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  • Holmatro's new book

    Anyone using Holmatro's new vehicle hazards book? Any comments?

  • #2
    I haven't personally used the book but i have had the oppurtunity to flip through it a few times and it is full of a lot of information and is very helpful. Very expensive though.


    • #3
      There are some corrections that have to be addressed, I was told that these issues were to be posted on the Holmatro web site. This came out this summer so they should have a company listing by now. If not go to the NHTSA and locate the airbag data and make a comparison for yourself. According to Holmatro, the book as been very popular and in July the company stated that they were already in their second printing.

      As an instructor, T.O. or developer of a program it is very useful. However, in the field I personally feel that the worlds most powerful computer sits on top of our shoulders, lets make use of this first.

      Then if need be, if you have the resources (personnel), the time, then by all means you can research the unknow. Myself coming from an outlying station with a manpower of 1:2 company, we need all hands to perform the work and can't stop to read through a book. It would be impractical...

      "Responder Fear" as I call it, is ever growing because of accidental deployments to the SRS. Unfortunately there is little known about how many actual incidents that have occured. According to the Holmatro web site, there is an airbag related article written by Bob Brown, who has been collecting data on accidental deployments from supplemental restraint systems. You can reach Bob Brown: [email protected]

      Respect the active airbag, distance yourself, perform power disconnect as soon as possible and you will reduce the chance of injury to yourself, other personnel and the patient(s).

      Know today's vehicle, take an updated program that goes indepth to explain the hazards within a vehicle. Soon you will be seening more and more high voltage vehicles SRS is not the only problem you will incounter. There will be multi battery systems, disconnecting or finding all of them may be impossible. Even if you have a book to refernce. Patient can should not be delayed because of an active restraint system.

      The Holmatro book is the first of two, Sally Straight who works on the other side of the auto industry, has been personally working with the automotive manufacturers for at least two years on a manual which is to soon be released in November. It will be interesting to compare the two together. Ms Straights book is approximately $150, however it is also a larger manual to be fair in comparison. Salley Straight: [email protected]

      Ron Shaw


      • #4
        About seven months ago I called Holmatro, because I was interested in reserving a copy or two for the department, thinking it would be an excellent guide to have in the trucks. Earlier I had recieved an example page from the book in Fire/Rescue magazine. I looked over it and it was dummy proof, so I had to get it. So when I had called she stated we were on the list and when the book was ready to be distributed we would then get a mailing stating we could then send in and get our RESERVED copy. (Reason for reserving the copy for yourself was because apparently they were only going to print X amount for the time being thinking they were going to be a big seller.) Well, here we are, and I have been patiently waiting for our mailing to come. Does anyone know what the heck is going on with this? Anyone had the same problem? Oh, and the book goes for $130 a crack.


        • #5
          Ron -

          In regards to your comment about coming from a department with a 1:2 ratio - and not being able to stop and read the book - I definatly understand what you are talking about. But dont think it can't ever be done. When I first saw an example page of Holmatros book I was extremely anxious to get, (being I try to keep our staff up to date with what's new @ instructing save extr. when dealing with advanced safety systems) So I wanted to purchase the material so our newer people could actually see how the many different vehicle models are armed with different systems. Where we are (this may be a luxury(?)) but we normally aways have one of our officers or the closest FF go to direct to the scene on any incident. This gives us our initial size up, and then if adjustments are to be made they are then made accordinly. On an MVA, the items we attempt to relay to the first unit in is- Approx year/ make of the vehicle - the three B's (below)- intrapment y/n? - and basic tools needed immediatly on arrival. It takes two minutes to open the book and get the three B's (essentials) - Battery - Bags - Boom(fuel type. To us these ae the three most important things we need to know right off the bat. I think if a department is able to do that, more power to ya -


          • #6
            A Posting From Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

            I received a copy of the Holmatro emergency procedures book in August. I have used it at real-world crash scenes almost every day since then.

            The Plano engine companies, knowing I have the book in my response vehicle, have even special called me on several occasions because they wanted the airbag information at the scene.

