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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.


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.


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


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


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


York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021



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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Heavy Rescue

Large Animal Rescue

Working with their past experince, the Patterson Fire Department’s completed their 4th horse rescue in the past several years.



Horse Rescue

Per the post from the Patterson Fire Department’s Facebook page:

At 0732, 25th of August 2021, the Patterson fire department was dispatched for a public assist to a local farm. Patterson’s heavy rescue, 22-6-1, arrived on scene and found a 31-year-old male horse, named “Dozer”, in distress. He had apparently fallen and managed to get himself stuck between a rock and a fence line. At first, the crew attempted to assist the horse in getting up by shifting his position. It became apparent that additional equipment was going to be needed to help Dozer out since he had become too exhausted to get up on his own. After some discussion, it was established that the best plan of action was to use a Paratech bipod system. It would be used as an artificial high directional with TU-32 griphoist’s assistance to lift the horse up. With a lot of sweat and effort, the crew was able to lift the horse up onto his feet. After some much-needed fluids and rest, we were happy to see Dozer trot away, unassisted.

An interesting fact, this is Patterson Fire Department’s 4th horse rescue in the past several years, all with successful outcomes.

Photos below from Andrew Akin

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Building Collapse

Rescue Methods BGSU 2021 Rescue Tech Series



Bowling Green State University State Fire School Certified Rescue Tech

These courses are NFPA compliant and covers all six disciplines of technical rescue operations. Students will utilize the latest and greatest equipment and will put learned skills to the test in intense hands-on scenarios.

General information on the Certified Rescue Technician Program.

Class Schedule

  • Rope Rescue Technician
  • Water Craft Ops / Swift Water Ops
  • Confined Space Technician
  • Vehicle & Machinery
  • Trench Rescue Technician
  • Structural Collapse Operations

Rescue Methods BGSU 2021 rescue tech series with structural collapse ops.

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