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Poppin' doors

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  • Poppin' doors

    We've been experimenting with different methods of popping doors.

    We've had great success starting at the hinge side first and then going to the Nader bolt. Starting the process at the hinge side has caused some debate, in house and out. Some think that we should start high and others think we should start low.

    Most think starting low eliminates the door coming in contact with the ground and rocking the vehicle, I AGREE. Other disagree and thing it's better to start high, no reasons given.

    Others want to stay with the old method of starting at the Nader. It's been my experience that after you pop the door at the Nader, you then have limited access when trying to take the hinges and the tool of choice ends up inside the patient compartment.

    Let me know what you think.


    [This message has been edited by res7cue (edited 03-23-2001).]

  • #2
    From my experience, it really depends on the type and condition of the vehicle and door. I usually ask myself these questions:

    1) Is the vehicle made of good sturdy metal, or aluminum foil (you know what I mean...)? If it's made of strong metal, go for the bolt. If it's made of fiberglass or some cheap thin metal, go for the hinges. If you have already popped the nader bolt, I learned that if you have a choice, go for the bottom hinge. You should always prevent the vehicle from moving as much as possible, and popping the top hinge first (not the bottom) will shift the door down into the ground which very easily could cause the vehicle to move. This is not a concern normally if the nader bolt hasn't been popped first.

    2) What's the condition of the door? Is the nader bolt exposed or are the hinges? I prefer to go with whatever is exposed more (my experience its usually one or the other). After popping the exposed point, it tends to be easier then to go after the closed side, than it would to start there.

    It all depends on the scene, so I don't really think there is one set answer. Common sense and good extrication knowledge is the key.


    • #3
      Recently we had several hydraulic tool manufacturers out to show us what they have. Each manufacturer showed us how their cutters would cut nader pins and hinges with ease. Depending on your tool I'd start cutting hinges instead of popping them.

      One technique for taking the hinge side is to start with your spreaders vertical by the A post. spread the door out and away from the pt compartment till you have a purchase by the hinges. With the spreaders now horizontal spread the front fender away. You now have great access to both hinges.

      Taking the nader bolt side was just as easy. Again begin with the spreaders vertical by the "B" post spread until you have a purchase large enough for the cutters and take the nader bolt.

      Of course you cutters have to be strong enough to do the heavy duty cutting, but the car doesn't move at all and it's very fast.


      • #4
        There's a point there about cutters. On some of those foreign and "wanna-be" foreign jobs with flimsy metal, cutting is sometimes a better option than spreading. I wouldn't use a combi-tool, though, for that. Cutters with curved blades have less of a danger of intrusion into the passenger compartment than combi-tools or straight blades.


        • #5
          If at all possible we try to go for the nader pin first by placing the spreaders in the window vertically closest to the "B" post. Then open them as far as you can until either the sheet metal starts to tear or the door actually pops open. If the door skin starts to tear you have a least created such a purchase point that you can either cut the bolt or spread it from there by repositioning the tool.
          After we have opened the door from the nader pin side first we teach our people to cut the hinges at all possible first. By cutting them there is a less violent action than when spreading them. you do not get the door wedging itself against the ground like when you spread it off. When we cut them we use either the "O" cutters of the Speedway cutters (AMKUS), which are a longer bladed version of an "O" cutter.
          Whenever we have spread the hinges first it did not matter which one we did first, I have never seen the door come in contact with the ground by going for the hinges first, top or bottom.
          As always it depend on the scene and the condition of the car to dictate which point we attack first.


          • #6
            You need to be careful about getting to set in your ways. The decision on taking the hinges or the Nader pin first often depends on the situation at hand. I normally will take whichever gives me access first. Often times, the forces of the collision will open purchase points where you can attack one or the other without the fancy spreads or compressions of the door or fender to open a hole.

            As for cutting, I agree that it is often faster to just cut hinges on smaller cars. However, I am not terribly comfortable with cutting a Nader pin. Since the process is actually "shearing", you have the potential to create a "case hardened Steel" projectile when you cut a Nader pin off. Of course, there is nothing wrong with cutting around the Nader pin to free the door.

            As for the top vs. bottom hinge first. The argument for taking the top hinge first is to drive the door downward so that when you go after the bottom hinge, you have less chance of the door "launching" from the vehicle when the hinge separates. This is how I have been taught, so I usually go top first. However, if I can get a strap on the door and someone to help control it, I am not opposed to taking the bottom first if that looks to be a better option at the time.

