Thread: Pulling Steering Wheel w/airbag
08-13-1999, 12:28 PM #1hundenFirehouse.com Guest
Pulling Steering Wheel w/airbag
In the extrication class I took, we were taught to wrap the short chain 1 1/2 times around the steering column (so an end dangles down on each side), then bring the ends up through the wheel so that the pulling link sits about where the horn is. Then pull from the front through the windshield. This works well, as you have the pulling link at the end of the steering column creating the best leverage.
But, what if there is an air bag? (Should have thought to ask then!)
You would have two strands of chain running right over the airbag. If the airbag deployed it would, at the least, whip those chains directly at the driver. An upside down short-board in front of the driver would give some protection, but wouldn't that violate the nothing between the patient and the airbag rule?
Any thoughts or alternative techniques?
08-13-1999, 01:26 PM #2firetoadFirehouse.com Guest
This is my first post here and may be a little off from what you were asking, but here goes.
Our department, and most of the training coarses that I have attended here in Missouri, advice against ever pulling the steering wheel. We, our department, have always used dash rolls to move the steering wheel out of the way. Their reasoning behind this, and it makes sense, is that when pulling certain steering wheels, the "steering linkage" that travels from the wheel to the firewall can snap at the joints and cause added injury. An added advantage is that, rather that your jaws being tied up, you have a ram tied up instead(where many departments carry multiple rams). Now granted, you can pull with other tools, but I haven't seen too many departments carry chains sets for this. They mostly carry chains for the jaws and that is it.
In a way, I did answer the question of avoiding items between the pt and the airbag, but not directly. Sorry. It is an alternative to consider though.
[This message has been edited by firetoad (edited August 13, 1999).]
08-14-1999, 01:53 AM #3TRUCK 110Firehouse.com Guest
Dear Hunden and Toad:
Got another way to try..Right From Ron Moore.. V Relief Cut a little Higher for Roll up..Insert Jaws in the V..Spread up..It works..Been there and done it..With Ron..
08-14-1999, 08:10 PM #4firetoadFirehouse.com Guest
I have a quick question for you. With the dash roll, we use the relief cut and then roll the dash(which I am sure is standard, but I wanted to explain further ). Anyway, can you spread far enough to keep from having to tie up the jaws? That is, can you spread the relief cut without having to worry about the dash coming back down as the jaws are retracted. I would imagine that you could, but I have never done it. I know that I have cut on practice cars and sometimes it does stuff that you never would have expected. Always expect the unexpected though.
I don't know, it may be the way that I was "brought up" in training, but I have a thing about tieing up the jaws. Just a pet peeve for me. If it works for you, then it works for me though
This forum is great. I love learning new things!
08-14-1999, 09:19 PM #5Eng 48Firehouse.com Guest
I agree, the dash roll is the way to go. We don't pull steering collumns anymore either. As for the question about the dash coming back down, we put wedges in the relief to keep it from coming back down. It seems to work for us. Good luck and be safe!
08-15-1999, 12:45 AM #6firetoadFirehouse.com Guest
I realized the answer to my question shortly after posting my topic and walking out my front door. I really feel stupid now because that is taught in the first extrication training class that our probationaries are given. I know why I forgot though. Every time that we have ever actually had to roll a dash, we just left the ram in place. For one, we carry another one with extensions and two we, knock on wood, have never, yet, had to do much more when the dash roll came time.
Thanks for the reply though. I still feel silly
08-15-1999, 05:56 AM #7TRUCK 110Firehouse.com Guest
Quick question for you..How do you Extricate the Patient if the Ram is in the way hanging around the dash roll up. That's why we use the Jaws up method..Wedge the Relief cut in the open position..
Thanks for the Post..Be safe..
08-15-1999, 04:38 PM #8skip rupert61Firehouse.com Guest
We too leave the ram in place, however, we also put a wedge in the relief cut just for safety. Our common practice is to remove the roof and take the patient up and out the back. With the roof gone, the seat can either be layed back, or you can remove the seatback altogether with two quick cuts of the cutter. The patient is put on the backboard and goes up and out. Very quick and safe. And I might add, the C-spine stays straight throughout the entire process. Try to do that and twis the patient to lay them on a backboard. Patient care is what it is all about.
