'Crash Course' Quick Drill Series - Part III

Breaking glass is a routine task accomplished at vehicle rescue incidents with people trapped.Breaking glass is a routine task accomplished at vehicle rescue incidents with people trapped. One 'glass breaking' safety tip that should be brought to the...


Breaking glass is a routine task accomplished at vehicle rescue incidents with people trapped.

Breaking glass is a routine task accomplished at vehicle rescue incidents with people trapped. One 'glass breaking' safety tip that should be brought to the attention of all rescue personnel is the concern about rear struts used to support window glass when open on stationwagon or SUV-type vehicles.

If a rescuer sees a pair of black buttons on the rear window glass itself, that indicates the presence of pressurized hydraulic struts attached directly to the window glass. When the rear tailgate or liftgate window is closed, the two struts are compressed. When the window is opened normally, the struts expand gently and hold the window in the up and open position.

The vehicle rescue safety concern is that rescuers remain clear of the strut 'expansion' area when breaking glass. It's not that the strut will explode or fly about violently. It's just that with the tension released as the glass breaks, the strut will expand outward to its' full length. You don't want to be close enough to be stuck by the strut nor do you want to be snagged by the head of the strut as the glass breaks.

Remain clear of the struts when breaking glass if for nothing more than your own safety. To make the rear of the vehicle safe from these protruding struts once the window is taken out, remove them from the vehicle or relocate them so they point back inside the vehicle.

Crash Course Teaching Point:
Black Buttons on Rear Glass = Pressurized Struts

Be Informed... Be Ready... Beware!