A reply from Ron Moore, Moderator, University of Extrication Message Forum

Chris Parker, a firefighter with Engine 8, City of New Haven(CT) FD noted that in the presence of side impact airbags, I recommended door removal by attacking the hinge side of the door if possible, to avoid
activation of the side impact crash sensors.

The problem that Chris is concerned about is forcing a jammed rear door on the new Volvo S80. As he describes it, there is a crash sensor on both sides of this door; the B-pillar has one and so does the C-pillar. So what can be done to avoid these sensors?

If you look closely at the color photos that accompany the January 1999 University of Extrication article, you'll see that the B-pillar sensor is away from the rear door hinges. It is on the front or forward side
of the B-pillar near the front door Nader latch. Also the C-pillar crash sensor is at seat cushion level. This is well below the rear door Nader latch.

Knowing this about the '99 Volvo S80, I'd recommend gently attacking the rear door at the hinges to expose both top and bottom hinge assemblies. Cutting with a hydraulic power cutter or other powerful cutting tool
would open the rear door at the hinges. I fell this can be done without damaging or crushing the B-pillar crash sensor.

If we can't get to the rear door hinges and you have to force the rear door at the latch, try the vertical crush technique to expose the Nader pin. Then when you do any spreading at the Nader pin, stay above the
door's center line, above the seat cushion level. This should allow the pin to be forced without any crushing contact on the C-pillar sensor.

I still think we can get these jammed doors open without deploying airbags or damaging the crash sensors. Remember, this is all presented with the understanding that the first-due engine company was able to take away the electrical power. Also see the message posting in the firehouse.com U/E Message Forum that details where to cuton A-, B- and C-pillars.