1. #1
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    ffsmromstadt13's Avatar
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    Mar 2003

    Lightbulb Extrication Question ?

    On a MVA do you normally secure the electical system (battery or at the least removed the keys and secure the ignition)??? I notice a lot of MVA pictures and video's with Fire Departments on scence and, maybe it's just me but the headlights are on, how hard is this to notice? Is it or not a safety factor???? And very easy to reduce a potential hazard for FIREFIGHTERS!!!!!!!
    Last edited by ffsmromstadt13; 03-31-2003 at 05:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    firefighter26's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
    Sooke, B.C.

    Default Re: Extrication Question ?

    Originally posted by ffsmromstadt13
    On a MVA do you normally secure the electical system (battery or at the least removed the keys and secure the ignition)???
    As often as we can.

    Keys out of the ignition is always a good thing, and one of the first things we look for.

    We cut the battery if we are in a hurry, but most of the time, if it is a minor MVA we'll take the time to simply disconnect it.

    One thing to remember, and I have been keeping this in the back of my mind at our MVAs, is that while working on the PT, a little extra room is always welcomed. Either moving seats out of the way so you can get in closer, or even moving the PTs seat during removal. Cutting the battery pretty much rules out any chance if the vehicle has power seats.

    We had an SUV take an unscheduled off road trip a few weeks ago. While working on the driver, from the passenger seat (EHS medic in the back seat working with me) we decided we could simply move her seat back to give us the extra room between her and the steering with (and the crushed roof) to get her out. The battery was already cut, but luckily they were not power seats. I figure it would have taken an extra 10 minutes to get her out if the seat was unable to move.

    It is pretty rare that this combination of things happen. Chances are, if the vehicle is badly enough damaged that you need to use the jaws, then the battery will be "self disconnected" and thus will not matter.

    At a vehicle fire (also a few weeks ago) we disconnected the battery, then reconnected it so we could try to put the power windows up (it wasn't a large file, and FF from another department had it out before we got there - We wanted the windows up because the tow truck was going to take an hour to get to us and the driver was coming back to the station to wait).

    Anyway, just something else to consider. In my mind, I like to know the batter is disconnected, but sometimes a good vehicle assesment can change things your tactics.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

  3. #3
    Permanently Removed
    Kvfcjr's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    We usually do, if we can get to it atleast

  4. #4
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....

    Thumbs up Yeah, Me Too....

    We usually: 1. Remove the battery cables, or: 2. Cut the cables. Whatever it takes to stop the flow of electricity thru the system. Some vehicles have more than one battery now, including automobiles, and securing that 2nd battery is sometimes difficult. We always make sure the keys ARE in the ignition because the tow operator needs them. (I know, funny system) We work closely with the LEO's and Tow operators, as everyone benefits from a little help out in the field. Stay Safe....
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  5. #5
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    Duffman's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Chicago area


    I always turn off the ignition. Usually disonnect the battery with a wrench as opposed to cutting the cable. Don't forget that most cars have capacitors that can hold power for a while even after the cable is disconnected or cut.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."


  6. #6
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
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    Jan 1999


    It's standard procedure for us to disconnect the battery on MVAs and vehicle fires.

    Of course, last year... We had an extrication where we couldn't find the battery. At all. It wasn't under the hood and it wasn't in the trunk. I've slept since then (not much, but enough) and can't remember the make/model. Obviously, it shows that as cars evolve, so must our knowledge of them.

  7. #7
    Junior Member

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    Feb 2003


    We have been trained to remove keys from ignition and drop them on the floor under steering wheel. This way a daysed PT can't suddenly come around and think he will start the engine and drive off. It also keeps the keys accessable for whatever reson and not lost. Disconnecting the battery would depend on damage to vehicle. If fuel and electrical systems are damaged then it is best to remove any chance of ignition.

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