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  1. #1
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    Default Deploying airbags for training

    Our departmant is just starting to get into extrication training. I have seen airbags used in training as a demonstration. I would like to do this for our department. How do you go about setting them off?

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    I take it you're referring to automotive safety air bags and not lifting air bags.

    I always deploy one at the end of my air bag safety class with a tool my our service department has and a 9 volt battery. I doubt if the tool is available to the general public.

    I would check with any dealers you have in the area, talk to the service manager and ask if they will not only help deploy the bag but go over any safety issues and the proper way to make sure they don't deploy during rescue operations.

    Also, getting an air bag to deploy is not an easy thing to. I'm fortunate that GM supports my class and gets them for me but that's because I work for a dealer. Too many people are stealing the bags and selling them to body shops so getting one may be real difficult for you.

    I applaud the fact that you want to train in that area. Just remember one thing: Find the battery and disconnect it. If you do, even with capacitors which will drain, the chances are you should not accidently deploy the system.

    Good luck.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I'd like to take a new 7 series BMW and have a little red button that will fire all 12 bags at once. That would be a nice eye opener.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    IF you know what you are doing, you can wire the airbag to go off on your command, whenever you want without any special tool. We did it for an extrication training drill as well.
    http://www.tcfd.com/university-of-ex...ion/airbag.mpg

    Used our "rescue randy" in the drivers seat. Looks really good.

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    We also used a Rescue Randy and threw it back a ways. I just wanted to know how to connect the bag up to a 9v battery, I never saw the connection.
    Dan, could you email me a description of how you connected it up?
    Thanks

    joebru@telus.net

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    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
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    We should NOT train on vehicles that have a loaded airbag. It's not worth it if something were to go wrong.

    The frontal airbag inflators found in the vintage of cars that we are typically cutting up are chemical units. The driver's module is beneath the steering wheel/horn button. The passenger frontal airbag is above the glove compartment. At the back of the actual inflator module, they all have two wires that 'zap' the ingitor to cause the bag to deploy.

    To manually deploy these frontal airbags, you need to 'dig' until you find the actual metal module that is the chemical airbag inflator and then splice into the two power wires connected to it.

    To set up the steering wheel bag, I use a deep-socket wrench and unbolt the airbag module from the steering wheel ring. There are usually four nuts to remove to get the entire inflator module to come out. I cut the pair of ignitor wires, splice in about 10 feet of speaker wire and then bolt the airbag module back into the steering wheel unit. I fire the bag by touching the wire leads to a car battery.

    For the passenger's bag, I tear out the glove compartment, lay on the floorboard upside down and find the wire pair at one end of the inflator module. I splice into that pair with the speaker wires and you're all set.

    That's how I did it for the video that Dan posted the link to. It was one of several tests done during the Trumball Connecticut extrication seminar.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  7. #7
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rmoore
    We should NOT train on vehicles that have a loaded airbag. It's not worth it if something were to go wrong.
    Well said Ron.

    That's why I only use modules I get from GM that have either been removed from vehicles or were not up to quality standards and never placed in vehicles. (Usually insignias or names aren't centered, etc.)
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  8. #8
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    I have been in a few training sessions where the airbag was left in the vehicle before we tore it apart. What we did was place a "dummy" (a stuffed one, not one of the instructors) into the vehicle and then the airbag(s) is deployed. This gives a good sense for what our patients have experienced prior to our arrival (and also assures that the vehicle is safer to work with).

    If we have more than one vehicle available with an undeployed airbag, we will take a disposable dummy (no, not the guys wearing the white helmets!!!) and place an arm through the spokes of the steering wheel and then deply the airbag. Often, this results in a dismembered dummy which is a real eye opener to some of the students who have a habit of not holding the steering wheel properly. It can also help illustrate the potential for injuries that may be encountered due to airbag deployment.

    It should be noted that the bags are deployed by a trained service technician who understands how the systems operate. I agree with Mr. Moore in that you have no business trying to set one of these things off unless you are very competent in their operation.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  9. #9
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    Thanks Ron, that's what I needed to know. As dragonfyre said we were planning on using units that have been taken out.
    Thanks all for the info.

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    Hello!

    I'm a little bit confused about some of the statements. Over here in germany you need a special training to deploy airbags for demonstrations or recycling, and I think this is good because airbags pose a special danger when they are not mounted in the car or when you are working on the cables etc.

    I think its more dangerous to dig for the cables of an undeployed airbag and then connect the wires to a electrical source without proper training than training extrication on a vehicle with airbags (you have to follow the safety rules!). In Germany it is strongly recomended to disconnect the battery and wait until the drain down of the capacitor is finshed when service personal is working on the airbag system (Ron did not refer to this in his post!)

    I think the risk of an accidentaly airbag deployment is not very high because there have only been a few documented cases. Go to the LODD-section of firehouse.com and see what the real dangers of our job are! We could reduce the risk by following some simple rules, that good. But I think its getting very dangerous when WE beginn to deploy all the airbags we find in the cars we use for training. There are a lot of service and maintanance personal that have been injuried becuase of airbag deployments during service so this is the more dangerous action!

    If you need a airbag deployment for training purposes I think you should ask a well trained service technican if he could do this for you!
    Jorg Heck
    Moditech Rescue Solutions B.V.
    http://www.moditech.com

  11. #11
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    Talking

    we placed an old rescue randy in the passenger seat, we leant the dummy forward, simulating an unrestrained passenger. The bag was then detonated by a trained vehicle mechanic.
    When the bag deployed, it first threw the dummy backwards, the head restraint on the passenger seat sheared off and the the dummy was decapitated. One thing for sure, I would not ride in a vehicle that has air bags without ensuring I am wearing the seat belt.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
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    Interesting sideline to deploying airbags for training. Worked via email with an Arizona instructor who just couldn't figure out how to deploy the airbags in an aquired vehicle planned on being used for training. I sent him all kinds of information and he even sent me photos of the inflator modules so I could 'coach' him on how to rig up this specific vehicle. Still no success.

    Eventually I got this email from the instructor and what an unexpected twist!

    "After receiving your email I was more bound and determined then ever to set off those air bags. I tried everything that you suggested without any luck. I then went to the passenger side air bag and pulled off the vinal covering that covers the bag itself and discovered the bag itself had been cut off. Apparently the car had been in an accident and someone cut the bags off and glued the dashboard cover and steering wheel cover back in place. Talk about a false sense of security for the next owner of this vehicle."
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  13. #13
    FIGJAM lutan1's Avatar
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    Ron, I've heard of this happening with some of the less than reputable smash repair companies. They claim it is being replaced for insurance and then keep the module without replacing it....

    Another one to this is seatbelts- seatbelts are meant to be replaced also, but rarely do (Due to the shock loading and so on). I have always encouraged rescuers to cut them so as it forces the belt to be replaced if the car has not been written off.
    Luke

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