View Poll Results: Do you teach pulling the steering column during training?

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  • Yes

    21 53.85%
  • No

    18 46.15%
  1. #1
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    Question Pulling the steering column?

    Seems as if pulling the steering column is making a resurgence in some arenas. Do you still teach it?

    If so, do you use the 'half-wheel', the Column Master, or simply cribbing?
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
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  2. #2
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    Our group has never really gotten away from teaching it. When we do we use cribbing. Don’t know if that was any help to you. We add new things as we train but also stick with the “old” ways so the guys have an idea if we need to do that.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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    Still do it, but we use a ~14" diameter tree trunk section. Solid and rolls well.
    "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?

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    We roll the entire dash with rams. Its fast, easy, and safe if your properly trained. We have four sizes of rams and two pumps so we can get the job done pretty fast.

  5. #5
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    Seems as if pulling the steering column is making a resurgence in some arenas. Do you still teach it?
    A pull is simply another OPTION.

    Vehicle extricaiton is all about options- never dismiss any technique or state "we never do that becuase..." (Not saying you have, but others may...)
    Luke

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    It is another method to achieve an outcome... so it offers an option. For that reason, I feel it is worth teaching... even if you would prefer to do something different. I have only used cribbing since we don't have any other good options on board.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

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    We still teach it, and have used it in a pinch on accidents where the tools are stretched a little thin.
    We use a half rim, haven't tried any other method although I think the Column master looks pretty slick.
    Cheers,
    Gord

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    Take a 3 or 4 ft 4x4 place it between the top of the roof and fire wall so it sits above the steering wheel, wrap the column with a chain then bring the chain up over the 4x4 then insert your spreader tips in between the chain and the 4x4 and open your spreader tips to lift the column. Just another option for your tool box.

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    Holmatro's large "O" cutter cuts the column quite well.

    Otherwise, chain come-along, with half rim.

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    I still teach it, I like to give people as many different ways as possible to do things, the more you know the better your decisions will be about the scenario you are facing, some times our play toys just will not fit in the hole or they are broken.

    Ps It may be my own thing, but I try to discourage people from cutting steering columns, though I know there may be a time that it is a must, I am scared of that hard of metal snapping back when it cuts and the patient legs right there.
    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

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    Ok, so I'm curious...at this time, there are 8 no votes and a few posts on here from Yes voters. Would any No voter post Why they don't teach it?
    "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?

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    Both Volvo and Lincoln are using a pyrotechnic device in the steering column to allow it to collapse in a frontal collision with aitbag deployment.......so be careful what you cut!

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    No: Pulling the column worked on older cars with rack and pinion steering, where you were dealing with a solid shaft pretty much to the front axle. This gives you a long lever with the fulcrum towards the front of the car. Now we have power steering and a column that is designed to fold up like a z during a front impact. When you "pull" this type of column there is a good chance you could spank your patient when the first knuck lets go and 25 inches of column flips out towards the seat. By the time you get done preparing for the worst in that situation, you could have rolled the dash, even if it is just driver side push.

    I suppose you could cut the column, as stated above (I believe with a Halmotro C cutter?) however, if you have cut enough of them you will notice about 25% shoot off like a rocket straight at your patients head I would recomend cutting the outer ring of the steering wheel off to give you an additional six inches of room near the legs.

    Just my two cents worth, flame away.

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    Thanks for answering, discussion is where we all learn.

    No flaming, just curiousity.

    Have you ever, in training, pulled a column far enough to get the knuckle to break? I did, but at that time, the steering column had already lifted over 10 inches, well more than enough to remove a victim.
    "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?

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    Bones,
    Same experience has you with the column. I wouldnt be concerned if YOU were running tools with me and decided to pull the wheel. I personally dont show it in training because most of the students I run across wouldnt know when to stop pulling and start removing the patient. I guess I try and keep it simple, unless I am comfortable enough to show some advanced techniques. Keep is simple, right?

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    Teaching the column pull is still an option, what if you need to release a pinned occupant in the driver's seat with the vehicle on it's side "driver side" down? you can't open the door to put your ram in there and you can't do a modified dash displacement. Unless someone can offer another alternative, You are pretty much left with pulling the colunm off the person.