            [This message has been edited by Engine69 (edited 03-24-2001).]


            • #7
              just as RMIII, we preferred to begin of the always exposed side separating and not very often cutting to the bolt or the hinge our tool is straight and makes difficult the work to cut.
              when there is nothing no exposed I prefer to later begin by the bolt and the hinges by the part of inside.

              Zapopan Jalisco Mexico


              • #8
                In Ron's words....read the wreck. Use what it gave you. However, if I have a choice, I prefer hinge side first. Biggest reason is because it keeps the door between the rescuer/tool and the patient. Make sure you spread "down and out" away from the patient. I have had real good luck with this one.
                Now let me say this.... If after reading the wreck, we determine to go latch side first, our procedure has recently changed to taking the latch with the spreader or combi tool, and then using the 'cip saw on the hinges. The 'cip saw does not rotate into the passenger compartment and with a good saw/blade/operator, it make real short work of the hinges. Down side...noise. Hinge side first choice when possible. As far as topor bottom first, I like top. Taking the top first gives you the space needed to attack the bottom hinge with ease.



                • #9
                  In my department we teach our guys to "read the wreak." Just like no one house fire is the same not all mva's are the same. By reading the wreak there may have been access points created by the accident that give you a place for the tool to get a bite. In some cases you may attack the hinge side first and in others the nader bolt first. It doesn't matter as long as you can accomplish your goal with out hurting yourself, others or causing further injuries to the victim.


                  • #10
                    as Engine 69 was saying,it all depends on the wreck and not getting set in your ways.
                    But I defintley like cutting the hinges intead of spreading them, not only the movement of the car from the compression but the noise and violence tends to scare the patient even more and can make matters worse for the provider inside.As far as spreading on the nader side if you just spread a little, move a little deeper, spread and move deeper to where you can just spread the
                    locking mechanism away from nader you don't have such a violent reaction.


                    • #11
                      I like to cut the hinges also, usually bottom first, then go to the nader, as lt4 said it works better for me to kinda roll the latch off of the nader pin, it seems less violent then breaking either the pin or latch.

                      The last couple of pin jobs, have been T-bones, so I had to do a vertical crush to remove the door, this also rolls the latch from the pin, and does not require a purchase point, just cut the hinges and put the spreader in the window, and roll the door down.


                      • #12
                        We run a combi tool on our department. Our experience is that the combi tool is more susceptible to ripping the metal at certain points than moving the door when we attack the Nader. Thus, we have always trained to attack the hinges first, as it makes it easier for the combi to move the door from the Nader after. When we do attack the hinges first, we spread them starting from the bottom.

                        Although we prefer to attack the hinges first, at times the EMS crews will request that we take the Nader first to save time in order to create an opening for quick removal of a critical patient. When this happens, we usually leave the door on the hinges, and just bend it past 90 degrees to create the opening.


                        • #13
                          Some good comments here, and as always, there are just as many ways to perform on a vehicle rescue as there are fire departments. I did notice one thing missing however. Be aware of side impact air bags and seatbelt pretensioners when attacking the door at the nader or b post area. I suggest starting at the hinges on these cars. Be safe!

                          [This message has been edited by Kevin Gill (edited 04-08-2001).]


                          • #14
                            Our department teaches to "READ THE WRECK and act accordingly".

                            1)begin with standard procedures such as hazards, battery disconnect, checking locations and conditions of frontal and side impace air bags and seat belt pretensioners and the rest of the story.

                            2) To Remove Door. Remove all glass in area. Trip door latch handles inside and outside holding them open with a method or divice of your choice. Crimp front fender above wheel to pull access (purchase) point at top of door.(placing a heavy spreader in the window opening could be hazardous to victim should rescuer loose control of tool and drop it inside) We work from top hinge down, often cutting hinges after they are exposed by spreader or combi tool. (cutting causes less trama/movement to vehicle) When pressure is released on latch door will usually come off latch with no time expended or additional vechile motion.

                            As with all procedures nothing will work all the time. Have a second or third trick waiting in your mind.

                            J. T. Whidby


                            • #15
                              We have a general rule;If you are opening the door to gain patient access, we start from the nader bolt side.However if you are removing the door, start with the hinge side.There are NO set ways in extrication.I plan A doesn't seem to work , you might end up usind plan B or C!


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