1. #1
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    Default Where Will They Hide the Inflator Next?

    Attention!

    This image of an Audi A3 vehicle sold in Europe is the first time that the fire and rescue service has been informed of a new mounting location for stored gas inflator modules connected to the roof-mounted side impact airbag system.

    To address the "art" of finding these inflators at rear-world crashes, we have already accepted the fact that we must strip away the roof pillar trim prior to any cutting operation. Now, if this design makes it to vehicles sold in the U.S., we'll have to expand that protocol to 'strip the roof pillar trim AND the headliner' prior to a roof cutting operation.
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    Here's a somewhat fuzzy close-up look at that same vehicle. They look like inflator modules for the airbags to me. What's your take on this?
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    I fully support the Strip before you Rip philosophy! But OMG!!! when will it stop? Hey I know the answer, Never, Some rescuers have talked about a "Halo" cut that is a basic trench style cut from the rear window forward inside the roof Halo or framing this would avoid the side airbags an would allow a fair amount of access, it is clear by these pictures that we 1- Can Assume NOTHING, 2- must Strip away those inside body moldings, 3- need Automobile Rescue Education to be accelerated in importance. With the happenings of 9/11 our co-workers in Haz-Mat are getting a Blank Check and lotsa attention and it is well deserved, but in the long run of Day to Day stuff Automobile rescuers are much more likely to touch a persons life in a true and meanigful fashion! OK enough of the soap box!
    REMEMBER -- STRIP before you RIP!!!!!
    Last edited by Carl Avery; 05-14-2002 at 01:25 PM.
    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
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    I don't know about any one else's thoughts on this, but I am starting to think there might be a conspiracy going on between the Auto makers and the design corps. I think it is called "HIDE THE INFLATOR". The object is to see how long it takes for Emergency Services to either have someone killed because he/she cut "here" instead of "there" or maybe how long it will take for us to find it before the inflator goes off.

    This is starting to sound like a Monty Python skit. Pretty soon we will have auto parts all over the road because we had to strip the entire interior of the vehicle before we could cut or pry on any part of the darn thing.

    Some conerns I have are: 1) how long before one of us gets hurt because we either didn't know the vehicle was rigged that way, or forgot it might be rigged that way;
    2) how many more ingenious places they can think of to hide these itmes;
    3) how long it is before someone important (a celebrity or politician) dies because the rescue crew "took too long" in the extrication because of doing seek and disable missions on the interior of the vehicle before patient extraction.

    I mean its great that the auto manufacturers are trying to think of consumer safety, when is too much gone too far?

    I have been trying to keep up with all these "inovations" and keeping my station informed of these changes, but as an example, this is the third vehicle in less than 6 weeks that I have come across with something new added to the air bag system alone.

    Thank you to Ron Moore for trying to keep us up to date and as safe as is possible under the job conditions we work in. Thanks Ron!
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    perhaps a dumb/ignorant question...

    I realize this isn't the most logical thing in the world to do, but what would happen--in reality--if you did cut through one of these? I've been to the trainings and new vehicle technology course and heard all the talk. What I haven't heard is a true episode of someone causing additional damage/injury by biting into one of these things with a tool.

    Like I said, I certainly wouldn't be aiming for them. But what happens if they are "bitten"?

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    More bad news. Look at this European Mercedes station wagon. It's more "hide the inflator"!
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    Now let's zoom in to see the inflators.
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    Ya know Ron, the more you find and pass on about this darn vehicles, the more I am beginning to hate automotive designers. However the good news is that at least someone is passing this stuff on to those of us in the streets BEFORE something bad happens. Just hope we all remember this good info when it is needed for real.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Default Additional Information

    Hello!

    For your information, the european station wagon is the t-model of the mercedes-benz c-class. I don't know if it is sold in the USA.

    The other question was, how the gas-generators will react when they are cut. I could not answer this question properly. I was in contact with some airbag- and automobile manufactures here in europe. Some told me that there are no problems, which means no flying parts of the inflator, but they also told me not to cut the inflators because the gas-stream could raise some parts of the interior trim with it. I also heard a personal report of a 'bad' test which was conducted by an airbag manufacture. Volvo's 'information regarding the volvo safety restraint system' also states 'Important! For vehicles with inflatable curtains, if the roof needs to be cut open, avoid cutting the gas tubes for the inflatable curtain system'. I also saw a video of a test contucted by the fire department berlin/germany. They tested a new gas generator which is smaller and operates with a higer pressure. This gas-generator reacted very dangerous when it was cut in some areas.
    I also found some informations about hybrid-generator tests on some websites: www.extrication.com, www.holmatro.com.

    Ron, could you perhaps tell us something about the inflator-tests you know?
    Jorg Heck
    Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria
    http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

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    Here is the main problem as I see it from reading the posts here plus the ones on the home page on Volvo, BMW etc.

    The main safety statement that is posted on every compressed gas container from you basic aerosol can on up to the railway tankers and such is this:

    "do not apply to or near a heat source"
    "do no puncture or crush can - contents under pressure and may explode."

    Hmmmm two potential problems with that last one and the cylinder being "hidden" in the underliners of any vehicle. We cut through that cylinder and there is potential for it to blow up, with metal fragments all over the place, blow up and shred plastic bits all over the place from the interior trim pieces, or blow up and send compressed gases into the face of either the interior rescuer, the patient or the guy working the tool.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    There has got to be some answer to all this, Frankly the more we delve into this the more frustrating it gets! Training is the first and most obivious answer, Information goes hand in hand with that! It is getting well past the time that we had NATIONAL FOCUS in this country on EXTRICATION. Whether it is part of the National Fire Academy or a stand alone place that can act as a Clearing House for all of this. As an Educator in the field, I will say we have to Dig and Dig for information that should be much more readily available to us, Thanks to Ron and Jeorg and others like Dwight Clark and Ron Shaw for digging some of the information up for us, but AGAIN I say we need a full time Institution that is FUNDED to access and Distribute this information as well as ways to deal with it, OK, HOW IS THAT FOR A SOAP BOX point of view!
    Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
    Carl D. Avery

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    Default

    In looking at these pictures and some other locations for the gas containers, it seems to me that cutting the posts as low as possible is going to be our best (safest?) bet. I am thinking that flapping a roof towards the rear may compromise those cylinders, so total removal is looking better and better. 1 sawzall on each side of the car cutting right at the top of the body/bottom of the post looks as though that may be the "safest" way to handles roof's anymore. Thoughts?

