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Seat Airbags

Airbags in seats are not a new safety item in vehicles. However, multiple seat-back mounted airbags are newer. General Motors introduced the center seat airbag in the GMC Acadia several years after the launch of that vehicle.



Seat-back Airbags

Airbags in seats are not a new safety item in vehicles. However, multiple seat-back mounted airbags are newer.  General Motors introduced the center seat airbag in the GMC Acadia several years after the launch of that vehicle.  While several other vehicles that GM makes have the center seat airbag, the airbag is not widely used across all vehicles yet.

From a rescuers perspective, anytime the seat back is cut, you need to remove the trim cover and the foam to expose the location of the store gas inflator and the recliner. Two important points to remember, more than one airbag can be found in a single seat and the recliner is made of think, hardened high-strength steel. in a one seat is General Motors added a center airbag to the driver front seat


dual-airbag-seat-extrication-rescue (1) dual-airbag-seat-extrication-rescue (2)

The center seat airbags stays inflated just like the roof/side curtain airbags. You can read more about the GMC Acadia on Boron Extrication. Here are a few links:

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

Heavy Rescue

ALBERTA Advanced Heavy Rescue Symposium



Sept 22-23, 2017 Advanced Heavy Rescue Symposium at the CFD Training Academy registration forms ready to be sent out, email me if your interested. Only 60 spots available.



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Air Monitoring

Lifting Lockers

Have you walked thru your local school and thought that the lockers could fall on someone?



Outside the Box

The lifting maze training props that made the rounds across social media last year could use a little updating after looking at the pictures from the rescue call that the Medway Fire Department responded to. If you look at the pictures, the lockers appear to be several sections of lockers attached together. Lifting all the lockers as one unit may not be possible.  A scenario like this will require more cribbing that a large rigid object.


The custodial worker was pinned under the lockers in a second-floor hallway.  This type of rescue will require a large cache of equipment.  Consider the your plan A and plan B lifting tools.  Airbags and battery powered extrication tools are easily deployed inside a building.  If plan Z was to run a gas powered tool do you have ventilation setup along with air monitoring to ensure the patient and rescuers are not put in danger?


After a quick web search I found that the average 5-6 feet tall, 3 locker section weighs around 175 lbs.  Looking at the pictures, it looks like 3, 3 locker sections fell on the worker.  However, the contents of the lockers is the unknown.  The lockers could be empty or full of textbooks and other items.

Closing Thoughts

Strong work by the Medway, Norfolk, Millis and Bellingham fire departments freed the pinned worker.  This is another one of those calls that could happen anywhere.  Nearly every school has lockers lining the hallways.  Often, the hallways do not have easy access to the outside of the building and the parking lot.  Keep that in mind because all the equipment will have to be carried in.

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Machine Rescue

Man vs. Machine Rescue Awareness

Machine rescue runs have new boundaries and every firefighter needs to understand many different techniques.



Man vs. Machine Rescue

Man vs machine can happen in any city across the world and is not limited to large cities or industrial centers. Don’t get complacent and assume that it will never happen while you are on-duty.  Consider a teenager stuck in a full bucket toddler swing seat.  Do you know the steps to take get that patient out of the swing?  How about a person that has their leg stuck in a PVC drainage pipe in a yard during the winter in below freezing weather?  These are two of the incidents I personally ran on and several posts on Paul Hasenmeier’s website provided me with enough information in the full bucket swing ran.

However, I did learn several things during my incident.

Several things to think about:

  • Eliminate gravity from the equation. Bring the stretcher over patient can sit on it while you cut the chains.
  • We tried cutting the seat with bolt cutters, cable cutters, and wire cutters unsuccessfully.
  • Plan D, we moved the patient to the Rescue truck and used hydraulic cutters.  Not the best option, but it worked.
  • My department used the full bucket swing to find a handheld ratcheting cutter that cut thru it.  It’s now on the rescue.


Below is a video link to the webcast of Man vs Machinery Incidents: Are You Prepared? presented by Mark Gregory, Lieutenant, Fire Department of New York.  Mark teaches his Man vs Machine HOT class at FDIC every year and is a must take class.  Mark is also a co-owner of P.L. Vulcan Fire Training.

Man vs. Machine Rescue Kit Examples

Below is an example a kit that All Hands Fire developed with PL Vulcan Fire Training Concepts.

Even a simple Google search for “Man in Machine Kit” can yield dozens of examples from department big and small.

Stroller Rescue

Online Resources

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