1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Invitation to a "Disection"

    Posting from Forum Moderator Ron Moore

    I have received a donation of a 1998 Saturn four door sedan. It has been rear-ended in a crash and is 'totaled' by the insurance company. Other than the trunk damage, the vehicle is in mint condition.

    Both rear doors are jammed. Dual front airbags are intact. The engine runs!

    I will be spending all day Friday February 26, 1999 cutting it up for both still photos and video footage. I've never had to tear apart a Saturn plastic car so I've planned a lot of rippin and tearin' experiments to see what works and what doesn't.

    Reciprocating saws, power tools, even going to use a carpenter's laminate trimmer tool to see how the plastic performs. It's a space-frame vehicle so we'll see how that holds up to our rescue evolutions.

    The disection will take place in the Dallas Texas vicinity where I live.

    If you would like to be present to observe or even participate in this invitational session, contact me for details. No charge to be there... you just have to get yourself there and pay your own expenses.

    if you can't attend but have suggestions on things we should try, fill us in on the details. You could wind up being a 'virtual' rescuer in our training program as well.

    Let me know. <rmoore@firehouse.com>

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Can't make it to Dallas but would be very interested on what happens.
    Will this be in future American Heat and Firehouse issues?


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Would also be interested in results with different tools-including if there is a point where spreaders will break the plastic. Not sure, but is toxic fumes from cutting the plastic with a saw an issue for a patient in respiratory distress? Probably not, but maybe worth looking into. Also does the plastic have a flash point that the saw could heat it up to? Thanks Ron for this forum.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Am unable to attend Saturn Disection, but am very interested in the use of hydraulic tools on these types of vehicles. What would be your choice of extrication tools for this vehicle? Will the results be posted on this site or as an article in Firehouse Magazine? Thank-you.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Posting from Ron Moore, Moderator

    Early responses to the February practical work scheduled for the '98 Saturn indicates that rescuers are very interested in what happens.

    Here are the questions asked thus far and some answers. Please keep this discussion going so I can try to cover all the bases when it comes time for the practical session.

    1) "Will this be in future American Heat and Firehouse issues?"

    No and Yes. The video footage will actually be incorporated into a new video training program that I am working on. The video program is titled "Emergency Procedures for Airbag-Equipped Vehicles" and is funded by NHTSA. Release date is 4-99.

    Still photos WILL be published in Firehouse as multiple articles similar to what I did for the series on extrication work with the new pickup trucks.

    2) "...results with different tools-including if there is a point where spreaders will break the plastic..."

    I'll have at my disposal a complete line of everything Hurst makes. That will allow us to try different sizes of spreader tips, different styles of spreaders, various hydraulic cutters and combi-type tools. I'll also have 18v cordless reciprocating saws, high-pressure air chisels, all the hand tools, etc.

    3) "....toxic fumes from cutting the plastic with a saw an issue for a patient in respiratory distress?"

    This is interesting. I'll try a K-1200 rotary saw with different blades just to see how the plastic holds up to that type of abuse. I'll also have a variety of different tooth-per-inch reciprocating saw blades so we'll see what tpi and what cutting speeds work best.

    DeWalt Tool Company is also providing me with a woodworker's tool, a handheld laminate trimmer with a 1/4-inch carbite bit. That tool cuts laminate for counter tops well. I know it cuts polycarbonate plastic. We'll see what that does on the Saturn body panels.

    4) ".....does the plastic have a flash point that the saw could heat it up to?"

    I don't know but I'm going to peel some panels off and expose them to heat sources, open flame from propane torches and road flares, etc to see what happens. If any saw is going to cause a melting of this material, I'd expect it to be the rotary saw at full rpm.

    5) ".....What would be your choice of extrication tools for this vehicle?"

    With a plan to work from, like following a recipe when you cook, I'll be able to systematically work every rescue task with as many different tools and techniques as I can think of. My University of Extrication articles will detail the tasks, the tools used, the techniques attempted and the results. Good color photos will also run in the articles when published.

    6) "Will the results be posted on this site or as an article in Firehouse Magazine?"

    I'll use this University of Extrication online forum to provide advance information about what I discovered. After the articles are published, they will be provided in the archive sections of firehouse.com. Our Message Forum can then also allow me to field additional questions or comments from you about our training session results.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Will the videos be made available for Canadian fire departments? If so, where?
    I'll ask around our hall to see if any of the guys have ideas for you to check out as well.


  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Video footage of extrication work being accomplished on the '98 Saturn 4-dr will be used in the "Emergency Procedures for Airbag-Equipped Vehicles" training program being developed and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation. (It's like Transport Canada)

    I'll check to see what plans they (NHTSA) have for circulating the finished program.

    Due date for the 'Master' tape is April 1 so the video should be available this Summer.

    Still color photos will be featured in a series of University of Extrication articles similar to how I did the pickup truck 'Autopsy' articles.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    As a Saturn owner and a firefighter I will be very interested in how this turns out. I have been trying to get the people in my FD to relize that things are changing in the extrication buisness and and that there is a need to look at tools other then the jaws. This might be just what the doctor ordered.
    As a Saturn owner I will be interested in how fast you can work around some of the new safety items offered on this car. Do you know if poping the door from the rear will set off the side impact air bags for sure? I know in some of your other articals you talked about always taking the door off front first and I do, but many of the old timers still go to the rear and take that first no matter what you tell them. I will also be interested to see if the side support beams in the doors interfear with taking the door off, and most of all how thw plastic reacts. I particularly want to know if it shatters or if it just cracks. I have offten thought that if the right force was applied to that plastic it could shatter and throw pieces at you with the same force used to break it. Let me know.
    I wish I could be there better yet I hope I can get to work on one my self like you. Thanks for the great info and keep up the good work.


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