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    SpokaneRep, I'll agree, KISS. But if you aren't comfortable with their skills in knowing when to stop on this one technique, are you really that comfortable with them at any technique?

    firedog7, not too many years ago, did a dash roll from the passenger side to free the driver. Had to push/roll further, but it worked. MIGHT be another alternative to try sometime.
    "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?

  18. #18
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    No: Pulling the column worked on older cars with rack and pinion steering, where you were dealing with a solid shaft pretty much to the front axle. This gives you a long lever with the fulcrum towards the front of the car. Now we have power steering and a column that is designed to fold up like a z during a front impact. When you "pull" this type of column there is a good chance you could spank your patient when the first knuck lets go and 25 inches of column flips out towards the seat.
    I can't remember if it was Ron Moore or Ron Shaw (Extrication.com) but someone did a fantastic article a while ago disputing this. The main point of the article being that there is a lot of flexability in the column and the joint and the reality is that we don't need to pull a column that far to get someone out....
    Luke

  19. #19
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    It was our own Ron Moore. I'd use it as a last resort on a FWD but there are several other methods,some mentioned in this thread that I would use first.Not a big fan of cutting columns(hardened)but cut a ring? Quick and easy 4-6" gain.A lot of tilt wheels being sold today,sometimes a quick lever flip is all it takes.Or "power" the seat back before you secure the power(power seats only).On a side note,what do you do with plastic or fiberglass vehicles? This area(columns) is another area where Z-mag's bases and a short 4x4 can be useful.As the others indicated,they don't "fly"apart but the end with the U-joints is usually between the patients legs and unless you have a good view you can't always tell when the joint is going to separate.But then again I prefer not to cut hardened hinges even though it's considered normal with todays tools.I just don't like the way hardened material reacts when it's being severed.Opinions vary widely so do your own research and see what works best for you. T.C.

  20. #20
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    No, I do not teach it. A few yrs ago I refused to teach it to some new rookies in my career dept and pitched the skill criteria back across the station table to my then assistant chief and told him I wouldn't be teaching it. His response was "why". I told him he had 30 seconds to look in the parking lot and tell me why. His response was "I don't understand" and I told him that was my reason exactly. If a person with his background and experience couldn't keep in mind why to not why would anyone teach it with the safety concerns (tilt wheel, etc.) when you can accomplish the same and even bette result with a dash roll with less chance taken to further injur the victim.

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    We have not taught this in a while. I agree with other post that it should be taught as an option. We should give our firefighters all the options possible. We usually use a spreader in a dash lift.
    Be safe Jeff

  22. #22
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    In the last few years, had a car go head into a tree at estimated 70mph. Tree planted itself firmly against the firewall, dead center of car. Dash would not move. Pulled steering column. Also had a car get pressed into a train gate post (amazed how strong they are) by a train. Pole pushed into firewall. Again, dash would not roll/lift. Pulled steering column.

    It's a very viable option. I'd suggest going to junk yards and pulling some to see what really happens. Remember, you only need to pull enough to get the person free.
    "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?

  23. #23
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    Not sure how Fairfax County does things regarding vehicle extrications, because I am not that far along in my training, but we were still teaching steering wheel pulls at Malahat. But there was a condition that was always considered first:

    1) does it have tilt or telescoping steering? If it did, we didn't.

    HOWEVER.... I got my hands on the April edition of Firehouse Magazine and read Ron Moore's article on driver side down steering pulls.

    I thought it was a great article, but I still have reservations (or maybe questions?) regarding. Those reservations are the same as have been pointed out, pertaining to tilt/telescoping steering. In his article, Ron indicates that in order to make it effective, you have to wrap the chain below the knuckle joint. This sounds like a pretty smart point to make, but I just happen to be riding in a Dodge Durango, and from the backseat when I looked in on the drivers compartment and saw all the moulding etc around the steering I started to wonder.

    Given that the veh is on its side, pushing the seat back to make room for pulling and prying the dash moulding was not going to be easy. Especially with the pt's legs and whever else that may have fallen down on the driver. Of course this just made me want to try the exercise all the more, but as I said at the beginning, I am not in a position (my station does not do auto extrications or veh rescue) to play as I am accustomed to.

    I am very interested in seeing photos of this being done in the field with a real event. Or at least a detailed commentary of what happened and how it worked, given the addition of a live pt.
    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)

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