Shrewsbury Vol Fire Co.
"EXIT 1 EXTRICATORS"
08-15-1999, 09:24 PM #9firetoadFirehouse.com Guest
We do the exact same. The roof is generally long gone before ever rolling the dash. That is one of the first things that we try to do. I, last summer, had an extrication that required nothing but pulling the roof. The pt was in the back seat in a very compromisable(if that's a word ) position and the only way to keep c-spine straight was through removing the roof and working with pt from above. That doesn't have too much to do with the dash roll, but it is an interesting story .
Now, to the dash roll, we had a vehicle on its side against a tree one time and needed to roll the dash. The only way was with a ram and we had to leave it in place. It worked fine and with no problems.
truck, I do like the idea of the jaws though. I will definitely try that at the next extrication training. I do have another question though... Do you ever have a problem with the tips of the jaws slipping out of the relief cut? I know that by using the ram, you generally have the curve of the A-pillar to keep the head in place. Or, do you have no less problems with the jaws slipping than the ram's head?
I am asking this because I have been away from the department for several weeks and won't be back for another week or two. I just like discussing it, at least, since I don't have any tools or cars to practice on here(boo hoo).
Anyway, thanks for all of the ideas.
08-15-1999, 10:18 PM #10TRUCK 110Firehouse.com Guest
Lost my Cool..But I got another scenario, as to why we do the Jaws Method, for real..What if you lose the use of the B Post, now Toad you were the one who wanted to do the dash rollup, you said nothing about the removal of the patient over the top. I too do and would do the same, in removing the roof. I work also for the Auto Industry, and because of the Light Weight Construction of the Car,have had the Rear Door of a Car fall like a "Landing Craft Ramp", at several extrications, do to the tearing or Fatigueing of the Metal at the Lower and Upper B Post..I know..you clamp the Jaws and spread with the Ram against it..But Try what I told you. Our Moderator (Ron Moore) brought it to our Attention at the NY Chiefs Show, and we tried it..It really works well. Just be sure to put a Wedge in the V Cut Opening After the Roll up, but when you spread the 27-32", it seldom comes back.Also be sure to place a Shore under the Rocker, to use as a Fulcrum to bend the Rocker against, or the Rocker Falls down to the Ground. Try it..You may like it..
And Toad..I should have told you earlier..I got 2 Spreader units in the Fire Dept.
Sorry for the abuse Guys.....
Thanks for the Post..Be Safe
John M. Scheibel
NY State Dept of State
Office of Fire Prevention and Control
[This message has been edited by TRUCK 110 (edited August 15, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by TRUCK 110 (edited August 15, 1999).]
08-16-1999, 06:40 PM #11Jim GreeneFirehouse.com Guest
Just reading thru & I have to say my department use to pull columns to. But as stated above on the newer cars there is a joint on the steering shaft that can give way. Tilt wheels have them & I have seen them on cars that don't have tilt wheel. Another vehicle that has this joint is on School Busses & Bigger Trucks. Remember they also have Tilt & Telescoping wheels. If they don't have tilt wheel there could still be a joint up under the dash.
Remember make that V cut & keep it between the 2 door hinges ( remove the door 1st. ) .
It has been nice reading the the above posting, keep up the good work.
Train Hard & be SAFE
08-17-1999, 12:38 AM #12skip rupert61Firehouse.com Guest
John, when the "B" post is gone, we use what we call "ram blocks". Ram blocks have been around a long time. Channel iron with various "push points" works well. The blocks rest on the rocker panel. We have been using them for 10 yrs or so and they work great. I know that Holmoltro and Lukas have just recently come out with their versions. Both look like they should work.
I know Ron teaches the spreader on the rocker panel trick, but I cant bring myself to do that. Guess I agree with toad's earlier post about tying up the spreader.
As for the dash lift vice dash roll....both are good ways to accomplish what you need. Put them both in your bag-o-tricks. Cant hurt.
PA State Vehicle Rescue Instructor
Shrewsbury Vol Fire Co.
