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Motor City Monday Extrication Tip; Side Curtain Airbags

Side-Curtain-Air-BagsEver wonder why you arrived on scene of a motor vehicle accident and the side windows are blocked by a inflated deployed airbag?  Vehicle inflatable curtains airbags generally fall into two main categories.  The first is designed to absorb the energy of a direct side impact called “First Impact”. The second type of curtain is designed to retain the pressure and is able to provide energy absorption up to several seconds in rollovers and in case of second impact.  This second type of airbag retains pressure which when used in a vehicle, meet the NHTSA’s requirements for ejection mitigation in rollover accidents.

Side airbag curtain can covers the entire upper part of a vehicle’s side.  Basically anywhere a passenger is seated next to a side window. It can be designed to protect one row (A to B pillar), 2 rows (A to C pillar) or 3 rows (A to D pillar) of occupants.  In case of large passenger vans like the Ford Transit, a single side curtain airbag can cover all five rows of seating with a single bag.  For more information of the Ford Transit large side curtain airbag inflated by 2 stored gas inflators read my post on Boron Extrication.


Moditech Crash Recovery System

This screenshot from Moditech’s Crash Recovery System highlights the Side Curtain Airbags and the stored gas inflator.


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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