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    Default B-pillar removal

    All,
    Need some insight on removing the bottom of the pillar during a "B-pillar blowout". Are there techniques for cutting the pillar from the outside?

    When I've done it in the past I've removed or hinged the rear door after cutting its pin and then attacked the bottom of the pillar from the inside. For this scenario I challenged the guys to try to attack it from the outside. Simulating a T-bone where the front and rear doors cannot be separated from the pillar.

    We had a bugger of a time trying to get access this way and I wanted to see if others had any ideas. We basically had to peel enough of the front/rear doors away to expose enough of the B-pillar to get at it with the O-cutters and Sawsall. In retrospect I think making a horizontal cut using the K-12 may have worked better/faster.

    Any thoughts?
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    Sawzall. K12 throws a heck of a lot of sparks for an extrication situation, and should probably be last resort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by footrat View Post
    Sawzall. K12 throws a heck of a lot of sparks for an extrication situation, and should probably be last resort.
    True, though a sawzall requires that you have access to the entire depth (for lack of a better word) of the pillar. Can you do a plunge cut with a sawzall into the door panel and through the B-pillar?
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    True, though a sawzall requires that you have access to the entire depth (for lack of a better word) of the pillar. Can you do a plunge cut with a sawzall into the door panel and through the B-pillar?
    No. Any cuts made with a sawzall cuts need to be started from an edge and blade has to extend all the way through whatever is being cut.

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    If you create access by displacing enough of the door you can use the spreaders to pinch the bottom of the B-post and squeeze it down to a size that fits in your cutters straight on. -Of course this method is using actual spreaders and cutters, not a combination tool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    If you create access by displacing enough of the door you can use the spreaders to pinch the bottom of the B-post and squeeze it down to a size that fits in your cutters straight on. -Of course this method is using actual spreaders and cutters, not a combination tool.
    That's true.. It was displacing enough of the two doors to get a good purchase point on the B-pillar that took far longer then I wanted it to. It's quite a tight fit and a lot of metal to displace in that general area.
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    I recently taught this technique to our FD and how I taught it was to just give a relief cut on the bottom of the B Post. We found that it helps control the door.

    Check out Holmatro's website and click on "Training Videos" you'll see how we do it.
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    If I'm going to take a door I take the whole side usually. My tactic of choice is the rip and blitz (sidewall removal) with two trained guys, you can remove the entire side in about 60 seconds.

    Just my .02 cents
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    Two words: air chisel.
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    Let me prefass this with "yes I know how to do a dash LIFT" - sometimes you still have to use your rams. Ok -the rippenblitz / 5 door is great - excemt if you need to ram the dash. Cutting the B collumn off can create a lot more work if you need to use your ram.
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    Let me prefass this with "yes I know how to do a dash LIFT" - sometimes you still have to use your rams. Ok -the rippenblitz / 5 door is great - excemt if you need to ram the dash. Cutting the B collumn off can create a lot more work if you need to use your ram.
    At least here, we have a few ways around not having a b post. If it is absolutely imperative that we use rams (haven't really found that scenario yet) we can pinch the rocker panel and throw the rams off the spreaders or pinch the support onto the rocker panel and push off that. If we do use rams, we usually end up using the spreaders to hold our progress anyways when it comes time to move the patient out, so going straight for the spreaders has pretty much become our go to tactic. Not saying that knowing how to roll the dash is all that bad of an idea either though!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Two words: air chisel.
    Tru dat.. though my concern would be the depth required. The air chisel would be great for getting past the sheet metal on the doors and exposing enough of the door/pillar structure to get the cutters in there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Tru dat.. though my concern would be the depth required. The air chisel would be great for getting past the sheet metal on the doors and exposing enough of the door/pillar structure to get the cutters in there.
    That, or make a PP for the Sawzall. When working from the inside though, the chisel makes quick work of the B post. In the few times I have done it it makes the side blowout a heck of a lot faster. Pop rear door, cut B post high and low, side swings out on the A post hinges. Not always going to work but it's nice when it does.
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    Backstep - "at least here" also we have ways around it. My point was - their WILL be times we you cant easily do a dash lift. Just remember "blitzing" the door will create additional time if you have to use the ram/s. Why create a problem if a single door removal will get the job done?
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Backstep - "at least here" also we have ways around it. My point was - their WILL be times we you cant easily do a dash lift. Just remember "blitzing" the door will create additional time if you have to use the ram/s. Why create a problem if a single door removal will get the job done?
    Valid point. However, how many times have you done a single door removal and then wished you didn't have the B pillar there in your way during patient removal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Valid point. However, how many times have you done a single door removal and then wished you didn't have the B pillar there in your way during patient removal?
    That's generally what I was trying to say

    Backstep - "at least here" also we have ways around it. My point was - their WILL be times we you cant easily do a dash lift. Just remember "blitzing" the door will create additional time if you have to use the ram/s. Why create a problem if a single door removal will get the job done?
    I definitely see what you are saying don't get me wrong. Maybe, I didn't start the post the best way. But my personal opinion is that with a well trained and aggressive group of guy on the squad, it shouldn't be much of a difference in time. While someone is cutting the hinges on the front door to take the side off. Another guy can be pinching the rocker panel and drop the ram in there. As soon as the cutters are freed up, or if both sets of cutters are out and operating, then we just make our relief cut and go to work.