            With practice from using the book at many, many crashes involving all types of vehicles in all positions and conditions, I am satisfied with it. I can "read" the vehicle for make and model, count the VIN to the 10th digit and go to the VIN section of the book to obtain vehicle year of manufacture.

            Then I go to the component section of the Holmatro book to obtain the relevant information.

            My elapsed time is now less than 60 seconds at crash scenes. It took practice but I've got the routine figured out now.

            Call me direct or write if you have specific questions. In Plano, we average at least 8 crash calls a day. Come and visit and I'll show you how I use the book. You can ride along with me on calls and get practice in the real world.

            Ron Moore,
            Fire Training Manager
            Plano (TX) Fire Rescue
            <[email protected]>


            • #7

              Nice hearing from you again. First, so that there is no confusion, this is a friendly reply. I do realize that it can be done, however, you need the manpower to do it. Ron Moore does it to assist the IC in Plano. However, Ron is not considered part of the complement, his function reading the book does not take personnel away from an on scene task, it is an asset to have him there as an assistant to the IC.

              It takes practice like anything else to get your time down in looking up the vehicles. Ron and I talk about the Holmatro book as well as Sally Straight's manual, with it the pro's and con's he finds by using the Holmatro.

              As well as my opinions on the book(s), my greatest fear is that people are going to get reliant on a book and not what they see.

              Books can have wrong data, you rely on this data as being factual for critcal data such as capasitor drain down times where there is an error, someone could get hurt.

              If my station goes out on an accident, I have a pump operator and FF in the jump seat. When I get out of the truck I have my hands full. I will be a hands on IC. Most likely I am going to have a line pulled, and charged that ties up my operator for a while. The other FF and I are the only one's left. One of us is going in the vehicle to start patient care until the closest ambulance arrives, which is a good 8-14 miles or more away. The next is 12-19 and a third is 16 to 23 miles away or more. The next engine companies are the same distance with a medium rescue be 16 to 23 miles away.

              Two minutes can be a life time, manpower is critical and not always available for all departments. Some "Jakes" can get tunnel vission (please, I am not suggesting that you are) with how there department responds and assumes everyone else does the same. I once taught a class to a department where they can have any where from 15 to 30 responders. Sure, assign someone a reference manual, one, five or twenty people less they would still have three times as many people than I do responding and working a scene. If I called for a second engine, I would get another officer and two more firefighters and ten minutes away at best.

              I still have to do stabilization and hope that the pump operator is free to set up the combi tool while I am doing the other tasks needed prior to displacing if needed.

              Can I safely perform extrication with out the book. Yes. Can I perform extrication without battery disconnect, while it is important to do, it may not always be posible. For example, you have a vehicle inverted, the battery is under a seat or in the engine compartment. Is the battery accessible? No. Do you stop patient care? No. Can you work around active airbags? Yes. How, distance yourself, look for those tell tale signs, SCAN the vehicle just like you were checking out at the grocery store.

              Again, in my own opinion, you have to be able to use your own vissual recognition first. If you have the luxuary of increased manpower, by all means let them find the data. Perhaps by the time you do locate the data, we have popped the hood and found it.

              The other thing that you have to realize is that there may be after market products that have a internal battery system that can back feed and supply the airbag system. Even if the battery to the vehicle has been deactivated there may be that GPS, cell phone or a computer pluged into the electrial system that supplies that 1v of electricity needed to set off the airbags. The book won't help, but you scanning the vehicle may detect a hazard.

              Hopefully within the next year or two you will not have to worry as much about the airbag systems on some newer vehicles, which may have a device that will disable the airbag systems. Finally... But it is still in the development stage and older cars will still be active.

              Let's not get overly spirited on this topic, the books have there place. However, they don't and shouldn't replace vissual recognition.

              Ron Moore's Vehicle Safety Data Sheet (VSDS) was the best idea, all the data for that specific vehicle would be on a sheet located in three spots. It would be accurate, and if in between year models, the VSDS would have to reflect the standards and list the safety features that were made for that specific vehicle regards less if it was made in August or September.

