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Sliding door on a stepvan

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  • Sliding door on a stepvan

    Just want to see what ideas some of you may have on this. Yesterday we had an MVA with the vehicle being a stepvan type delivery truck. The driver was luckily uninjured and moving under his own power and refusing all treatment. The sliding entry door on the right(passenger)side was jammed. Our hydraulic power head failed, so no spreaders. We ended up using a haligan tool to pry open the door partially, then beat it back far enough with a flat head ax for the driver to get out. It worked but looked pretty unprofessional. Thankfully it wasn't a critical extrication. If the driver had been injured, I would have used a sawzall to cut the door off, or taken the windshild out and gained access thru it. BTW, there is no access between the cargo area and the driver area on this particular truck, so entering thru the back was not an option. Anyway, just wondering if anyone has any other ideas about what to use to get in.

  • #2
    Man - good question. I probably would have never thought about this one. After all - how many FedEx, UPS, Bread Trucks, etc. do you see zipping through here every day.

    O.K. - now on to another episode of "Arm Chair IC"

    O.K. - Assuming that the drivers side door either does not exist or is otherwise inaccessable/unuseable and that it is an "OH S&^% !!!" call . . .

    The instant the hydraulics failed (both sets in our case) I would request Mutual Aid Crash (Rescue) Truck (Just in case plans B,C,D, E, and F fail - lets go back to plan A) then opt for immediate Pt. access via the windshield with consideration for extricating through the same.

    Now - Assuming that extrication couldn't be accomplished via the windshield or we couldn't access that either . . .

    Then ,in no particular order, (working from our trucks)
    - Porto Power
    - Come Along (anchor to rear frame & use to pull door back/out)
    - Cip Saw
    - Air Chisels
    - Ax/Halligan/Pry Bars
    - Use of hand tools (Sockets, Wrenches, etc) for some type of door removal

    Also we carry a small Oxy-Acetylene cutting torch on our Crash (Rescue) truck - so presented with a no other possible way, everything else is broken, hasn't worked, or is unavailable scenario - I'd consider the torch as a viable tool.

    BTW, there is no access between the cargo area and the driver area on this particular truck, so entering thru the back was not an option.

    Depending on how the access is blocked (screen/cage VS solid wall) it still may be faster to gain access here than forcing/cutting the door. Also - depending on amount of damage & position of this vehicle type in general - it still may be your best/only route.

    Just my opinion(s) - take 'em for what there worth.

    Take Care - Stay Safe
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic

    [This message has been edited by N2DFire (edited 03-21-2001).]

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    • #3
      Ya know - If I had only known that my reply was going to be so good that no one else would bother to reply - I'da kept it to myself.



      Take Care - Stay Safe
      Stephen
      FF/Paramedic

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by N2DFire:
        Ya know - If I had only known that my reply was going to be so good that no one else would bother to reply - I'da kept it to myself.



        Take Care - Stay Safe
        Stephen
        FF/Paramedic

        I'll concur with you at least Stephen! Were it my department, I think I would have went for the windsheild next, since these trucks all seem to have big ones, and it is faster cutting glass that it is cutting metal. If there were no driver's side door, I would suspect just sheet metal there, so I might look at an air chisel to make an opening there much like you could do with a school bus next to the driver.

        Important thing cfr3504 is you got the driver out. Even if it wasn't pretty, no one else there had the resources or knowledge to accomplish what you did.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, I'd go windshield, also. Then Cip saw. Cip saw can be done in a variety of ways. Probably start with A posts, then move back for a "modified roof fold". Heck, if need be, make a "sun roof" in it for them !

          Comment


          • #6
            I was involved in two very similar incidents. The first was a one door step van that had rear ended a stalled tractor trailer at high speed. The only way in to the driver was through the roof, which wasn't hard and actually was pretty fast. The second involved a surplus US Mail Jeep DJ5 that somehow rolled over making both sliding doors and rear swing door unusable. The windshield was too small for us so the roof had to go.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the response everybody. Just to make a few clarifications so y'all can see what we were up against a little better: Only door to driver area was on passenger side. There was a solid wall between cargo area and driver area. The vehicle had overturned but was setting on it's wheels in a side ditch partially in the roadway. Wouldn't want to use a torch on this one! It was a Saftey-Kleen truck, hauling paint remover, laquer thinner, Naptha,cleaning solvents, etc. Thankfully the 5 and 15 gallon drums were all properly closed tight, and none of the stuff was actually spilled, but there was still vapor mostly from the empty buckets and other cleaning machines and supplies. (Could have been a REALLY BIG mess!). There was no exposed hardware to take apart to get the door off using hand tools. Our department is a lot short on money and tools so we have to improvise a lot! Our antique porta-power doesn't work, so it's not on the truck, we don't have a torch, and only one hurst power head. Thanks for the idea's though, some of them I previously wouldn't have thought of. If anyone else has anymore, I'd love to hear them. But it seems like I had the right idea to go with the windshield next, if the driver wasn't under his own power. Sometimes it's just good to see that other's share your opinion.

              P.S. N2Dfire- this truck was headed to Vinton, it was only about 2 miles from Franklin Co. line it could have been in your neck of the woods! Watch out!!

              Comment


              • #8
                cfr3450 - YIKES !!

                Kind of a good "Wake Up Call" to all the hazzards that roll by us every day and we never think about them huh ?

                Take Care - Stay Safe
                Stephen
                FF/Paramedic

                Comment

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