A Posting From Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
I need your help with an idea. At the Holmatro Instructor's Certification class conducted in Maryland, Trainer Al Sergio showed me how to use shaving creme to reduce windshield glass splattering when you cut front A-pillars for roof removal.
He smears shaving creme all around the edge of the windshield glass where the cutter tool will be used. As the blades cut through the pillar, they also cut the very edge of the windshield glass. With shaving creme smeared all over, the glass didn't fly around as much. The shaving creme smear tactic seemed to minimize glass splattering as the A-pillar was cut.
I liked the idea but wanted to make it more versatile. I want to reduce laminated glass particles from flying around as I saw out a windshield. Of all the extrication tasks we do, I think windshield removal is the one task that creates the most mess for EMS and the patient.
Here's what I did. I need your opinions as to what to try next. I was assisted in this experiment by Mr. Tom Wehr, inventor of the Glas-Master windshield saw. Tom was inside the vehicle and videotaped our trials while I did the practical work.
Our assignment was to remove the entire windshield of a vehicle sitting on four wheels on level ground. I used Tom's Glas-Master windshield saw as my tool of choice.
First, I took the can of shaving creme and foamed a bead along the inside bottom edge of the windshield, just above the defroster vents. As the foamy shaving creme swelled up, it sealed off this dash/windshield area. Next, I foamed along the inside of the windshield; across the top and down the inside area by each A-pillar. This left a thick white foam line all around the inside edge of the glass on all sides.
Outside, I foamed a bead of shaving creme across the top, down both sides and across the bottom. I did not smear the creme, just let it foam out and bead up in a big thick line of creme.
With the Glas-Master windshield saw, I punched into the glass for a starter hole right where the inside gob of foam was. I then sawed out the windshield, following and actually sawing right into the bead of foam with my blade.
To our amazement, the windshield was completely removed and only FOUR small slivers of glass could be found inside the vehicle! I could not believe it. Tom, "Mr. Windshield Saw" himself was impressed. The inside bead of foam had captured all the broken glass. Even the foam at the top of the windshield held the glass particles as I sawed across the top.
Outside, there was also no splattering of glass. No airborne particles flying around me. No loose glass slivers to cause a problem. I figured if it had been raining, I would not have been able to foam the outside of the glass, but I'm the one with protective equipment in place anyway. At least the inside of the windshield can be foamed regardless of the weather.
Please try this in training at your department and let me know what you think. If we can get any bugs worked out, I'll have this idea published in the University of Extrication to share with our "not on-line" brothers.
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03-04-1999, 11:22 AM #1rmooreFirehouse.com Guest
Windshield Removal with NO Glass Slivers!
03-05-1999, 03:38 PM #2FFTrainerFirehouse.com Guest
I'm assuming you used the regular 'Foamy" cream and not the gel stuff correct?!? Also, how good to you have to be with getting the foam on the inside of the windshield. My thought here is going down the path of access to the windshield to apply the foam. Yes you can get to the patient to stabilize, but it's not always going to be feasible to gain access to the windshield to perform this 'foaming' operation. Would you go on the principle of do it if possible without too much effort/lost time and if you can't meet those criteria, skip it and go with another method. How well does the creme on the outside work if used alone. Does it help at all to adhere some of the sliver to the blade? I guess any amount of slivers removed are that much less we have to worry about.
By the way I'm noticing a pattern in this shaving creme thing. I have never heard of either use, neither the battery or the windshield. We have a drill coming up the end of the month that I am going to try the windshield trick on. I'll post my thoughts!
03-05-1999, 11:30 PM #3rmooreFirehouse.com Guest
A Posting by Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
The shaving creme I used for my experiment was the white foamy stuff; not the gel.
It worked best when we shook it up adequately before applying. Seemed more foamy.
Creme on the windshield is only a "nice to be able to do" situation. If conditions do not allow for this, take the windshield out per your current protocols.
I was able to reach in through both front door window openings and foam three edges of the glass by holding the nozzle of the can very close to the glass. This allowed for a thick bead of foam. The dashboard was the problem. The taper of the glass and the size of the can meant that I actually foamed about three inches up the glass. This was OK as long as I cut the windshield below the bead of foam.
Outside, I again held the nozzle 1/4-inch from the glass to leave a thick bead.
I'd like to see a short piece of tubing or a milkshake straw attachment on a shaving creme can like found on WD-40. This would extend our foam reach.
Let's keep working on this and see who can come up with the better mousetrap.
03-06-1999, 07:01 PM #4ZmagFirehouse.com Guest
Hmmmm... Z-Foam .... Gotta work on that one
03-07-1999, 02:41 AM #5IckymowFirehouse.com Guest
Sounds great!!! Only one thought. How much of a mess was there while you continued your work. Did you get the shaving cream on your turn out coat? If so did the alcohol in the shaving cream do any thing to your gear? I know that some shaving creams have a high alcohol content and I would think this could really mess up your turn out gear. I would think you could wipe the stuff up before you got it all over. What do you think Ron?
03-07-1999, 03:00 AM #6firemanhankFirehouse.com Guest
Boy you got me on this one Ron. I NEVER thought of shaving cream. I dont suppose you did a test to see how much glass would get in the car if you did not apply the cream to the outside? Many of our accidents are in the rain or snow so the cream would be gone in seconds! Great idea-would you try this test?
