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  1. #1
    Forum Member BKDRAFT's Avatar
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    Question Deployed airbag: Cut or no cut?

    Seems like I get a lot of mixed opinions on this. The reasoning for cutting is to decrease the chances of a second charge deploying while working inside the vehicle.


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    I'm a little confused by the quesiton. I have never considered cutting the airbag itself, I guess I've never had it get in the way. I don't know how cutting the airbag would prevent a second charge from going off.

    I would however still cut the battery power even though one or more airbags have been deployed.

  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Cut the battery cables and wait for the capacitors to drain down. This usually happens within 30 to 40 seconds, although in some of the older cars, the capacitor can hold the charge for much longer periods.

    Be sure to check the entire interior for evidence of airbags before cutting and strip away the trim to expose the airbag inflation system.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-05-2008 at 01:14 PM.
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    Do not cut the bags. New models can have the ability to discharge more than once and with the bag removed the inflation charge would not be contained and could discharge into a victims face! Go into the extrication forum, there's a lot of good info in there from many well versed rescue instructors.

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    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    I agree, you need to clarify what you want to cut.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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  6. #6
    Forum Member BKDRAFT's Avatar
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    Question

    I guess I was a little vague.

    After deployment of a vehicle airbag do you cut the airbag or leave it alone? I know this will not prevent a second charge from going off. But it will prevent any firefighter in the vehicle from being struck when and if a second charge was activated. The trade off is gases being expelled into the compartment into yours or the patients face.

    The secondary charges can also ignite in about 90 seconds or so just do to the extreme heat from the initial deployment.

    Some capacitors can hold charges up to twenty minutes or so. Cutting the battery and waiting for the capacitors to drain is not practical.

  7. #7
    Forum Member BKDRAFT's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    That did not look like a secondary charge.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Bones, I believe you're right. I believe that was a primary charge out of Youngstown, OH-or somewhere near there. My memory may be off, but I have seen that video in presentations before.
    Last edited by jasper45; 04-25-2008 at 01:27 PM.

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    Again, a great resource to all of us here is just a scroll down in the University of Extrication forum. I think you'll find everything you need and more. Lots of good info from a lot of guys who do a boatload of extrication work and competitions. I believe the latest (been around awhile too) is to stay away from any bag deployed or not. 5-10-20 inch rule.

    http://forums.firehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=271

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    We have been told that if the airbag deploys...then if there is a 2nd deployment of the same bag that it will not inflate the bag. It may only puff it up a little. The sound of the 2nd deployment may get your attention though. I have never seen this but the training info out there appears to support that idea.

  12. #12
    It looks hot in there PureAdrenalin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    That did not look like a secondary charge.
    It was not, it was the initial charge, if I remember correctly the operator of the tool put the spreaders on the airbag control module and crushed it setting off the charge.

    And no, I would not cut the bag. Not necessary. Remove the power, and take all precautions.
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  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    It was in Dayton, Ohio.
    Last edited by Bones42; 04-30-2008 at 08:58 AM.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    DO NOT CUT THE BAG! Unless you like sitting in a courtroom.Airbags,like everything else in a crash,are considered EVIDENCE and if you cut it,you are tampering with the evidence chain.No practical reason to do it anyway. T.C.

  15. #15
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    The secondary charges can also ignite in about 90 seconds or so just do to the extreme heat from the initial deployment.
    Damn you guys are good.

    There is no way we get to any MVA that fast.
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    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    DO NOT CUT THE BAG! Unless you like sitting in a courtroom.Airbags,like everything else in a crash,are considered EVIDENCE and if you cut it,you are tampering with the evidence chain.No practical reason to do it anyway. T.C.
    Sorry, but safety comes first. The entire vehicle could be considered "evidence", yet we cut it up as need be to extricate the victim. At a fire of suspicious origin, everything is considered "evidence", yet we do what we have to in order to extinguish and control the fire. Believe me, if cutting the bag made the operation safer for victim and rescuers, the very last thing I'd be worried about is it being "evidence". I'm not even sure I follow your reasoning on how putting a cut in the bag would substantially alter any evidentiary value the airbag has. Either it deployed upon impact or it didn't, that is easily determined whether you slice the bag or not.

  17. #17
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    DO NOT CUT THE BAG! Unless you like sitting in a courtroom.Airbags,like everything else in a crash,are considered EVIDENCE and if you cut it,you are tampering with the evidence chain.No practical reason to do it anyway. T.C.
    I can not recall how many bags I have cut to get out of the way.....never once made it to a courtroom because of this.
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  18. #18
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Pobably quite true in NYS Vinnie.We can move cars with patients in them legally,can you?I was told at a class with some of your brothers that this was NOT allowed in New York state.6,I'm only passing along a tip.On a personal level,I've never had a deployed airbag prevent me from doing what needed to be done.I HAVE seen bags being cut wind up with the FF who cut the bag winding up in Court.I have to appear there often enough as an "expert"witness to tell you it's not the most profitable part of my day.And it's getting to be a BIG deal up here. Not just airbags,but overhaul of bldgs and other stuff. Things we used to do routinely,you need to think carefully about doing now.If the bags in my way,I usually just stuff it back thru the upper ring.Gets it out of the way and a lot quicker than cutting.If you REALLy want to cut it,go for it.I'm not going to. T.C.

  19. #19
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    DO NOT CUT THE BAG! Unless you like sitting in a courtroom.Airbags,like everything else in a crash,are considered EVIDENCE and if you cut it,you are tampering with the evidence chain.No practical reason to do it anyway. T.C.
    I agree that you should never cut the bag.

    As far as "tampering with evidence"? Seems like a stretch.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 05-05-2008 at 03:10 PM.
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  20. #20
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    We can move cars with patients in them legally,can you?



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