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Seatbelt Airbags

Several years back Ford introduced their “Inflatable Belt” airbag system in the Ford Explorer.  Ford slowly rolled the Seat-belt airbags out to more vehicles.  Around the same time, Lexus added a Seat-belt airbag to the Lexus LFA and shortly after that Mercedes-Benz introduced the Beltbag on their 2015 model of the S-class sedan.   The Beltbag is also in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Deployment

The seat belt airbag will not deploy if the seat belt is not fastened.

Lexus LFA

Unlike the other Seat-belt airbag systems, the Lexus LFA has Seat-belt airbags on the front seats in the Lexus LFA.

Lexus-LFA-Seatbelt-Airbag-Beltbag

SRS Seat Belt Airbag being fitted to the Lexus LFA

Mercedes-Benz Beltbag

The Beltbag inflator in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is pictured below.  Make a note of the outboard location of the inflator which is very close to the rocker panel.

Mercedes-Benz Beltbag system

Mercedes-Benz Beltbag Inflator

beltbag-benz-extrication-safety

Mercedes-Benz Beltbag Buckle/Tongue

Ford Inflatable Seat-belt

In the image below, the Ford Inflatable Seat-belt inflators are located more inboard toward the center of the vehicle.  In addition to the Ford Explorer,the technology is now also available on Ford Fusion, Ford Flex and Ford Taurus, and Lincoln MKT and Lincoln MKZ.
ford explorer inflatable seat belts

Inflatable_Seatbelts_02

Unlike the Mercedes-Benz Beltbag, Ford vehicles have a special belt latch. The seatbelt latch is the conduit through which gas enters the airbag.  The unique seatbelt latch is easily identified by the seatbelt latch tongue shown in the photo on the left.

In Sum

Airbag inflators are limited to only airbags.  Seat-belt airbags are slowly making it into more vehicles.  Always peel away plastic trim panels to ensure an airbag inflator is not in the area you are cutting, spreading, or pushing against.

Mike Smith, Absolute Rescue's Editor in Chief, is a veteran of the fire/rescue service in Michigan, who also works in the automotive industry as a designer. Have an idea of suggestion for the site? Contact Mike here

Training

2022 Ford Maverick: Vehicle-Specific Body Structure

The 2022 Ford Maverick loaned to the Hurst folks was the star of the extrication show at FDIC. The Maverick was no match for the Hurst tools and

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Ford Maverick

The 2022 Ford Maverick loaned to the Hurst folks was the star of the extrication show at FDIC. The Maverick was no match for the Hurst tools and the man that makes these vehicles available, Dennis Lark, was pleased with the destruction. The Maverick is available as an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle and an FHEV (Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle). Below is an image from Ford’s 2022 Maverick Hybrid Emergency Response Guide.

Boron Extrication

If you notice, the Hybrid battery pack is on the passenger (RHS) of the vehicle. If you take a look at the image below, you can see the rocker on the RHS is reinforced to protect the battery pack. You can find more information about the different steels used in the rockers and floor pan here.

A-Pillar (Hurst Booth FDIC 2022)

FORD Maverick

Photos by Chief Toranze Lee

B-Pillar (Hurst Booth FDIC 2022)

Photos by Chief Toranze Lee

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Training

Object on a Vehicle

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An object on a Vehicle

A simple training scenario that only requires a vehicle (that you do not need to cut, yet) and an object to lift. Great objects include large tree sections, utility poles, and concrete pipes. These objects can be easily found in most cities, maybe even in your Department of Public Works yard.

Take a look at the scenario that Connecticut Custom Fire Training LLC. put together a month ago at one of their training classes.

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Training

York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021

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York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021

Take a look at the York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021. It’s a 24-hour Vehicle Rescue Technician program that includes classroom and practical training which applies to those incidents where commercial or heavy vehicles are involved, complex extrication processes will have to be applied, or multiple uncommon concurrent hazards are present, or that involve heavy machinery or more than digital entrapment of a victim. Emphasis will be placed on heavy vehicle lifting and stabilization, utilization of heavy towing and recovery services, and complex patient packaging and removal techniques.

Pictures (by John E. Burruss)

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