08-17-1999, 08:55 AM #13TRUCK 110Firehouse.com Guest
I guess you may be right..I just spread it up..Remove the Spreader, and go about my Business..10 sec job..
Thanks for the info on the Rocker Push plate..Got 2 ..one for each side of the car..LOL..and the Railroad plates to go with both of them too...So I guess we all win..
Have a Good day..and thanks for the Post..Be Safe..
08-17-1999, 09:30 AM #14K RomerFirehouse.com Guest
Hey John...wonder where else you say the dashlift method? Maybe two years ago or so, and the railroad tie plate, what an idea there! )
I still find that the 1 cut above and 1 cut below the lower hinge, pull the section out and place spreader there works best.
It is also crucial to keep spreader/combo tool level, so as not to spread the section out the side, or push it into the footwell area.
As far as pushing on the spreader. I hope we are talking about utilizing the tips for the push point! That aluminum alloy is tough, but not meant for side loading!
Tying up a $7000 tool that an O'connel Heavy Rescue Plate can do is a real waste of resources. If you clamp the spreader on the panel, you immediately weaken the rocker. This will in turn cause the panel to bend down (without appropriate cribbing) and in turn move the seat... a result we don't want if a victim is sitting there.
I keep reading amd learning... tie plate... wonder where that came from??
Performance is Everything!!
08-17-1999, 05:34 PM #15firetoadFirehouse.com Guest
We, too, use the ram blocks. They work very well.
I am sorry if I made you lose your cool. My intentions were not that. Like I said before, I have been away from the department for a while and won't be back for a little bit yet. I just found this board the other day and love it. With those too combined, I figured that I would just probe the method for anything that I could possibly think would happen. I will definitely try your method though, it sounds like it could really work well for our department. Truthfully, I can't wait to show everybody the new trick that I found. They will think that I am the best
Anyway, thanks for all of the tips and tech advice everybody. That is what makes me love firefighting/rescue so much, you have never learned it all.
Thanks again everybody!
08-17-1999, 06:10 PM #16TRUCK 110Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the Moral support..LOL..I wonder where I learned about that Rail plate..Hmmmmm..
I guess you are Still my Best Rep going..LOL..and yes I'm still your student..
Thanks for the Post..Be Safe..
08-19-1999, 12:08 AM #17dfireFirehouse.com Guest
I would have to agree with the rest of you on this matter. The day and age of pulling steering wheels is long gone. Rolling or jacking the dash should be the methods of choice. Chains are to time consuming and construction materials and vehicle designs used in todays automotive industry is are not supportive of pulling the steering columns.
Your instructor was positively correct when he said to never place anything between an undeployed airbag and the patient. This also includes you the rescuer.
Lt. Martin, State of Indiana Vehicle Extrication Instructor
[This message has been edited by dfire (edited August 18, 1999).]
08-19-1999, 12:30 AM #18DQuinnFirehouse.com Guest
The discussion about rolling/lifting the dash is most useful, and I agree with vehicle construction today we have other considerations. Off the top of my head, I can probably think of five variations of dash relocation which we, as a competition team and a dept on the street use.
However, we do not discount other methods, such as a steering wheel pull. Situations may dictate that evolution because we might not have the access required to do a dash job. Equipment such as the column master and the older homemade "roll" system are still in our tool box should they be needed. So are bolt cutters to snip the steering wheel rim.
Remember, we seldom need more than a couple of inches to get the pt from under a wheel. Should we need more, then we should be thinking other techniques.
We've learned to always keep our options and our minds open.
08-19-1999, 07:35 AM #19NathanFirehouse.com Guest
We are trained in the column pull... but like most of you , opt for the dash roll with a hydraulic tool (in our case, ram) wherever possible. It's always good to learn as many methods as possible.
We use a chain with a hook, loop it round the column twice and hook the hook to the chain. This way the chain is nowhere near the steering wheel. The chain passes over wooden blocks placed where the windscreen once was to give a better angle ror the pull.
As I said, it isn't the preffered method at a job (go for the hydraulics), but that's the method we learn.
