1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Front Seat Removal

    Are there any new techniques for removing the front seat to gain access to the rear one? I only learned one technique years ago, and that was just to remove the bolts that held the seat frame to the floor. But with today's more complicated seats, I was wondering if there was an easier way to remove them. I understand that a third door conversion can be done instead of even dealing with the front seat, but what if that cannot be done? I would appreciate any ideas from other departments. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Have had some success using hydraulic spreaders in displacing the front seats using either the front or back of the door opening, floor, or back seat area for leverage for the tool. A lot depends on the type of vehicle, and the extent of the damage. Method of preference at this time, it to either utilize the roof flap to gain access to the rear of the vehicle (rear, front, or side), depending on the circumstances. Have started using electric recip. saws, and find that total roof removal is just as fast, and many times even safer.

    Third door method:
    Have had minimal succes with this method. Once again, very dependent on the type of damage. It still remains an option for use, but not one of preference. Usually experience excessive ripping and tearing of the metal, limited access, and the front seat still is in the way.


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You have the right ideas (roof removal, 3rd door, ect.) Your dept needs to consentrate on the roof removal first. If you really need to get more access to the rear compartment, try cutting the seat hinge. This gives you full access to the rear compartment unless you have a foot entrapment under the seat. If the room you get with the roof removal, removal of the seat back, then go for your 3rd door conversion. These steps should provide the space needed to remove the patient in an expedisious manor.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    A Posting From ron Moore, Forum Moderator

    Random thoughts about seat removal;

    1) I consider extrication like peeling a banana. The patient on the seat is the core of the banana. The ONE extrication job that you do to the vehicle that can cause the most direct movement of a patient is movement of a seat. The other one is patient removal onto a longboard!

    I'll do everything I can to 'peel' away the car from the patient before I'll move a seat with the patient on it.

    2) Electric-powered seat ARE more difficult to move or remove. They have heavy frames, drive gears or cog mechanisms and lots or wiring underneath. Check out my pickup truck autopsy series to see the problems we ran into with 6-way electric front seats.

    3) In the 'old' days, I was taught and turned around and taught others how to move a seat. For moving a seat rearward, I taught that a push on the seat frame, NOT the frame bolted to the floor moved the seat rearward the best. The most critical thing was to angle the pushing tool, higher on the A-pillar side and downward slightly as it contacted the seat frame. Even with a power spreader in the door opening, having the one arm higher than the arm contacting the seat frame gave the best results.

    4) Today, I agree that we should all know how to remove all or a portion of a seat to access other patients stil inside the vehicle. My preference is to cut through the seat hinge where the seat cushion joins to the seat back. Usually cutting the outer seat hinge allows the entire back to be removed. Having the flat cushion of the seat generally does not get in the way unless you have entrapment of feet, floorbaords and seat cushions.

    5) Total seat removal options include work such as unbolting, prying upward until you pull the bolts right through the floorpan, forcing the seat rearward off its' track mechanism, or cutting the seat brackets that secure the seat and frame to the floorpan.

    6) Study the different styles of seats. There are lots of various styles now; bucket, bench, Captain's Chairs, etc.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    When removing front seats, always remember that if the car was made since 1996, there is an excellent chance that there is an airbag module under one of the front seats.
    I watched an excellent video of a rescue in Ohio where the rescuer was doing just fine using a combo tool to remove the passenger seat, when he hit the module and triggered the air bags to deflate, and two firefighters were injured.
    Just one more thing to think about!

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Can you give some more details about the Ohio video? Might like to see that myself!

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'll try to find it. I believe that it was on one of the monthly training videos which VFIS provides to my department. It was about the Columbus FD, I believe.
    I'll try to find the title of the video.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The incident refered to is in Dayton, OH. The cause of the incident was from the rescuer prying off the transmission "hump." The airbag control module was in the middle console not under the seat.
    The Tape should be availible through Ron's X-friends, FETN. I have watched that tape numerous times. I believe that if you want to be involved in the vehicle rescue business you need to keep on top of changing technology. This tape is from 1992 (I believe.) The vehicles driving around us change every year. We need to be aware of the hidden dangers awaiting us!

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I found that taking a sheetrock knife and cut the fabric ,pull the cushion out. You can get to the seat frame, the frame is very light gage metal very easy to cut. This procedure will also allow you to see exactly what your cutting. Sometimes it is difficult to see the hump side of the seat hinge, plus the hinges are made of a heavy gage metal.

    John Hanlon

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    With regards to cutting seats as mentioned by the replies before me, extrication techs should now be aware of the posibility of side impact airbags. Cutting the seat could also cut the two lines that go to the sodium azide as in the Volvo. If you have a fuel leak, there is the potential for a source of ignition if the rescue personnel accidently activate the mechanical senorary unit.

    The two lines/tubing for the Volvo seat SIP are lined with cellulose nitrate which will initiate the sodium azide. If cut, you have vented the lines to a possible fuel vapor.

    Regarding the Dayton Ohio airbag incident, as told to me by Ron Moore, could have all been avoided if the car had been properly stablilized. This should be done at every crash scene if extrication is needed or anticipated.

    At the Dayton incident, while trying to open the engine compartment (to cut the power supply) rescuer efforts caused movement to the vehicle which in turn caused pain to the patient. It was decided to stop this task for patient comfort.

    Had the car been stabilized, there would not have been movement and the hood could have been opened allowing the extrication tech to cut the power which would have drained the charge in the capacitor. The time of the deployment was approximately 20 mins into the incident, that type vehicle would have drained down before the actual crushing of the airbag controller by the Amkus spreader. This was what shorted the controller to initiate deployment of both frontal airbags.

    As an extrication instructor, I have shown the Dayton Ohio Airbag Incident for the last two years. This is the single most important tool that I can use to stress airbag awareness. When you actually see one of your own getting injured, it hits home. Other firefighters relize that this could happen to them. No one has ever fallen asleep during this video in one of my classes.

    The other important issue was that there was no safe operating distances between airbags. I have adapted a rule from Ron Moore, Scan the vehicle for SRS/ROPS, use a 5-10-20 Rule while operating near any undeployed airbag.

    5 inches from any side impact airbag
    10 inches from any driver frontal
    20 inches from any passenger frontal

    One firefighter was leaning/looking over the steering wheel when the airbags deployed, this firefighter was hit in the neck/face area while the operator of the spreaders felt the full force of an airbag traveling at 200 miles per hour, the force blow him out of the vehicle.

    As far as being able to remove a seat back, most all modern cutters should cut through any of the seat backs. I would check for icons or other tell tail signs of SIPS, and seek an alternative method if found.

    Ron Shaw
    19 Baldwin Circle
    Plymouth, MA 02360

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with Ron, peel the car away! Other than a possible need to remove the seat BACK, I think it is much easier to displace other vehicle components than trying to displace a seat-especially with a patient sitting in it! As for a third door there are a number of ways to do it my favorite is with a recip saw. Make a cut from the back of the side window downward in an arc toward the base of the B post. Finish the cut by slicing thru the base of the B post.The third door you just made is attached to the passenger door and swings out on the hinges for the door. By using one cut, you have opened the entire side of the vehicle! Now I realize you have to watch for pretensioners however this evolution works well with practice and having long (at least 9") recip saw blades. Food for thought.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register