1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    815

    Default "Chief...the roof is hissing!"

    This incident occurred in the city where I work. This shot during the cleanup stage shows what was accomplished at the extrication scene.

    The vehicle is a Dodge Durango, side-resting, driver's side down. Undercarriage is against a power pole. Female driver was trapped in her seat.

    During the rescue process, the A-pillars and B-pillars were all cut. A recip saw then sliced down through the roof, allowing it to be peeled down.

    What was interesting was that as the passenger's side B-pillar was cut, there was an immediate hissing sound for approximately 5-8 seconds. As the hissing occurred, there was also a release of a mist of what looked like smoke coming from the B-pillar. After the hissing slowed, a liquid was seen dripping from the cuts of the B-pillar. I was the one inside cutting the B-pillar.

    What happened?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  2. #2
    dazed and confused
    Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default VERY interesting

    I'm gonna guess a SRS airbag cylinder was comprimised when the B-pillar was cut.

    If this is the case, I wonder if this is a "fluke" where there wasn't a catastrophic failure of the cylinder. I still question some of the 'urban legends' surrounding these cylinders and extrication procedures. But I certainly would not want to be the one to unsuccessfully "test" this theory to see if it is safe to puncture these!

    One question, did you remove the trim before the cut was made?

    If it is not an SRS pressurization cylinder, I guess I'm not quite sure what it would be.


    PS - had a chance to mess around with what looks to be Branch Edge Protectors shown in your picture... very cool product.
    Last edited by Resq14; 06-14-2003 at 01:23 PM.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Puyallup, Wa.
    Posts
    45

    Default

    I'm thinking that hissing sound is probably a a/c coolant line being severed. I remember reading that certain SUV's ran them up into the roof via the B pillar.
    I think there was also a story on the FH home page sometime in the last year of a firefighter getting sprayed in the face making this same cut on a Durango.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    That's what I was thinking, since many of the larger SUVs and many mini vans now have the rear air controls with more vents in the rear........

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    540

    Default

    Questions.

    Was there a roof mounted A/C unit in the vehicle? If so I would have to agree with the A/C lines.

    Or like was also mentioned before cylinders for an airbag, though I thought those were set off by an explosive charge.

    So Ron, what was it?
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

  6. #6
    iceman4442
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Yes, the hissing was the a/c coolant. The Durango is available with a rear a/c - heat unit, and if it is so equipped, the lines run up either the passenger side "B" pillar, or the passenger side "C" pillar, depending on the year.

    Had an extrication instructor from Wyoming show us this, as his department had a man suffer a fairly serious eye injury from the escaping chemical.

  7. #7
    Member

    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Vadnais Heights, MN
    Posts
    59

    Default

    A/C line, trim panels need to be removed not only for bags and pretens but these a/c lines also.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    815

    Default

    And the answer to this challenge...... a roof-mounted A/C unit that had it's supply and return freon lines running up slong the passenger's side B-pillar. Cutting them as the roof pillar was cut caused the gas to escape. The lubricating oil also sprayed as a fine mist out the cut in the steel lines.

    Here's what you should be on the lookout for as you visually scan across the rear seat headliner.....
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    815

    Default

    In addition to the telltale swelling of the roof headliner and the vents, louvers, and controls in the headliner, this is what you are looking for when you strip away the trim of the roof pillars.

    Remember, not all rear A/C units do it this way. The Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Escalade for example, keep the compressor unit back in the passenger rear quarter panel area behind the rear wheel. Only a black plastic ducting is run up the passenger's side C-pillar to supply all the vents throughout the interior headliner for the second and third-row seat passengers.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default

    Those who came before me, beat me to the answer. I would not have even been able to guess at the correct answer except that 2 weeks ago MartinM was on vacation to this neck of the woods, and his "rental" was a 2003 Dodge Durango, and being a passenger for once, I noticed the a/c controls in the headliner for the back seat area. It seemed odd to be displayed that way, but now the "oddity" has been solved.

    Thanks to Ron for the pics and the info, as always good stuff to know.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 07-01-2003 at 10:33 PM.
    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.

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