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Roof removal can be initiated once the vehicle is stable and the load is off the roof. Removal can be accomplished with the same tools and using the same techniques as when the vehicle is upright with only a few changes. The biggest difference with this task compared to a conventional roof removal task is that the crews are removing the roof while the vehicle is upside-down.
When working on a roof-resting vehicle, it may be better to make two cuts instead of one in the pillar, allowing a chunk of it to be removed. In addition, attack the rear-roof pillars first and work forward. Typically, rear pillars are fatter and thicker, and take more effort to cut through. You want the vehicle to be the most stable; with the other pillars intact, stability is the greatest.
Another slight change in the roof-removal task involves figuring out which way the roof will be slid out from underneath the vehicle once all pillars are cut. The roof pillars on the side of the vehicle that must pass under the car should be cut off at the roof line. Being short, they will pass underneath the vehicle without snagging on the seatbacks or the simulated patient.
The roof pillars on the other side of the vehicle can be cut at the door sill/dashboard level. This leaves the most working room as the roof is pulled away from the vehicle.
Total roof removal of a vehicle in this position may never be something you do at an incident. Ironically, some teams have done this at real-world rescues with great success. The point of this evolution is that as a training assignment, any team that can cut the roof off of a roof-resting vehicle has demonstrated competency in vehicle stabilization, excellent teamwork, good command and control, as well as the ability to accomplish total roof removal under unusual circumstances. Rescue personnel are confronted with a situation that they have never run into before. They must use their experience and training to solve a rather unique problem. This is what real rescue is all about!
Task: Totally remove the roof of a vehicle while the vehicle is resting on its roof on a level surface.
Ron Moore will present “University of Extrication: Hybrid Vehicles Update 2005” at Firehouse Expo 2005, July 26-31 in Baltimore.
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.