Rear-Hinged Doors

To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse.Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network:

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

TOPIC: Rear-Hinged Jammed Door Protocols

OBJECTIVE: Develop departmental procedures for forcing open a rear-hinged third or fourth door that is jammed due to collision damage.

TASK: Utilizing equipment available to the department and given an acquired vehicle with a rear-hinged third or fourth door, the rescue team will simulate a jammed door scenario and utilize recommended procedures for forcing the rear door open.

Vehicles equipped with rear-hinged doors are becoming more prevalent on our roads today. At a crash scene, you may encounter a rear-hinged third or fourth door on a passenger automobile or even a pickup truck. These doors have a different operating system for closing and latching compared to a conventional front-hinged door; a difference that influences how a jammed door should be dealt with at an accident scene. Even the rear-opening hinges are different than those found on a front-hinged door.

Recently, McKinney, TX, rescue personnel had the opportunity to train on two 2003 Saturn automobiles, each equipped with a rear-hinged third door on the driver's side. Based on experience gained from these cars and previous work on rear-hinged pickup trucks, the McKinney personnel are now able to present a multi-step rear-hinged door protocol for dealing with these doors if found jammed due to collision damage.

The new procedure involves four basic operational steps beginning with step 1 - opening the front door. Once that is accomplished, the rear-hinged third door can be successfully opened by completing just three additional steps. The process involves two cuts that completely separate the roofline latch from the door itself and one additional prying effort with a power spreader to release the bottom door latch from the rocker channel.

The end result of this McKinney four-step process is that the front door will be opened and widened or removed and the rear-hinged door will now be opened fully. This provides significant room for horizontally extricating any trapped occupants. For additional working room, both doors and the roof can be removed. McKinney rescuers cut the exceptionally large flat steel hinges on the Saturn rear-hinged door with a reciprocating saw.

TASK: Utilizing equipment available to the department and given an acquired vehicle with a rear-hinged third or fourth door, the rescue team will simulate a jammed door scenario and utilize recommended procedures for forcing the rear door open.


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 Firehouse.com "MembersZone" and serves as the Forum Moderator for the extrication section of the Firehouse.com website. Moore can be contacted directly at Rmoore@firehouse.com.

Loading