Thread: "Chief...the roof is hissing!"
06-14-2003, 12:44 PM #1
"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.
06-14-2003, 02:19 PM #2
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 02:23 PM.God Bless America! • Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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06-14-2003, 02:34 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Puyallup, Wa.
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.
06-14-2003, 05:24 PM #4
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........
06-16-2003, 02:59 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2001
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
06-16-2003, 05:41 AM #6iceman4442Firehouse.com Guest
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.
06-16-2003, 10:42 AM #7
- Join Date
- Apr 1999
- Vadnais Heights, MN
A/C line, trim panels need to be removed not only for bags and pretens but these a/c lines also.
06-29-2003, 04:12 PM #8
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.....
06-29-2003, 04:16 PM #9
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.
07-01-2003, 11:30 PM #10
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- Mar 2002
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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.
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