SUBJECT: Advanced Steel TOPIC: Extrication Challenges of Advanced Steel in Vehicles — Part 6 OBJECTIVE: The vehicle rescue instructor/trainer will conduct effective training that simulates the presence of Advanced Steel in an older, acquired vehicle. TASK...
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Assignment 1 — Driver's Side: Spreading B-Pillar to B-Pillar
Begin on the driver's side and assign a team to slightly widen the B-pillars as if one had been crushed inward due to a severe side impact. This crew must spread with a tool such as a power ram from B-pillar to B-pillar to simulate moving a crash-damaged pillar off of a driver trapped inside. It is not an easy task because the seatbacks will obstruct this spreading effort and many teams have power rams but they may not extend far enough to reach from one B-pillar to the other. Monitor roof movement as it may begin to lower into the vehicle as the B-pillars move outward.
Assignment 2 — Passenger's Side: Spreading Center Tunnel To B-Pillar
The second crew must also move a B-pillar away from the interior of the vehicle as if it had been pushed inward during a side impact. This crew, however, can only work their pushing or spreading tool on their half of the vehicle; from the floorboard center tunnel area to the passenger's side B-pillar. Again, push just enough to show that it can be accomplished in a real-world situation.
Assignment 3 — Passenger's Side: Lifting B-Pillar Up
For this third training assignment, efforts to cut through the pillar near the rocker channel are successful because there is no advanced steel in this lower area of the simulation vehicle. One popular Chrysler vehicle structural design has mild steel at the bottom of the B-pillar, spot welded to the main portion of the pillar. Once the B-pillar is cut through at the bottom, have the crew lift it up and away from the simulated trapped patient. The patient doesn't care if you lay the B-pillar down or lift the B-pillar up; they just want out. Leave it attached at the roofline for now.
Assignment 4 — Passenger's Side: Pie Cut
The fourth "work-around" assignment simulates that only the B-pillar contains advanced steel and not the roof rail. This design is used in late-model vehicles from Toyota Motors. For this task, the assigned team disregards the fact that the roof rail has been painted. The simulation is that it is possible to cut the roof rail on both sides of the top of the pillar in a "pie cut" fashion. Once the cuts are completed, the crew must lay the pillar down. (Note: At this training session, this effort removes the B-pillar from the car because it has already been cut off at the bottom by a previous crew.)
Assignment 5 — Driver's Side: Ram the Roof Off
When a rescue team cannot cut through a B-pillar or roof rail that contains advanced steel, a good "work-around" technique can be to ram the roof off the top of the B-pillar. Even though advanced steel may be present, a powerful ram may be able to push the roof rail up until it begins to tear free at the spot welds.
The assigned team must place additional cribbing beneath the rocker to support the force of the ram. After an initial push on one side of the B-pillar, a second push on the opposite side may be enough to completely tear the B-pillar away from the roof rail in a real-world situation. Once separated from the roof, the crew must practice bending the pillar down without making any additional cuts. It simulates not being able to cut the bottom of the pillar in a real-world scenario.
Assignment 6 — Driver's Side: Total Sunroof
On the driver's side of the painted vehicle, the assigned team encounters a vehicle with the A- and C-pillars containing advanced steel. The team must cut the roof panel from the front windshield header all the way back to the rear window following a line along the inside of the edge of the roofline. The tool of choice is a reciprocating saw.
After the full-length cut on one side, relief cuts can be made at the front and rear on the "hinge" side of the roof. The entire roof panel can then be lifted up and away from the simulated trapped patient below. Once the "total sunroof" evolution is completed at a real-world incident, the crew could push the sides of the vehicle away now that the roof has essentially been disconnected from the side structure of the vehicle.