Austere Medicine: RICO RS-6 Aspirator

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Anyone looking for an aspirator that will function in austere conditions may find the Rico RS-6 will work for them.  I’ve used these before for military and civilian applications and have never had problems.  What I like most about this suction unit is how it is made to be portable or stationary and can be powered by engine, electric or hand.  It doesn’t get much better when looking for something for austere conditions in my mind.  This one was an eBay item that I was lucky enough to get for $43.00.  A really great price.

Although it is portable it is not ideal to be hauling around by hand and would be better suited for mounted applications that required the occasional use away from your transportation/station whatever/wherever it may be.  The way I have this unit set up is a connection in my POV since it’s the designated medical/emergency response vehicle for our homestead.

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The other way this set up works good for us is a backup in an aid-station or in camp to the electric/battery operated aspirator that usually uses disposable collection basins.  Or this could be connected as the collection basin for the electric portable aspirator in place of the disposable ones.  Although I would not want to use this without the disposable liners it can be and is designed to if necessary.  The other surprising item that works well with a little modification to power the Rico RS-6 is the little FoodSaver handheld like the one below.  It works so well that it is part of our emergency aspirator kit.  I’ll have a video/blog on that as soon as I put the footage together.

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Here is a video that’s just under ten minutes that shows all the items that originally came with the Rico RS-6.  I’ve cut most of the ramble out to save you some time.   Another item of interest for those who may need the information is the scanned PDF of combined printed material that was with the original packaging.  That link is just above the video. -13

OPERATORS MANUAL RICO MODELS RS-4 RS-6 RS-5X

Vacuum Sealer Project: Another easy-open packaging video!

Another video about how to make your vacuum sealer packaging easier to open with a pattern notcher.

This goofy video was totally inspired by the Jingle track playing with the video.  When I was making a longer version of a video with the same topic I was searching through iMovie’s sound library for a little intro sound.  As I was listening to the tune this video idea popped into my head.  I thought it would be cool to try to communicate similar information in the 36 seconds it takes the tune to play without a voice speaking over the track.

I went back to my improvised shop set up in the living room and recorded this in about 15 minutes and spent about an hour editing.  It’s kind of silly and dumb and totally low-budget but I actually like it and it was fun from beginning to end to make.  Have fun hope you enjoy it. -13

 

Vacuum Sealer Project: How to make your packaging easy to open

Several years ago I packaged an emergency kit in vacuum sealer packaging.  Tested it, and was completely shocked to discover how tough the packaging is and how difficult it can be to open without using some other instrument or object.  Attempting to open one of them by hand-only proved impossible to do without assistance.  It also made me realize how important and useful the tear-notch on freeze dried meals made for backpacking could be.

An individual, with an injured hand and/or dentures/front dental work would be at risk for not being able to open the package without assistance from an object or the tear-notch.  With a tear-notch it may be possible place part of the package underfoot and tear with the uninjured hand.  I know this for sure, I cannot do it without the tear-notch.

The first experiments with nothing more than a simple straight cut with the scissors worked fairly well.  I noticed though when I decided to cut a “V” shape into the margin on the packaging that it was easier to open and the tear didn’t seen to veer off like the single cut did.  Sometimes when I was testing the single cut way the tear would not always follow into and open the package, it would follow the margin and made it just as difficult to open.

I like the V cut over the single cut because it is more visible and easier to use.  There are a few things I don’t like about the V cut.  First it takes two cuts to make, that is a lot of cutting when making multiple packages and more than one tear-notch for each package.  The cut must be more accurate to ensure that the two cuts meet at the V point, if they don’t it may create another more difficult package to open.  It works great but it’s much more time consuming and requires a certain degree of accuracy unlike the single cut.

Not happy with either of those things I searched for another more efficient way to make those notches.  I was trying to think of what to search for online when I remembered something I had seen in a sewing supply catalog I had but couldn’t remember what it was.  Lucky me I had kept the catalog and found it.  The item is a pattern notcher.

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A, Style-45N, 1/16″ x 1/4″ Pattern Notcher. Turns out it works perfectly for this purpose.  It cuts the perfect notch for getting the package open plus all one needs to do is put the margin edge of the packaging into the notcher until it stops then close the notcher with your hand and done!  Wow what a really fantastic solution!  I can quickly and accurately place the notch and make the cut in seconds then move onto the next pressing homesteading project.

I made a short video about my experience and demonstrate the way that “Works for me”.  Hope you find this information useful. -13