- (High-pressure) lifting bags can be used for more applications than you might think at first sight. High-pressure lifting bags are a more versatile piece of equipment than many people think. Not only can they be used to lift a wide range of objects but they can also do so in a wide variety of situations. Lifting bags can also be used to push objects apart. Lifting bags require a gap of 25mm, have a lot of power and can be brought in position quickly. A lifting bag made of Para Aramid is also flexible and does not damage vehicles.
- Can an airbag be safely worked around if it is already detonated on arrival at the rescue scene?
With the advent of dual stage airbags it is no longer safe to presume an airbag is safe purely due to the fact that it has detonated before arrival. With dual-stage airbags, the magnitude of the impact determines the amount of gas released. The opportunity now exists that airbags may well still re-detonate with a second amount of gas later during rescue efforts.
- Make sure you protect yourself from steering wheel airbags that have not been activated upon impact
Most modern vehicles are equipped with 1 or more airbags. Apart from the steering wheel, airbags can be found in the passenger side dashboard, in the roof, the seats, etc… If airbags are not activated by the impact of the accident, this could still happen during the rescue operation. When activated these airbags release an enormous amount of energy. This results in a potentially very dangerous situation for rescuers or victims who are too close to the airbag and do not expect this explosion.
As rescuers definitely have to attend to the victim in the driver’s seat, protection from the airbag in the steering wheel is obviously of great importance. This is not difficult and there are various systems on the market. Holmatro’s Secunet® for example is a aramid reinforced airbag cover that covers the whole steering wheel and part of the column. It is resistant to the high temperatures of the gasses and protects victims and rescuers from both airbag gasses and loose parts of the steering wheel (column) that may fly around after the explosion. It can be brought in position in seconds.
Due to the many locations and shapes of other airbag types, adequate protection covers for these airbags are not on the market. Awareness and knowledge are the key to prevention of accidents.
- To protect rescuers and victims, cover the sharp edges that often remain after cutting a certain part of a vehicle. An accident is worse enough in itself. Extra injuries resulting from rescue efforts have to be avoided at all cost. Especially metal edges and corners may be razor sharp after cutting. Please cover them with a strong cloth, preferably a lightweight cloth that is visible in the dark and does not absorb water when it rains. Holmatro’s product range includes such protection covers. These covers can also be attached to the vehicle with either tape or magnets.
- What conditions should be in place in order to allow for the cutting of a hinge?
It is firstly important to ensure that your hydraulic cutter is up to the job. Most new cutters on the market have the ability to cut hardened hinges without becoming damaged. If you are not sure, it is best to check the capabilities of you cutter with you local dealer. It is also very important that the hinge should be well exposed so as to be sure that you are making a square cut of the hinge, not crossing over the whole hinge pin mechanism. It is also important that the cut is made in the recesses of the cutting blade.
- When removing a door, should the hinges be broken (popped) or cut?
Either technique can be used, but cutting the hinges is preferred when the conditions allow because:
- Cutting the hinges is a more controlled operation than spreading the door.
- When spreading, sudden tearing of the door / A-post may occur which may cause the vehicle to move.
- When spreading there is the risk of the A-pillar tearing, which in turn will make a dashboard push with your ram more difficult.
- When removing a front door of a light motor vehicle should this be performed from the front hinge side of the door or from the back lock side?
It is advisable, whenever possible, to approach a door removal from the hinge side first. The reason for this is that it will allow one to remove the door with out having to stand between the inside of it and the occupant entrapped. This eliminates the chance of being trapped between a door mounted airbag and the victim.
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