Completing a Three-Door Evolution on an SUV


TOPIC: Completing a Three-door Evolution on an SUV

OBJECTIVE: Given an acquired SUV-style vehicle, the rescue team shall open, move, and/or remove portions of the vehicle's side structure that would typically trap an occupant within the vehicle at a crash scene.

TASK: Without removing the vehicle roof, the rescue team shall utilize department rescue tools and equipment to accomplish a sidewall opening sufficient in size to remove simulated front-, middle-, and rear-seat occupants within the benchmark time of 3:30 minutes or less.

This University of Extrication column describes the process of opening the side structure of a SUV-style vehicle sufficiently enough to free occupants who might be trapped within. This pictorial story will guide the rescuer through the basic steps to be considered when confronted with this type of vehicle rescue challenge in a real-world environment.

Prior to the start of our sequence of tasks, it is assumed that the rescue team at an actual incident would have already conducted a size-up, established command, completed hazard, crowd and traffic control, finished scene and vehicle stabilization, and made initial patient contact. For our training, we will work as if the SUV's roof cannot be removed for some reason. If at a real-world incident with people trapped in the front, middle and especially third-row seats of an SUV, total roof removal would be the preferred task to accomplish initially followed by sidewall removal as needed.

RON MOORE, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a battalion chief and the training officer for the McKinney, TX, Fire Department. He also authors a monthly online article in the "MembersZone" and serves as the Forum Moderator for the extrication section of the website. Moore can be contacted directly at