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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default Side airbags / belt tensioners

    Let me start by saying that I've been doing extrications for about 7 years. ~10 live extrications per year, and practice sessions quarterly.. I feel I have a good grasp on various methods of door / roof removal and dash lift/rolls. None of my training has ever indicated any awareness of airbags other than the front airbags common in most of today's vehicles. Mitigation has always been disconnect battery, and be aware of discharge times.

    I've been lurking in the UofE for some time, and it has become more and more obvious to me that I do not have enough iformation about this topic.
    I've been searching the archive's for information regarding side protection / belt tensioner devices, and found a few bits.


    Is there someone who can categorize the issues with un-deployed devices of these types?

    From my reading:


    1) Gas cylinders for these devices contain dangerous pressures, and may be located in A,B,C,D posts of vehicles, or at the base of the rear of the seats either center or rocker panel. Cutting these devices while charged is risky at best, very dangerous at worst.

    2) Crushing / cutting of some parts of vehicles (front fenders, A posts) can result in damage to airbag sensor's and computers which could lead to an unplanned deployment of these devices.

    3) Best practice(s) include determining the contents of interior trim before cutting either by removal or 'prying' the trim to look under. Also, de-energizing electrical systems by disconnecting and insulating the negative battery cable, and turning off the ignition.

    4) Discharge times for airbag capacitors vary greatly by manufacturer and model. Seconds to minutes.


    Please clarify any of these points if I've made errors or ommissions.


    Are there other statements that could be made about these types of devices which I've missed?


  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Watch the video of Ron Moore's training that is archived on here. That will help you some, also........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default video?

    Can you think of any keywords that would help me to localize that video? I've done a number of searches in this fourm, but haven't had any success. Thanks

  4. #4
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Don't search the forums...... go to the Firhouse.com home page......

    It's in the black/dark gray area just below the rotating pictures....... There's 4 or 5 different things listed in the Training Live area. One is Ron Moore's Airbag update........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  5. #5
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Side airbags / belt tensioners

    Originally posted by rualfire


    1) Gas cylinders for these devices contain dangerous pressures, and may be located in A,B,C,D posts of vehicles, or at the base of the rear of the seats either center or rocker panel. Cutting these devices while charged is risky at best, very dangerous at worst.

    2) Crushing / cutting of some parts of vehicles (front fenders, A posts) can result in damage to airbag sensor's and computers which could lead to an unplanned deployment of these devices.

    3) Best practice(s) include determining the contents of interior trim before cutting either by removal or 'prying' the trim to look under. Also, de-energizing electrical systems by disconnecting and insulating the negative battery cable, and turning off the ignition.

    4) Discharge times for airbag capacitors vary greatly by manufacturer and model. Seconds to minutes.


    1) I'm not sure what your question is here. Your statements are correct. Just make sure you disconnect the battery to help lessen the possibility of accidental deployment. If the canisters are fully charged you can get a real surprise if you cut them.

    2) Do you mean during the accident or extrication? The systems are highly technical and usually only respond to what they are programmed for. Unless you involve yourself into their routine you should be okay. (See Dayton)

    3) The only real way to check for side curtain bags is to remove the interior trim and look for the canisters. The notice on the sun visors will only tell you that the vehicle has air bags, not how many or where. Turning off the ignition and REMOVING the key can not guarantee that power is gone but can help if you can't find the battery. Manufacturers are hiding them in wheel wells and under rear seats in many models.

    4) Capacitor drain time varies from make to make and model to model. I can tell you that while I was putting together the air bag class that I have taught since 1991 that the air bags need at least 5 volts of the 12 volt system to operate. One manufacturer that helped put the class together tested several models and we found that in a little over a minute the car's electrical system drained to less than 5 volts. GM tells their technicians to wait 1 hour after disconnecting the battery but I think that is CYA and we don't have an hour. Not to push any product but the only way to have what you need is to buy the Holmatro book that will tell you how many air bags a vehicle has, where they are and where the battery is. The only problem is that you have to buy a new one every year to keep up with the new models.

    The best thing I can tell you is what Ron Moore & I have been saying for years.

    1) Upon arrival do a 360 of the vehicle.
    2) Stabilize the vehicle. (See Dayton)
    3) Disconnect the battery. (See Dayton)
    4) Keep all tools, medical equipment and personnel out of the path of deployment. (See Dayton)
    5) Keep an eye out for any single width brightly colored wires, usually yellow, red or orange. (See Dayton) They belong to the S.I.R. system. All other electrical wires are usually bundled or multi-plexed.

    If you really aren't sure about the location of bags or cannisters, you can always do a trench cut of the roof and remove your patient straight up through the opening.

    More than anything else, have all your team members watch out for everyone else.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  6. #6
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Also.......
    Also, de-energizing electrical systems by disconnecting and insulating the negative battery cable, and turning off the ignition.
    Double cut or disconnect and secure BOTH battery cables. Just make sure you do the negative 1st..........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default Great information!!!

    I've found all the 'stuff'

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/sec...p?sectionId=19

    Really good documents by Ron Moore.

    I was wading through all of the Fourms, when what I was really after was right here.

    I'll keep looking for the video, I haven't found it yet.

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I really appreciate it.

    Randy Adams

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Side airbags / belt tensioners

    Hello rualfire!

    I think the film mentioned in the other post is not really a film but the webcast, go to http://www.firehouse.com/live, I think there'll you find hat you're seeking for.