Nathan Van Der Meulen
NSW Fire Brigades
08-19-1999, 12:56 PM #20fridayFirehouse.com Guest
Pulling the steering wheel is a viable option on older cars IF they do not have front wheel drive, a tilt steering wheel or a collapsible steering wheel- in other words if the shaft between the steering wheel and the steering gear box is not interrupted by joints or pivots. Having said that, if there is any doubt, roll or lift the dash, or use another method to get the steering wheel off your pt. A good extrication tech should always know more than one way to do anything, selecting the best method for the situation. Also, the "nothing between the patient and the airbag rule" doesn't mean not to put a blanket or fiberglass (flexible) rescue blanket over him to protect from flying glass or sharps. Capt. Dan
[This message has been edited by friday (edited August 19, 1999).]
08-31-1999, 08:53 PM #21smbffFirehouse.com Guest
If you have to pull the steering wheel that has an airbag, would it not have deployed?
09-02-1999, 12:53 AM #22Drew SmithFirehouse.com Guest
I used to do the column pulls 20 years ago. The about 15 years ago we started doing dash roll ups. For the past ten years, because of tilt/telescoping wheels and front wheel drive cars we avoid doing anything with the front end of the car. Most airbags if not deployed will deenergize within a few minutes once power is cut. But here is a different view and one I teach and practice: It is usually easier and faster to go in the direction opposite the damage. In other words, if the front end is caved in don't try and lift it off the patient. Try moving the patient back. Here is what we use alot:
1. Flap or remove the roof.
2. If necessary remove the door and b-post. We only do this if it is caved in.
3. With the patient sitting upright, insert a long board behind him/her. The foot of the board winds up at the patients buttocks.
4. Lay the seat back backwards. Most cars have fold down seats. If they don't we simply use our cutter and remove the seat back.
5. Lay the patient onto the board by reclining both backwards together. This is similar to the immobilization of a standing patient as taught in BTLS/PHTLS.
6. Finish by getting patient flat and secured down to the board.
I find this fast. The roof off lets every one work with lots of room. Most of all, the stuff being cut is usually intact and not subject to unforseen glitches (technical term).
This technique is not a cure all. But I have found that most of the time we (rescuers) focus on the mashed metal when other avenue may be available. Oh, a lot of times we take the roof off with hand tools while we use the cutter on the b-posts or hinge removal.
09-08-1999, 04:02 AM #23Lt JACK JASPERSONFirehouse.com Guest
Hey truck 110, you hit the nail on the head. relief cut, insert spreaders and spread. Works great, thank god for guys like Ron Moore! Now, I just have to reteach a lot of old dogs some pretty outrageous tricks! Any suggestions? I have used this technique a couple of times and got some pretty funny looks. I guess it's going to take a lot of publicity to open some eyes.
Lt Jack R Jasperson
10-11-1999, 07:51 PM #24Ken MetzlerFirehouse.com Guest
Great topic, remember to keep your options open as yall know no 2 wrecks are the same. We have used all of the above and something else to try, take a bar and punch through the defroster vent( remember arms,legs...)rout out hole big enought to get a chain through. Run chain through defroster vent and around the steering column back up on the outside of the dash, dont wrap it just a contiuous loop. We then place 3 4x4 one on the firewall, one on the roof, one down the center over the steering column. H type configuration. Place Hi lift jack or hydralic tool on center H and hook chain over foot of jack or spreader tip and go to work. It will lift the column and dash up, if it has a knuckle and it does come apart it will be pushed into the dash not the paitent. Will also work on the passengers side but tuck a 2x4 under the dash so the chain doesnt cut through the plastic. The Idea is to make space. Keep a menu of ideas in your head and your options open, Adios Ken
10-11-1999, 08:47 PM #25resqbFirehouse.com Guest
I know you guys are talking pulling the wheel and then you got into pushing the dash. How about cutting the wheel itself to get you some more room? Or pushing the seat to the rear of the car w/ the spreaders? And if the access is available near the floor, how about removing the seat by removing the hold down bolts(hand tools?)? All of which you do the job and then get the tools out of the way. Just giving some options so we can all think 'out of the box' or maybe just making our box bigger. Stay safe.
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