              Be safe

              Ron Shaw


              • #8
                Ron -

                I'm not trying to be insistant or even attempt to come over that way, but I think we/you/I(?) have a misunderstanding somewhere along the line, or I didn't explain properly; so let me try this once more - although it matters not. When we are enroute to the scene on an engine, we generally (granted - not always, and we do not rely on it because what happens, happens)but generally we have someone giving a size up to us enoute due to the fact it is atleast four to five minutes before the unit even rolls; this gives that particular person on scene the extra minutes to do there quick walk around and give us feedback on what we are dealing with. If whatever reliable guide is on the dash of that engine designated for MVA's and we get the best info possible on the make of the vehicle and approx. year, we can get a very good idea as to where to look for a battery, or its fuel type ect. Instead of one spending a healthy five minutes (exagerant, but you get my point) looking for a battery under the hood or in the trunk, when its actually under the rear seat. At no point am I saying to anyone that they should DEPEND 100% on that information. Because yes, there is all to much room for error. And most definatly - one should not get tunnel vision from a guide as to just go DIRECTLY to this that or the other thing. A guide is a guide - it guides you in the appropriate area. You must definatly do your own scanning when you get on scene. If one is efficient enough, they can have it done in 60 seconds or less. All I was attempting to get out was, that since in our particular position, our response time varies to the extreme, cause we basically cover two other areas for extric. until they purchase units. So it is anywhere from say four to 10+ minutes depending on where we are headed. In that, say 6+ minute mark, we can get some good info on what we are dealing with, and for example - take a quick look in the guide while enroute..... I think it wouldn't hurt. It kinda sounded as if you where thinking I said " Yeah, when you get onto scene, take a few minutes and read through that nice book you have in your rig, and lets see what that has to say"...... GOD NO! Oh, yeah, Its nice to hear from you too - ......Been a long summer.........


                • #9
                  A Posting From Ron Moore

                  One interesting advantage of having the Holmatro book at the crash scene can actually be for use at crash scenes where there isn't even a patient at all.

                  You get called to a non-injury crash with a fluid leak; antifreeze, tranny fluid, engine oil. You want to shutdown the electrical system on the vehicle before you get working too close to it.

                  Time isn't critical here so you can look up the data in the Holmatro book.

                  With the book, you can get info on things you might not have thought of;
                  -the location of the battery(or batteries) before you even start digging,

                  -struts that will be in your work area when you go to open the hood or trunk,

                  -airbag locations that you can confirm with your visual 'scanning" of the vehicle, etc, etc.

                  The book is not a cure-all solution, I agree, but I believe it is to your advantage to have it present on the crash scene.


                  • #10
                    I have both the Holmatro book and film neither mentions anything about ROPS systems found in Volvo, MB, and BMW convertables. These things may slip up on you if you are depending on just the book and film. The job Holmatro has done is a good one otherwise and I'm sure they will be addressing this in the future.

                    I'm not condeming Holmatro but if you have not seen these items before you need to research them at a local dealer before you encounter them on the street. One BMW is on the street with a roll bar hidden in the rear headrest. The only scan giveaway is a label on the metal trim on top of the headrest. This is quite unlike the plastic protector cover found on most rear deck ROPS bars.
                    Ron has writen about them in the past and continues to bring many things to light in the rescue field. Good job RON.

                    [This message has been edited by Mike McCain (edited November 05, 2000).]


                    • #11
                      Sorry for 2nd post but I missed the insert image option. Here's the BMW 3series headrest.


                      • #12
                        Mike I assume you are referring to this Ron not Ron Moore, you have to becareful with so many Rons running around.

                        I think I was the first to really do much research on the rollover protection system or ROPS/RPS. I see that Holmatro has addressed them now and Sally Straight has put them into her manual.

                        The one on our BMW is even dangerous looking with the shape of the top of the bar.

                        Nice photo, it gets the point accross I beleive. Now if only the industry were to be reading our forums perhaps this would change the way they develop and introduce products to the market. Keep Scanning for hazards!


                        Ron Shaw


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