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Hey guys. I have a question. Had a vehicle accident today. The car was rear ended. No damage to the front end. The drivers door was pinned shut. Air bags were not deployed.Drivers window up and in tack. Long story short. Trying to pop the hood to access the battery, to cut power from the air bags. While we were extricating. Could not access the hood release or the cable. Had to go straight for the latch. My question is. What is the best way to do this and what tools to use. Jaws were being used elswhere and had a prob with them. Couldn,t use a sawsall, gas everywhere. We eventually got it with two halligans, a spud bar and brute strength.

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Hey, gang. We often make car fires, and it seems like the number of ways of gaining access to the engine compartment appears to be dwindling the newer the vehicle is.
I haven't used(successfully) the fork of a Halligan in years. Our engine is equipped with a Partner K-12, and recently, we obtained a DeWalt reciprocating saw, for which I have had little exposure. If all else fails, we still have a piercing nozzle(seriously).
Any suggestions or input? We sometimes pull out the 36" bolt cutters, but too often the latch/receiver assembly is too thick and tough, not to mention the wierd angles involved.
Thanks in advance for your input.
I have taken bolt cutter and made a cut on the holder and lifted the hood it works really wellll
Dear Todd, thanks for the response. We've tried the 36" bolt cutters without much success. The usual problems are the awkwardness of the cutting angle, and the thickness/strength of the hasp/latch and the receiver. Any other thoughts, by chance?
The bottom line is that vehicle manufacturers are making their vehicles increasingly difficult to gain access into. Hopefully, there will be some inventive, creative and ambitious firefighters out there that see the problem as a potential revenue source, and come up with some cool (and hopefully fairly inexpensive) tool that will make life easier for everybody.
Talk to you later!


Regards,

sp91546



Todd McKee said:
I have taken bolt cutter and made a cut on the holder and lifted the hood it works really wellll
When we can't get the latch from the front for whatever reason, we take the bar and pry the hood up near the windshield. This will open the hood up so you have access to the hinges. Depending on the car, you could get through the hinges in one or two cuts with a pair of bolt cutters. And once you learn how to do it, it doesn't take too long to do.
I see where you say you want everyone in full gear but what about your EMT's and other non firefighters working on patiens around here we have our EMT's in the car with the people and they dont wear turnouts.

Larry Lasich said:
Adam Miceli said:
Well, I know that might be how it's "supposed to be", but I'm certain that that level of use far exceeds how most of us actually turnout for an MVA. I'm not saying you're wrong, as we seem to blow off far more precautionary things at MVA's than other incident types. In the case of the leaking fuel, I'd certainly think most crews would up the level, but in that case I'd still prefer not to have been the ignition source. Nothing good can come of it, and as this thread has proven, a jury of peers might say there were safer methods than the K-saw in this situation.

Larry Lasich said:
Adam Miceli said:
It's sad, but I've seen many firefighters look like the proverbial monkey/football mating game when attempting to open a hood. We too have the Felkin's Hood tools and they're certainly worth the little money they cost (still available?) I'd be more inclined to use the hydraulic tools for cutting than a k-12 if they're available. The saw is loud, presents a significant ignition source and is far more hazardous to any responders not in full turnout gear.

Adam!
The stabilization crew should be on air with a hose line anyway. Everyone working on cutting the car should be in everything but their BA.
Larry

Speaking as a major safety pain, I have everyone completely wrapped up during extracation. There are just too meny close call reports and videos of us at car fires and wrecks when we are trying to get ourselves hurt. I also wouldn't have a problem telling the stabilization crew to skip the battery if I was short of manpower and it was taking too long or they couldn't get to it without creating a bigger problem. I'd just make sure that there was a crew standing by on the hose and tell everyone to be super carefull around the airbag and electrical systems. After all, what are you going to do if you can't find the battery? Stop the proccess?
-Sounds like you were just trying to pop the hood on a vehicle with no front end damage?
-If so, use the Halligan, break out the grill and locate the hood release cable. You can pull the cable to release the latch, use the adz or spike of the Halligan to gain leverage and pull or even use the fork of the Halligan on the cable. Place the cable in between the fork and rotate the Halligan to "wind up" the cable.
-Either way the cable will release the latch which can then be operated.
-This is little messy but it is fast and works well. Don't worry about adding extra damage, given that what you're describing it sounds like the car is totaled anyway.
You are correct, no front end damage. But, I couldn't gain access to the hood latch inside the car. Tried reaching through the window but my arms must be to short, ha,ha. EMS was already inside tending to the driver,Driver door was pinned shut from the impact, Extrication guy's were trying to open drivers door while we were trying to pop the hood. Will try and use the Halligan/Cable technique next time. And yes the car was a total loss. THANKS FOR YOUR THOUGHTS.

Michael Bricault said:
-Sounds like you were just trying to pop the hood on a vehicle with no front end damage?
-If so, use the Halligan, break out the grill and locate the hood release cable. You can pull the cable to release the latch, use the adz or spike of the Halligan to gain leverage and pull or even use the fork of the Halligan on the cable. Place the cable in between the fork and rotate the Halligan to "wind up" the cable.
-Either way the cable will release the latch which can then be operated.
-This is little messy but it is fast and works well. Don't worry about adding extra damage, given that what you're describing it sounds like the car is totaled anyway.
Excellent conversation. We have had pretty good success with prying the hood up with a halligan and then using bolt cutters. If we run into any problems we just hit the halligan until we can expose the latch - takes minutes. I like the idea of using the halligan to twist the cable - think we will go and play today at our impound lot.

As for PPE - All fireground personnel are in full PPE. Medics are in the vehicles, but not if we have a fire hazard. Line is pulled and ready to go.
Stay safe!
-The Halligan can also be used for a vehicle fire under the hood in which the release cable has burned/meted and is no longer operable or accessible.
-Standing on the side of the vehicle lay the Halligan across the hood and drive the adz into the seem between the fender and the hood. The adz will drive in very easily. Pull up on the Halligan and the hood will pop up creating an opening of about 6".
-Basically the firefighters will be using the designed crumple zones to create an access for the nozzle.
-Once the fire is knocked down FF's can easily break out the plastic grill in the front of the vehicle to locate the latch and release the hood. The spike works best for forcing the latch to release.
had a reported car fire, when on scene it was a rollback with a truck on bed, rollback fully involed the truck on bed front grill.etc catching good, rollback cab totaly gone, saved the truck on bed, after getting both under control, ir camera shower under hood of rollback still very hot we used a pericing nozle to put fire out under hood, but still needed to get hood open to cool hot areas down better it was a struggle with halagen bar and long pry bar could not get relese to work heat destorted or something, is there a sertan place to place halgen bar or other tool to pop open hood latch easier? small deptment limited resorces.
In all honesty anytime I see someone slamming away at the hood with a halligan & ax it makes me want to take out a stop watch and grab a seat. Quickest way I've found is to use a halligan to make a purchase point for a PortaPower with a Duckbill attatchment closest to the latch, instant access with low risk of sparks.

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