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    Bones, the only problem with cutting low on the post is that you run into the reinforcing of the post. I found from hard earned experience in practice scenarios that cutting low doesn't work very well, and often doesn't do the job at all.

    I agree with you on the probability that flapping the roof over the back of the car could compromise the integrity of the rear cylinders, and that would truly suck if you did everything safely up to that point only to have one or two rear cyls fail and explode in your face.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Default Another spot

    This is from BMW. Carl you're right on the money, on one hand you hate to show guys this stuff because it scares them but on the other its a good way to get them to start removing trim panels. I've tried to get information from air bag manufactures and you're dealing with huge faceless corporations who seem to not care and certianly never reply to phone calls or emails. I'm still trying to find a good roof mounted bag.
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    Default one more pic

    This is a prototype for a blackhawk.
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    Smile

    Check out the "Auto-Liv" web site for some great info and pix of SRS systsems, etc...

    AutoLiv
    Luke

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    Default Another good site!

    This is the AORC or Automotive Occupant Restraint Council website. Links to lots of airbag makers.

    http://www.trw.com/extlink/1,,,00.ht...aorc.org&DIR=1

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    Exclamation Location of Side Impact Curtain Inflator/Squib

    While it may seem like the industry has another hidding place for us all to have to worry about, perhaps the industry is starting to look at the responder concerns after all. If you lookover some some of the locations of the side impact curtain or IC that Ron Moore has on the UE, they have moved from the rear pillar to the roof rail, and now to the rear headliner at the rear pillar. To be perfectly honest, I couldn't be more pleased.

    The IC in my oppinion is one of best designed safety devices. It not only protects against side impact, it helps reduce glass shards/pellets from entering the occupant cabin and inflicting injury to the occupant. The IC in conjunction with seatbelts reduces injuries and ejection during a rollover. The IC is here to stay, like any other new technology device we need to up date our procedures and training while performing extrication. Patient care should not be compromised because of active SRS devices. Time and distance are your best allies. Time: Use your battery power to your advantage, then disconnect the power source to drain down SRS capacitor reserve time. Distance: Distance yourself from all active airbags, don't put any hard device between any active airbag.

    I am sure most of you have herd of Ron Moore speak of scanning. On top of our shoulders we have the worlds most powerful computer. Lets vissualize the scene and link up to that computer to process what we scan. Scan the vehicle 360 degrees around, out from the vehicle, in toward and under the vehicle. You will be looking for all hazards including SRS, mechanisms of injury, number of patients and their condition. Then let your the computer formulate an action plan.

    If you don't know SRS common teltale signs or icons, browse through some of Moore's articles or threads in the forum and I am sure you will find the SRS icons, which will help you determine where and what type SRS device you have. At this point in time, there are no "dual action" IC so you won't have to worry about them deploying twice.

    If there is an IC, is it nececssary to displace a roof or can the EMS Sector operate within the confinds of the roof line? Cutting into an undeployed airbag of any type is not recommened, which includes the IC. Doing so will allow pressurized gasses to come out through an open butt should there be an accidental deployment. The interal static pressure can be 3,000+ psi.

    Joerg Heck has spoken about IC inflator tests conducted by the airbag industry that I am aware of and that I have spoken about on my web site. Yes it is true that unrestrained hybrid/liquid fueled inflators have been tested using rescue cutting tools.

    I first starting to correspond to one of the airbag representatives over three years ago. Through my correspondence our responder concerns were herd. Which resulted at the OEMs looking into the possibility of projectiles resulting from breaching the IC inflators.

    This resulted in the first of two test conducted by that airbag manufacturer. In both tests, whenever the pressure vessel was breached, any unrestrained end became a projectile. I have knowledge of three tests documenting that each time the cutting tool breached the pressure vessel projectiles resulted. Even when restrined, the forces were so great that in some evolutions projectiles resulted.

    It was thought that when the hydraulic cutters breached the metal pressure vessel that it would simply cut like sheet metal and slowly vent the gasses. However for those of us that have cut hard steel, we know that the cutting tool actually compresses hard thick steel to the point that it fractures the material. This can be demonstrated the same as cutting a Nadar pin or other case harden steel. The cutting blades may dig into the metal surface slightly, causing it only to be scored. The tremendous buildup of kinetic pressure created, commponded with the rapid release of stored gasses results in a catstrophic failure of the pressure vessel with projectiles.

    There are alternative methods of performing extrication techniques, such as displacing the dash. Which can be done quite succesfully without displacing the roof. On the average, I can teach a beginner to displace a dash without displacing the roof, in 8-minutes or less from the point of arrival.

    While some may disagree, I only find new safety devices to be a an inconvience to the responder. Don't fall into the Responder Fear Syndrome. Ron Moore and I will be teaching several hands on programs at this years Firehouse Expo and then we both will be teaching a segment together on New Vehicle Technology, try to attend. Ron will be going over vehicle contruction and airbags and I will be covering hybrid vehicles and an introduction to fuel cell technology. Hope we see you there, and stay safe!
    Ron Shaw
    http://www.extrication.com

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