PM

At Montana State Prison, the Labor-Management Committee would like to know what type of cut-down tool other correctional facilities are using when they need to cut down a hanging inmate.  Is it a scissor type or knife-blade type?  How effective is it?

Also, are custody staff members required to wear them on their belt? If so, how are they attached?  If not, where are they kept?

Thank you for any input you could provide.

 

Connie G.

 

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djpahcoll replied on Wed, Aug 2 2006 10:59 AM
We use EMT blunt tip shears. They are located in control rooms and other secure work spaces throughout our jail. We have them as part of an emergency response kit that includes the shears, CPR mask, extra gloves, etc. They re inventoried twice each shift . . . once at the beginning and once at the end. Hope this information is helpful.
Dave Pacholl
Captain
Anoka County Jail
325 East Jackson Street
Anoka, MN 55303
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At ISP we use the knife type cut-down tool from Galls.  Works well, as we have unfortunately had to prove.  Line staff does not wear the tool.  Certain LT's are required to wear them, and they are placed in all of our locked units and in other areas around the institution.  Our tool comes with a pouch that fits onto your belt.  It just slides on like a glove pouch or cuff pouch would.
Chris Jones
Correctional Officer/STG Intelligence Officer
Iowa State Penitentiary
replied on Thu, Aug 3 2006 10:05 AM
I'm aware of jails that are using a device called the Rescue Tool.  It has a curved blade made for the purpose of a "cut down" in a suicide attempt.  It's available from Bob Barker www.bobbarker.com.  Other facilities are using  the Seat Belt Cutter. It's available from HWC Police Equipment www.hwcny.com. Another agency uses a Rescue Knife from Camillus Cutlery www.camillusknives.com
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Thank you.  This is exactly the information we are looking for.  Thank you.

 

Connie

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Thank you for the information.  We can take a look at these cutdown tools.  I think we may have seen something like the seatbelt cutter.  We are wondering what institutions are using that will cut through thick sheet material that has been made into a thick rope. Thank you for the leads.

 

Connie

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This is what we use, we keep it locked in a metal box in segregation where we have single man cells. We also have one in central control.

Capt. Don Larimore
Disciplinary Hearing Office
John R. Lindsey State Jail
Jacksboro, TX. 76458
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Thank you for the reply and the picture.  That is very helpful.

 

Connie

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Hello Connie G.

We are a direct supervison style jail with a population of 1200 inmates.  We have an officer in each Pod with 60 to 90 inmates.  We use a blunt-nosed EMS type of scissor with a red handle as the cut-down tool.  The scissor is stored at each officer's work station inside the First Aid Kit.  Staff do not wear the scissors on their belts.  The items at the officers station are inventoried each shift.  Staff are instructed not to use the red-handled scissor for any other use but as a cut-down tool.  Scissors used for cutting paper or plastic will dull quickly and not be effective in cutting cloth.  We have found the tool to be effective in quickly removing sheets.

 

Marvin Reynolds
Major
Riverside Regional Jail
1000 River Road
P.O. Box 1041
Hopewell, VA 23860
(804) 524-2674
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mkuehl replied on Sun, Aug 13 2006 3:22 PM

Connie;

 At our juvenile facility our main tool is a 911 scissors.  They are very effective when the material you are trying to cut is kept taught.  We also have two different types of 911 knifes that we use for back. These are not as effective as the scissors.

We do not require staff to carry the tools on them.  The scissors are kept in a small pack along with gloves and a rescue mask that is kept in the officers office.  We have a small facility so the bab is always within at least 50 feet of a staff member.

Matthew L. Kuehl
La Crosse County Juvenile Facility Supervisor
Training Officer
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Major Reynolds:

Thank you for your reply to my question. We will discuss this information at our August labor-management meeting, and it will be very helpful.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

 

Connie G. 

 

 

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MKuel,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.  It will help us at Montana State Prison figure out how to manage our cutdown tools.

Thank you.

 

Connie

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fab replied on Fri, Aug 18 2006 6:14 AM
We use a folding seat belt cutter.  The blade is shaped in a J style, with the cutting blade on the inside of the J end.  The blade is not straight.  We do not carry this tool on our belts, but keep then in a cut down box.  We have then throughout the facility.  the box lock is keyed to a master key.
William Fabijancic, Jr.
Lansing Police Department-Detention Section
Lead Detention Officer
Detention Training Coordinator

Work: 517-483-4090
Mobile: 517-881-8172
Fax: 517-377-0027
Email: wfabijancic@ci.lansing.mi.us
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Thank you for your reply.  It will be useful to us.

 

Connie Girard

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In North Carolina, we use a seat belt cutting tool from Galls.  It is kept in the control booth of the unit, and is easily passed to a floor officer if needed.  Thankfully, we have not had a need for it, so far.
Chris Cooper
Correctional Officer
North Carolina Department of Corrections
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Brad replied on Thu, Aug 31 2006 7:20 AM

Just out of curiosity, how do you plan to maintain control of the tool in the event you encounter an inmate who may want to gain control of it himself?  Where I see this may be an issue would be when you encounter an inmate whom is not yet dead, but intent upon hurting you and /  or himself during the rescue attempt.

 Thanks,

Brad

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Thank you for your reply to my question. The feedback I've gotten has been very helpful to our administrative staff in reviewing our management of cutdown tools. I am sorry it took me a while to get back to you.

 

Connie

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Brad,

Thank you for your response.  I will forward it to our security manager for his review.

Thank you.

 

Connie G. 

 

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Diane replied on Tue, Mar 20 2007 12:54 PM

We use the ADDIS Wonder Knife.  It is designed for fish and deer and we bought it from Galls.

One is kept in each housing area in the first aid kits which also contains other emergency items such as the CPR mask and PPE equipment.

Diane Purks, R.N., C.J.M., C.C.H.P.

Peumansend Creek Regional Jail

Bowling Green, Virginia

 

 

 

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At our facility we purchased "seat belt cutters" used by patrol officers.  Our officers do not carry them we secure them either in the officer's desk or  officer's restroom. 
Kenneth Massey
Undersheriff Of Corrections
Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Lawrence, Kansas 66046
785-830-1002
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