No announcement yet.

Car lockouts

This topic is closed.
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Car lockouts

    Not to get into the debate about whether or not we should be doing them, my dept does. My question is this:

    A local tow company told us the other day that they had heard of a guy being killed while using a slim jim on the drivers door that contained a side impact airbag. Is this possible? Or is this just one of those rumors? It seems he "shorted" out the bag, it fired and drove the tool threw his jaw and into his brain.


    In Memory of those who have passed before us, may their loss not be in vain........

  • #2
    The same story was floating around the law enforcement community last year. As far as I know, there is not a documented incident of this happening. I think its another one of those Internet Urban Legends.

    If anyone does KNOW of an actual incident, please post it.


    • #3
      Hey Dave,

      As mentioned by Looper that very same issue was a topic in Firehouse University of Extrication. Basically, they say that the issure mentioned up in Highland County,OH, was a total Hoax.

      HOWEVER, they do NOT rule out the POSSIBILITY of it. They DO state that is unlikely. Treat ALL airbags as live and ready to deploy. They also said, that the newer vehicles will be MUCH harder to get into due to theft deterrant systems.

      They also state a word of caution and that being, there is a good chance of DISCONNECTING the airbag unintentionally. This makes your department liable IF that vehicle is struck on that side and there is no deployment of the SIPS due to the disconnection.

      So, in closing I am saying that I do not believe that it is much of a concern. However, like I said, treat it as if it WAS! I would HATE to read of an incident that costed you or ANY OTHER firefighter a lilfe dibilitating injury or death.

      Just what I have heard.

      Your Brother In The Service,
      Rob Herpel
      Vice-Pres./Asst. EMS Coordinator
      Fremont Rural Fire Department


      • #4
        You can purchase lockout kits that come with a variety of slim jim like tools and a book that describes by year/make/model what tool to use and where/how to use it. It varies by vehicle due to things like side airbags. It's a very effective kit and very easy to use.

        We don't unlock just any vehicle. We only do it when children are locked in vehicles or there is some other problem. We also don't expect PD, EMS or anyone else to wait if it's a life threatening situation - then you have to prioritize and break a window now and then.

        There are several on the market, but DON'T do what one local law enforcement officer did and buy a kit without a book. We spent almost 2 hours removing his tool (the wrong one) from the wrong door after he got it stuck there. It's worth the extra cash!

        Susan Bednar
        Forsyth Rescue Squad (Captain)
        Griffith Volunteer FD


        • #5
          We don't do it unless there is someone who is uncapable of unlocking the door on the inside, such as an invalid or child, or unless there are important meds in the car that must be accessed NOW. Otherwise, call a locksmith. And about the story of the slim-jim killing someone... I suppose it might be possible, but the story I saw contained a vehicle called a "Honda Acura"... no such car exists. It also came from a police department that does not exist either.


          • #6
            I'm no expert on air bags or such but, I would be inclined to agree that this sounds like one of those urban legends. You would think that if there were facts to back up the story we would have seen an article on it or heard of someone doing research into it.
            We normally don't do lock outs. I think that unless theres a really good reason for us to do it let the lock smith do it. They are insured in case something brakes.


            • #7
              Being a full time police officer, I will confirm exactly what Lumpy reports. There is no Honda Acura... and the alleged incident was reported on the internent from the Jacksonville, FL Police Department. This even made it to some Police teletype systems. Only problem is, Jacksonville, FL is policed by a Sheriff's Office and does not have its own police agency.

              And if it makes you feel any better, I never put my face inline with a slim jim anyway. That way, if I slip and jerk it out by accident, it won't go crashing into my chin .

              Stay Safe!


              • #8
                Thanks for the missing info, Engine69... I knew someone out there would have the forgotten details. And good point about face placement in a slim jim operation... just in case. Really... even the wicked witch had no clue about falling houses.


                • #9
                  Suuuurre, we can handle a lockout. Better be an emergency or you'll have a hard time justifying a center punch or Biel tool usage to your insurance carrier...tik, Bingo,your in.

                  Be Safe, Frank


                  300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)


                  Upper 300x250