03-07-1999, 01:26 PM #7rmooreFirehouse.com Guest
A Posting for Forum Moderator Ron Moore
The shaving creme did make a 'mess' if you want to call it that. I did have shaving creme on my gloves and when I leaned over to reach the center of the windshield, I got some on the front of my turnout coat. There was also residual creme along the dash and pillars of the Toyota pickup we used for our experiment. When I carried the glass off the truck and slid it under the truck, there was foam on the edges also.
I was using extrication gloves from Ringer's Resource. They're a glove used by NASCAR pit crews. Even with the foam on my gloves, I could still use the Glas-Master windshield saw without losing my grip. Shaving creme wasn't slippery or oily. It really didn't bother my leather gloves at all.
I wore the turnout coat the rest of the day. The creme did not make any stains or leave any residue anywhere. It's been over a week now and you can't tell any difference from looking at the coat.
I used Gillette Foamy creme. It was on sale at the store and had "22% more for the regular price". I never thought to check out the alcohol content. I just bought the can that was on sale. Something my wife taught me. (I did ask the clerk if they carried the Z-Mag brand of "Z-Foam" shaving creme, but they were all sold out due to heavy demand.)
I did not get the gel type. What is needed here is thick white foam, the kind that comes from really shaking up the can good before you press the button.
I returned to the training area four days later. It had not rained in those days. There was still evidence of residue from the creme around the defroster area on the instrument panel. I could see that as the creme eventually shrunk or melted away, it had all the concentrated glass slivers with it. They were all along the dash in a line.
Next session, I'll try one half of the glass without foam on the outside of the windshield and I'll foam inside and outside of the other half. The experiment will be to see if foam on the outside makes any difference for inside occupants and medics. Foaming both sides and then sawing through the middle of the foam bead DOES make a difference to the rescuer. It eliminates any outside flying glass.
Hope this helps. Now I just need a bunch of trainers to go out and try this and report back. We're not there yet with this techniqu but we've got the interest started. There may be something even better than shaving creme.
Thanks everyone. I'm anxiously waiting for your comments.
03-07-1999, 11:39 PM #8RESCUEJCKFirehouse.com Guest
Ron, looks like we'rw gonna have to start calling you Mr. Shaving Cream. Keep the great ideas coming.
03-25-1999, 01:22 AM #9Resc10Firehouse.com Guest
Hey Ron, way ahead of you dude, My career dept heard of this about 4 or 5 months ago, and decided to try it. The foamy shaving creme is definitely the best. Worked well for us, and we now carry a can of it next to our glass master tool. I haven't had a chance to try, but I am interested to see if the gel will work in the rain... Talk to ya soon.
04-07-1999, 12:20 AM #10CDFirehouse.com Guest
I tried your idea with a water extinguisher with 3% class B foam and a foam nozzle. It seems to be a good way to contain the glass. I sprayed the inside of a windshield with a blanket of foam and it contained the glass produced when cutting with a sawzall. It also has an advantage to be useful in dealing with fuel spills and small engine fires. Try it!
04-07-1999, 02:28 AM #11PhredFirehouse.com Guest
Can you describe the "foam nozzle" you are using on the extinguisher? How thick a foam does it produce and what is the reach? This does sound like a good idea -- tell us more.
04-07-1999, 03:09 AM #12CDFirehouse.com Guest
The nozzle I spoke of was donated by a local fire extinguisher service business. The manufacturer is 3M. I am sure there other manufacturers as well, but this one was free. It is a medium expansion nozzle and has a reach of about 15’. The quality of the foam is good and will fill a dashboard to absorb all of the glass fragments, and it will cling to vertical surfaces. I found it effective to fill the dash area on the inside alone and not on the outside. This technique seems to be very effective. I am looking forward to using on an incident soon. Try it for yourself, and tell us how it works.
04-08-1999, 08:06 PM #13CDFirehouse.com Guest
I improved the quality of the foam to almost saving cream by drilling two 1/32” holes in the siphon tube above the liquid line. This required a reduction in the amount of liquid to 2/3. This in combination with the foam nozzle, made the PW nearly ideal for this application.
04-10-1999, 05:56 AM #14stone35Firehouse.com Guest
I am really impressed by this new spin on the use of shaving cream. We are a volunteer department and back-up the city department who responds to all 10-46's in the county. Our Asst. Chief is a paid firefighter on the city department and I will definitely pass this on to him.
04-17-1999, 01:21 AM #15FRANK_E2Firehouse.com Guest
The shaving cream is excellent!
My question is why remove the entire windshield before removing the top?
When you cut the a posts, cut the windshield in a straight line to the other side, leaving the windshield in the part of the roof you just cut, removing it all at once.
tell me what you think.
04-17-1999, 08:24 PM #16mark/cvarcFirehouse.com Guest
your idea has some merit depending on where you cut the "A" post. It'll work fine if you cut at the top corner of the windshield and "A" post, separating the roof and glass at the joint. then all you do is roll the dash out of the way, taking the windshield with it. If you cut the windshield and posts in the middle instead, the glass makes the roof heavier and has potential for falling off on your victim or you. Yeah maybe not likely , but remember Murphy's law. Our sqad did a training session recently and when we went to cut the windshield the glass shattered just like it was regular window glass in your home, separating in hunks from the laminate between the layers of glass. Our best guess is that someone replaced the windshield with a cheap import This happened to be on a '88 Eurosport.
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