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TOPIC: YES Essentials Seat Upholstery Labeling System
OBJECTIVE: Given a front-occupant vehicle seat of a 2007 model year or newer Chrysler vehicle, the rescuer shall become familiar with the shirt tag-type labeling system used to identify the presence of YES Essentials stain-resistant fabric material.
TASK: The rescue team shall inspect a 2007 model year or newer Chrysler vehicle and shall correctly identify whether undeployed seat-mounted airbags are present within the seat or not, and if the seat is or is not equipped with YES Essentials stain-resistant upholstery.
Through many University of Extrication columns written on the subject, responders have become familiar with the various styles of airbag IDs used by vehicle manufacturers to identify the presence of airbags. These airbag IDs range from plastic buttons on roof pillars to SRS lettering stamped into horn buttons or dashboards, to decals or stickers applied to interior trim pieces. Over the past few years, rescuers have also learned that seat-mounted airbag units are always in the outboard edges of the upright portion of the seatback itself although the seat's airbag ID can be found just about anywhere. A recent innovation from the Chrysler Group adds a bit of a challenge to our airbag size-up, particularly when it comes to determining if the crash-damaged vehicle does or does not have undeployed seat-mounted airbags. A selection of 2007 and newer Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles may come equipped with an innovative seat fabric material known as YES Essentials. This normal-looking fabric is actually specially engineered product of Milliken & Co., headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. Milliken & Co. is such a large textile manufacturer that they provide more than 50 percent of the seating upholstery fabric for vehicles made in North America.
YES Essentials seat fabric is designed to repel stains and odors.
Now, what does the YES Essentials fabric have to do with airbags? Well, the answer and the challenge for rescuers is in the similarity between the shirt tag-type label used to promote the new stain-resistant fabric and the popular shirt tag-type airbag ID commonly found on airbag-equipped seats. The two appear very similar, yet are very different in their message.
As a rescuer makes patient contact and takes a quick glance along the outboard edge of the front seat, a cloth tag may be seen sticking out from a seam of the seat upholstery. If you just look quickly, you may be tricked into thinking that it is an airbag ID and that you have an undeployed airbag in the seat. The fact might be, however, that there is no seat airbag; the seat is simply covered with the stain-resistant YES Essentials fabric.
So, if a seat can have special fabric and a seat can have air airbag installed within it, what happens when both occur on the same seat; YES Essentials fabric covers an airbag-equipped seat? You guessed it. The rescuer is confronted with a seat with two shirt tag labels; one for the fabric and the other for the airbag.
TASK: The rescue team shall inspect a 2007 model year or newer Chrysler vehicle and shall correctly identify whether undeployed seat-mounted airbags are present within the seat or not and if the seat is or is not equipped with YES Essentials stain-resistant upholstery.
RON MOORE, a FirehouseÂ® 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.