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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
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    Default Tricks to popping the hood?

    Senerio: Car fire, fire is cooking pretty good. Fire is in the engine compartment, burned through the front grill (Chevy surburben). Majority of the fire is on the drivers side, front tire is already melted to the rim.

    Knock down a majority of teh fire on the outside of the car, pierced the hood w/the haligan and peeled back teh corner of the hood. Knocked down most of the fire. Getting the hood open...tried from the inside, cable is melted. Nothing left to do but go after the latch. After a few minutes of twisting and prying, I was able to pop the hood.

    Is there an easier way to get that hood open?
    Jim
    Firefighter/EMT
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    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!


  2. #2
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tricks to popping the hood?

    Originally posted by sbfdco1
    Getting the hood open...tried from the inside, cable is melted. Nothing left to do but go after the latch. After a few minutes of twisting and prying, I was able to pop the hood.

    Is there an easier way to get that hood open?
    Trying the latch is always the best...maybe 25% of the time it will work, but that saves you effort.

    Two tips we tried:
    1. Place the fork of the haligan on either side of the security latch. Set it with a strike or two on the end, then twist 90 to 180 degrees. Then strike the haligan again to push through.
    2. Our engines all had extrication tools. The pump and cutters could be set up in under 90 seconds...which an unpracticed person would easily waste on the latch. Use hydraulic cutters...quick and easy. Overkill? Sure...but quick and easy.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Holmatro Combi Tool. Works every time. We also use it fairly often at the back of the hood, prying the hood of the hinges. Keeps you away from the front bumpers and such.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  4. #4
    Forum Member FiftyOnePride's Avatar
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    Both methods mentioned I would say, but if you gotta go in front of the car do it as quick as you can, get way from that bumper.
    JLS
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  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Find the cable!!!! Do it first!!! FIND THE CABLE!!!!

    Once you begin to "force" the hood, you're in for problems. The mentality is it will pop quick. The reality is, the lock is designed to hold the hood closed with a high speed direct wind lift during driving. It's not going to pop easily.

    FIND THE CABLE, then pull it or crimp it or twist it or all the above, but find the cable and use it to release the hood. I have watched 100+ hoods "forced" and usually am lighting my second cigarette before the job is done.

    One last thing, FIND THE CABLE"

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    - Thanks guys!
    Jim
    Firefighter/EMT
    IACOJ
    ftm-ptb-rfb-egh-ktf-dtrt!

    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!

  7. #7
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by E229Lt
    Find the cable!!!! Do it first!!! FIND THE CABLE!!!!

    Once you begin to "force" the hood, you're in for problems. The mentality is it will pop quick. The reality is, the lock is designed to hold the hood closed with a high speed direct wind lift during driving. It's not going to pop easily.

    FIND THE CABLE, then pull it or crimp it or twist it or all the above, but find the cable and use it to release the hood. I have watched 100+ hoods "forced" and usually am lighting my second cigarette before the job is done.

    One last thing, FIND THE CABLE"
    So... what you are saying is find the cable? Is this to keep you from chain smoking?
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  8. #8
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    Definatly try the cable first. Prying should be a last resort. IF the pull handle is burnt away under the dash, try to access the cable by taking out the grill. Grab the cable and put it between the Halligan fork. Now twist the Halligan as far as needed to realese the lock. If you cant find the cable by removing the grill, try prying up the side of the hood on the drivers side. The cable often runs alongside or tucked under the fender at this point. Grab the cable and give it a sharp pull with the Halligan, or a 6ft hook. If these fail, then try prying by the latch. When you've pryed enough to see the latch or mechanisim, often a Sawzall is all that is needed to cut the latch.
    Also ALWAYS search the trunk. If you cant use the key or release, a quick way that rarely fails is to use a maul. Hit down once on top of trunk near back edge. Then swing in and up just above the lock. A couple of hits and it should pop open. If its an ADV, then be sure to destroy the latch, so no local kids will get locked in while playing after you leave.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber sbfdco1's Avatar
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    Smile

    Guys, again I appreciate your feedback.

    MattyJ - From the adz end of the haligan, you can take the pike and drive the lock straight through correct. W/ help from either a maul of the back end on the axe of course.

    I have used this method before, works well.
    Jim
    Firefighter/EMT
    IACOJ
    ftm-ptb-rfb-egh-ktf-dtrt!

    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    From the adz end of the haligan, you can take the pike and drive the lock straight through
    If this is done carefully, the lock cylinder and armature will remain engauged in the lock. Now a flat head screwdriver is inserted into the keyway of the cylinder and turned, VIOLA!

