The jump cushion is used as a jump rescue device by the fire brigade for rescuing people from burning buildings or for securing people at risk of falling. The frequently used terms "jump rescuer", "jump cushion" and "jump cushion" after the type designation are colloquial, the term used in the DIN standard is "jump cushion". The most common form in Germany is the "jump pad 16", suitable for jumping heights of up to 16 m.
"Jump pads 16" ("SP 16", according to DIN 14151-1: 2004-08 and DIN 14151-3: 2002-04) are mainly used by public fire brigades in Germany. These jump cushions allow jumping heights of up to 16 m, which roughly corresponds to the fourth to fifth floors of a residential building. When inflated, the SP 16 is 3.50 m long and wide and around 1.70 m high. It weighs approx. 55 kg ready for use. The required installation area is around 3.80 × 3.80 m.
Depending on the manufacturer, the sizes "SP 23", "SP 25", "SP 40" and "SP 60" are also available. However, these safety cushions are less used by public fire services and are therefore not (yet) dealt with in this article.
The jumping cushion consists of an inflatable tube structure with special tarpaulins, which is made ready for use within around 90 seconds with the help of a compressed air bottle . All that is needed is to open the cover and then the compressed air cylinder. The jumping cushion unrolls automatically and stands up. The hose structure filled with compressed air forms a square, air-filled frame at the top and bottom, which is connected in the corners by vertical hose columns. The jumping cushion is completely surrounded by special tarpaulins, which on the one hand catch the jumping person and on the other hand prevent the air in the cavity of the jumping cushion from escaping too quickly. A compressed air cylinder is connected to the lower frame and the frame is filled with an overpressure of 0.3–0.45 bar, causing the structure to stand upright. When the jumping cushion is erected, the interior is filled with ambient air, which slowly escapes through openings on the sides of a defined size and number upon impact. In this way, the body's kinetic energy from falling is converted into frictional losses in the outflowing air. After the jump, the jumping cushion is ready for use again after ten seconds without the intervention of the emergency services. Compressed air does not have to be refilled. The jump frequency only depends on how quickly the jumped in can be removed from the device.
The jumping cushion can be operated by two people; In comparison, when using a jumping sheet, sixteen fire brigade members are required as a holding team when using a jumping sheet with support , which is why jumping sheets in particular are rarely used today.
Use of the jumping pad
Jump cushions, like all jump rescue devices, are used when, for example, the use of a turntable ladder is not possible (e.g. backyard, no access possible) and other escape routes are not available. In the event of an emergency (person is about to jump, person at risk of falling), the jumping cushion is completely set up outside of the possible impact area of the person at risk and only moved into position when it is ready for use. This prevents the person to be rescued from jumping too early. After the jump cushion has been put into position, the emergency services must maintain a sufficient safety distance from the rescue device because there is a risk that the person to be rescued will miss the cushion or bounce off, which in turn represents a considerable safety risk for the emergency services.
The test periods and the life cycle of a safety cushion are firmly prescribed by DIN 14151. In addition to an annual test, there are special main safety tests, which are due in the 5th, 8th and 13th year of use. These tests can be carried out by trained personnel from the fire service, trading partners or manufacturers. In the tenth year there is a general safety test, which may only be carried out by the manufacturer. The lifespan of the safety cushion is limited to 15 years for reasons of product safety and liability.
Compressed air cylinders without an anti-flow device in the valve
Breathing apparatus and diving equipment, including compressed air cylinders, are increasingly being built for an operating pressure of 300 instead of the previous 200 bar. If a cylinder valve breaks or if a valve is opened by hand or in some other way without a connected fitting, air flows out at a high flow rate and speed, which creates both a jet that is dangerous for injuries and a large recoil that can greatly accelerate an unsecured cylinder. An optional built-up in the cylinder side of the valve Abströmsicherung (EFV excess flow valve) limits the maximum flow through a durchflussgetriggerte throttle . If a jumping cushion is to be inflated quickly, a particularly high flow rate is desirable. A valve with outflow protection increases the assembly time of a jumping cushion significantly. In order to be able to recognize that a valve is secured in this way, at least one valve manufacturer offers gray and for Switzerland blue handwheels to mark such valves. Valve handwheels for breathing apparatus are usually made of black rubber on the outside.
Exercises and demonstrations
Jumps for demonstration and exercise purposes with test persons are expressly prohibited due to the high risk of accidents in accordance with DIN 14151. Only suitable falling objects (sandbags, dummies), which must not exceed a mass of 50 kg, and which may be dropped onto the cushion from a maximum height of twelve meters, may be used for exercise.
Country-specific differences in application
In Germany, the loading of jump rescuers is mandatory.
In contrast, in other countries such as B. England or USA no jump pads are used. Reasons against the use of jumping pads are z. B. from product liability of the manufacturer (USA) or historically grown alternatives to safety cushions, such as prescribed escape routes in buildings over 18 meters (UK).
- Lothar Schott, Manfred Ritter: Fire Brigade Basic Course FwDV 2 . 20th edition. Wenzel-Verlag, Marburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-88293-220-1 .
- Inadmissibly long set-up times for spring cushions when using an outflow protection in the breathing air cylinder, Baden-Württemberg State Fire Brigade School, accessed November 6, 2016.