    And as GTrider said, we have taken plenty of doors and wished that we would have taken the pillar also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    That, or make a PP for the Sawzall. When working from the inside though, the chisel makes quick work of the B post. In the few times I have done it it makes the side blowout a heck of a lot faster. Pop rear door, cut B post high and low, side swings out on the A post hinges. Not always going to work but it's nice when it does.
    Yup. When you're able to access the B-pillar from the inside/rear then doing a full side removal is pretty straight forward and under normal conditions takes about the same time as removing the two doors independently.

    The scenario is much harder when the front and rear doors cannot be moved at the pillar. Displacing enough of the door material head-on to allow the cutters access to the entire pillar took far more time then I expected.

    To me it seems that making a horizontal cut with a K12 slightly above and parallel to the rocker panels would seem to be the quickest.. but I agree sparks could be a concern.
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    My thought is why not make a relief cut on the B-pillar and then spread/tear it with the spreaders? I know we have the same problem getting the cutters around the b-pillar to make one continuous cut so we make a quick pie cut or two parallel cuts and finish it of by spreading the cut to tear the b-pillar the rest of the way through. Cover the sharps with some spare LDH and keep going.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewiston2FF View Post
    My thought is why not make a relief cut on the B-pillar and then spread/tear it with the spreaders?
    That's the standard approach when you have access to the pillar itself, once the door has been displaced enough to get access with the tools. Pop the Nader and move the door out of the way on its hinges to expose the back of the pillar then cut/spread/tear to remove the pillar. This picture shows a typical attack once access to the pillar from the rear is achieved:


    The scenario in my head is when the rear door hinges are out of play. The crew needs to find an alternative way to expose enough of the pillar to access with the tools.

    In other words.. looking at this picture:

    If the rear door cannot be rotated out of the way on its hinges to access the pillar, how would you attack it directly from the side?

    I apologize if I'm not explaining this right, or over complicating it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    That's the standard approach when you have access to the pillar itself, once the door has been displaced enough to get access with the tools. Pop the Nader and move the door out of the way on its hinges to expose the back of the pillar then cut/spread/tear to remove the pillar. This picture shows a typical attack once access to the pillar from the rear is achieved:


    The scenario in my head is when the rear door hinges are out of play. The crew needs to find an alternative way to expose enough of the pillar to access with the tools.

    In other words.. looking at this picture:

    If the rear door cannot be rotated out of the way on its hinges to access the pillar, how would you attack it directly from the side?

    I apologize if I'm not explaining this right, or over complicating it.
    I think I see what you're saying now. What about trying from the top down. Cut the b post at the roof line, pop the nader pin at the rear door, take the hinges from the front door, spread it all down and cut.


    Or if there isn't room for that, start at the front, take the front door hinges, take the nader pin and youre at the b-pillar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by backsteprescue123 View Post
    I think I see what you're saying now. What about trying from the top down. Cut the b post at the roof line, pop the nader pin at the rear door, take the hinges from the front door, spread it all down and cut.
    That's a good thought. The problem I see with that is that you're spreading between the top of the pillar and the roof. The roof is definitely the weaker of the two. Unless it's a ride-under scenario I'd be worried this would displace the roof rather than the pillar.

    Quote Originally Posted by backsteprescue123 View Post
    Or if there isn't room for that, start at the front, take the front door hinges, take the nader pin and youre at the b-pillar.
    Yup. That would be my second choice if access from the rear door was impossible. For sake of dicussion what if the front door nader was just as inaccessible as the rear door hinges?
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    Something we have done in the past was to spread the front door at the hinges pop the back door at the nader pin then cut the b pillar high. spread with the spreaders until you run out of spreaders then switch to the ram to complete what we called the "sidewall lay down". I would think though that if you are having that much trouble with the rear door the front door and purchase points might be an issue all the way down that side. Perhaps try a verticle spread on the rear door to open up the c-pillar and pop the rear door that way then use your spreaders to open the door to complete your side panel removal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewiston2FF View Post
    Something we have done in the past was to spread the front door at the hinges pop the back door at the nader pin then cut the b pillar high. spread with the spreaders until you run out of spreaders then switch to the ram to complete what we called the "sidewall lay down".

    I can picture that, but doesn't the roof deform before the pillar?
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    Ram from center hump in car and/or from driver/passenger seat.

    Remove the roof and remove the people vertically.
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    Agreed GT - there are times we should have removed the B collumn - my point was, go ahead and make sure that cutting the B post might not create some problems that have to be dealt with. We do the rippenblitz quite a bit, this one time we had problems accessing in front of the front door. (two cars pointing the same way, in a vee ,). our best option was to ram the dash on the drivers side, but we had "blitzed both doors. We clamped the spreaders on a 2x4 (also cribbed up the rocker panel/floor and got the job done. I just feel we should have left the B in place and rammed the dash first.
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