    Remember, FE doesn’t always mean forcible entry. Sometimes it means finesse entry.

  11. #11
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    We use a slightly different approach. We use a piercing nozzle through the wheel well or a headlight, and fill the compartment with CAFS. Then, with no fire, we can take our time to find what is left of the cable/latch.

  12. #12
    Forum Member firespec35's Avatar
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    We actually made a tool. it is about 2 feet long with a small set of forks on one end and a t- handle on the other. get the cable between the forks and start twisting . it's fast. the rod is about 1/4" in diameter and the forks aren't much bigger just enough room between them to get the cable in
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
    There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!

  13. #13
    Forum Member 33motor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firespec35
    We actually made a tool. it is about 2 feet long with a small set of forks on one end and a t- handle on the other. get the cable between the forks and start twisting . it's fast. the rod is about 1/4" in diameter and the forks aren't much bigger just enough room between them to get the cable in
    I agree with you and E229Lt

    We also have a tool like you made. T handle with a groove on the straight end. It beats the heck out of force. It usually takes a minute or less and it's open.
    http://www.sanantoniofire.org

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  14. #14
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    Im not sure about the other engines in my department but the engine I run has a tool we use to put the fire out in the hood without even opening it at all. We extinguish the fire and open it than when its contained and down. It looks like a long rod with a huge iron rectangle/brick on the end. You connect a garden hose to the poles end and than use the tool like a sledge hammer and it goes right through the hood, than turn the hose on and bye bye fire, dousing water swamps the fire.
    Mike
    Levittown, NY
    Cadet Corps Member
    1st Lieutenant

  15. #15
    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by E229Lt
    Find the cable!!!!
    Lets change the scenario around a little to our last vehicle fire.

    Scenario: Fully involved BMW. Two door, looked like an early to mid 80's model (I am not 100% sure). About the only thing not on fire are the rear tires and the trunk lid. Initial attack is fast and hard and the majority of the fire is knocked down easily. We use the trusty straight stream through the grill @ 200psi (operating pressure for the foam line), but we still want to get into the engine compartment and have a look. No inside latch because the entire interior has been gutted. Moving around to the front of the vehicle to get a look at the latch assembly only to find that it is one of those backwards hoods (probably invented by the same person who thought it would be a good idea to have to lift the engine out just to change your spark plugs).

    Using the ever trusty 5 foot pry bar and some basic principles of leverage, and it only took a few minutes to “finesse” the hood open (it was actually one of the easiest hood-prys I have ever done).

    This fancy hood-fork sounds interesting (we usually resort to using the channel lock pliers to get the same thing done). Anyone have any pictures and dimensions to share?? It sounds like it is worth getting one made up.

    Originally posted by firemanjb
    Use hydraulic cutters...quick and easy. Overkill? Sure...but quick and easy.
    I’ve used a chop saw to open a hood.. Then again, I’ve used a chop so to ventilate a work van (which is a completely different, and unrelated, story)
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

  16. #16
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    Default Another way to work smarter, not harder:

    I like taking the K12 (type) saw to the hinges. Fast, effective. Just another tool in the toolbox to think about.

    Stay safe
    Ken

  17. #17
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Cutting the hinges might not get it open, as the latch will still hold. If the car is a lost cause, we just cut a "V" around the latch assembly, and up comes the hood. It's faster than fooling with the cable, especially if the cable is hidden, to prevent theft.

  18. #18
    Cpt. Common Sents nbfcfireman's Avatar
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    Best and quickest that I teach is to peel up a corner by the windshield up. and with a haligan you can knock the spring or piston right off the body then just lift the hood off from one side

  19. #19
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    A little off topic, but the mention of the bumper shocks reminded me of a recent call I had. Dispatched for a burn patient (running EMS that day,) found a patient that had been cutting a car apart, and the acetylene torch blew back in his face; 2nd degree burns. Patient walked out to the ambulance, so transport was started to the hospital without me seeing the vehicle. The Fire Chief radioed that the patient had cut into the bumper shock. I then told the patient that he cut into the shock, and he said "I was nowhere near the shock, I was cutting the bumper off." I then explained to the patient about the shock on the bumper, which he had no idea was there.

  20. #20
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Default Hood Release Tools

    We use a couple of these. You can make them yourself, or buy them. Here is a commercial version:

    http://www.hightechrescue.com/Tools/hoodtool.htm



    A Halligan tool will work also, but these smaller diameter tools are far easier to get into tight places.
    Last edited by Resq14; 06-26-2004 at 01:43 AM.
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