    Here are my comments to your question:
    Originally posted by rualfire
    1) Gas cylinders for these devices contain dangerous pressures, and may be located in A,B,C,D posts of vehicles, or at the base of the rear of the seats either center or rocker panel. Cutting these devices while charged is risky at best, very dangerous at worst.
    You're right, but I don't know any car manufacture which places stored gas infaltor for head airbags directly into the B-post (I think Ron also says this during the webcast), so thats not the problem. As you said they could be mounted in all the other posts or at the edge of the roof in a great number of positions. When cutting directly into the b-post there other problems, such as reinforments (seatbelt attachment bracket) or seatbelt pretensioners. It is possible that the pretensioners are mounted in the middle of the b-post or at the base of it. If you don't find them there is is possible that they are mounted to the buckle. Remember to cut the seatbelt as early as possible and try to avoid demaging the pretensiones itself. These device don't use stored gas as the gas generator for airbags could do, but they also use pyrotechnics.

    Originally posted by rualfire
    2) Crushing / cutting of some parts of vehicles (front fenders, A posts) can result in damage to airbag sensor's and computers which could lead to an unplanned deployment of these devices.
    I don't think its possible to completle avoid demaging airbag sensores. For the frontal airbags they are mounted at the front-end of the car or they are directly mounted to the airbag computer normaly located at the center console of the vehicle. The chance of damaging this devides when performing side evolutions is not very high. The side impact sensors are located at the base of the b-post, at seat-cross-member or at the rocker-channel. I think its not possible to avoid these sensors because we could not identify them easily. Crushing such a sensor does not automatically result in an airbag deployment because normaly more then one sensor have to detect an acceleration and the characteristics of the acceleration have to be of a special kind!
    Jorg Heck
    Moditech Rescue Solutions B.V.
    http://www.moditech.com

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default clarification

    Thanks Jorg for the clarification about gas cylinders in B posts, secondly for clearing up the idea of crushing sensors.

    I did find and view the webcast. It was also very helpful in clarifying these issues.

    I'm wondering if you can give a quick explainaition of HOW seatbelt pretensioners work?

    I understand the concept. Detect and impact, and tighten the seatbelt so there is less movement of the person.

    As you said, they use a pyrotechnic charge. Do they 'wind' the seatbelt, or rather 'pull' the slack from the belt?

    With how much force do they tighten the belt?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: clarification

    Hello!

    Originally posted by rualfire
    As you said, they use a pyrotechnic charge. Do they 'wind' the seatbelt, or rather 'pull' the slack from the belt?

    With how much force do they tighten the belt?
    There are different concepts. Most pretensioners I know today wind the seatbelt back a few inches to remove the slack. They are not powerfull enough to pull the passenger back when he is 'Out of position'. As I said before, other conecpts pull back the seatbelt buckle to get the tension in the seatbelt.

    Here is an animation of a 'rote-style' pretensioner (ww.Autoliv.com).



    Be aware that there are some pretensioners out there that are mechanically activated, they have no connection to the battery system of the car. Remove the seatbelt as early as possible!
    Jorg Heck
    Moditech Rescue Solutions B.V.
    http://www.moditech.com

  11. #11
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Default

    Along with everything else... keep the 5-10-20 rules in the back of your mind on all vehicles with supplemental restraint systems. Keep a 5 inch clearance away from potential side airbags, 10 inches from the steering wheel airbag and 20 inches from the passenger side airbag.

    Not an exact or perfect system... but it is better than no system at all.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

  12. #12
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    Randy;
    Have you seen the Holmatro Guidebook?
    Are you planning to attend the CREST meeting on the 10th?
    If so, I'll bring a copy for you to review.
    Stay Safe,
    George
    I.A.C.O.J. - Getting crustier every day

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default Homaltro

    George.

    I haven't seen the Homaltro book yet. Its on my top ten wish list though.

    CRESTG... yes, I'm hoping to be there. The Chief was talking about attending, so we'll see.

    Most of our guys have been through vehicle extrication training. Are there plans to co-ordinate an intermediate/advanced extrication course through CRESTG? We've talked about finding an instructor locally to help us with a course. Do you know anyone who fits the bill?

    Also, we got an invite to the Calgary extrication competition. That would certainly be a good motivator to get out there and tune our skills. Are you sending a team?

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    Randy;
    The advanced course is a good idea, Let's talk about it at the meeting.
    I.A.C.O.J. - Getting crustier every day

  15. #15
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    Default Challenge

    Come on George, are ya putting in a team or what? I've been bugging ya since last year!

  16. #16
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    Default Challenge

    Rualfire, Are you guys thinkimg of putting in a team? I'ts an awesome learning experience for all, Burlington Ont, is coming out for it and they have placed nationally so just watching them compete is a great learning curve.

    Randy Schmitz
    Calgary Fire Dept.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber rualfire's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm very interested in it. I've left the details with the guys to review. If there are enough who are willing to put in the time, we'll scare up a medic and put in our application.

    We, as a group haven't been doing this very long. So there is some aprehension about it. I think once they read the format and scoring they may come around.

    I've passed the detail's along to two other departments I've got associate's at Drumheller and Lacombe. Drum's been in the rescue biz for quite a while. Lacombe I think has just recently aquired extrication equipment. They should be pretty gung-ho.

    Still no word from George about HIS team?

  18. #18
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    Lacombe enterd a team in last years challenge in Nisku, I' ve been talking to Vince Wilcox and they will probably enter a team again.

  19. #19
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    Randy;
    All right, all right, it looks like we will be entering a team.
    I talked to Rob last night and he confirmed it.
    George
    I.A.C.O.J. - Getting crustier every day

  20. #20
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    Awesome!!! you guys are going to do great and have lots of fun.

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