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A gift that comes in handy during auto emergencies

Published November 29, 2012

Everyone keeps trying to tell me it’s Christmas shopping season. Okay, not everyone. Mainly the Muzak selection at Target, but it’s really insistent. What it doesn’t understand, though, is that for me it’s been Christmas shopping season for about 11 months now. That’s because every year, my husband gives me something incredible for Christmas, a gift that somehow combines elements of being rare and precious and being homemade, a gift that perfectly fits the undefinable essence of me and yet also surprises me. And then I give him, like, a book about the Pacific front in World War II. In short, every year my husband wins Christmas.

But not this year. No sir. This year it stops. Because this is the year that I found the Statgear T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool.

I almost don’t even need to describe why it’s so perfect, because it’s all right there in the name. Auto, for one thing – it’s for his car. So that’s a good start right there. It’s a tool, also good. Tactical? Don’t you mean tacticool? And rescue? Triage?! Well, that’s just awesome. “Here, honey, I got this for you, for when you need to rescue people.” Just the statement alone that giving this thing makes – you’re basically saying “my hero.”

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More: The best Christmas gifts for car lovers

But it’s more than a statement. It’s a very real thing with real functions, developed originally for use by paramedics but now being offered to the wider market by a very smart company (one that knows how much those of us who don’t have a job saving lives would like to emulate those who do). In addition to the half-serrated 440cc stainless steel knife blade and the LED flashlight, it’s got a seat belt cutter. Why do you need a seat belt cutter, you ask? Come on! What if your car plunges into the churning torrents of a rushing river – I don’t know how it happened, probably something to do with bad guys – and before it sinks forever under the icy depths, you have to get yourself and your dog (who’s buckled in, of course) out of the car so you can heroically rescue each other? What then? Are you going to tell the dog to undo his own seat belt?

There’s also the possibility of a car accident, I guess, and you might have trouble undoing the seat belts or need to do it faster, so I suppose it would be good for that too.

It’s also got a spring-loaded window puncher, in case you need to get out through the window and can’t get it down. Again sinking in the icy depths comes to mind… as does the admittedly far more likely possibility of an accident that dents the doors so they won’t open. And listen – you can’t break the window with your elbow. That only works in the movies. Believe me, I’ve … just believe me. Learn from my mistakes.

If you don’t already understand that you need one of these, just go watch the product video. It’s a bit chilling, actually, and you have to remind yourself that it’s meant for paramedics when you see them using it to do things like slice straight up the leg of a pair of jeans. Absent the paramedic angle, I might think that was a bit of a creepy way to advertise an auto rescue tool.

I do see one down side to this thing, one possible pitfall. If, every time you get into your car, there’s some small part of you that thinks, “Maybe today will be the day I have the adventure!” – if you secretly, or maybe not-so-secretly, think of yourself as pretty much an undiscovered superhero – if every ride in the car requires the active exertion of willpower to prevent yourself from attempting to execute a 180-degree turn using the handbrake – then I feel this tool could pose some real temptations. I can just see myself jumping out and slicing all the seat belts to ribbons, shouting “Take cover! She’s gonna blow!” before I slow down enough to hear my husband say, “But it’s just a flat tire. Was that really necessary?”

That’s not just me either. The reviews posted on statgear.com are glowing and many of them refer to using the tool just for the pleasure of it. My favorite is this one: “Already put it to the test on a [multi-car crash]. It smashed the window easily and even though I really coulda unbuckled the belt I used this to slice it!” You see? She coulda unbuckled the belt – but why would you, when you could just slice it?

So I won’t be getting this for myself. I am not quite responsible enough to handle it. But what I am going to do with it is: win Christmas. That’s tacticool in its own way.

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