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The insignificance of "Drain Times"

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  • The insignificance of "Drain Times"

    Received a request from a vehicle rescue instructor who wanted an updated chart with all the drain times of vehicles. I used to keep one up-to-date until around model year 2000. then I sort of changed my mind about the significance of knowing the drain time for every vehicle.

    Here's my thoughts on this topic...

    Most sources like lists of airbag 'drain times' have dried up. Seems that the information isn't really important to know for each individual vehicle like we thought it might be.

    I recommend that you;

    1) Shut down the power and 2) go about your business. Drain times for the past 6 to 8 years worth of cars average about 2 to 5 minutes. Some drain in one second.

    Remember, nothing happens till you shut down the power. There are three steps to shutting down power that must become your standard operating procedure;

    1- locate battery/batteries and disconnect or double cut both negative and positive cables

    2- determine that power to vehicle is shut down by viewing lights, instrument panel, etc to confirm

    3- unplug any accessory appliances plugged in to the cigarette lighter or other power ports.

    If there is any new and updated info available on the drain times, it would be Todd Hoffman that would have it. I don't care about these little details any longer.

    You may want to contact Todd, owner of the private website www.sceneoftheaccident.org. Todd's email is [email protected]
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by rmoore View Post
    Received a request from a vehicle rescue instructor who wanted an updated chart with all the drain times of vehicles. I used to keep one up-to-date until around model year 2000. then I sort of changed my mind about the significance of knowing the drain time for every vehicle.

    Here's my thoughts on this topic...

    Most sources like lists of airbag 'drain times' have dried up. Seems that the information isn't really important to know for each individual vehicle like we thought it might be.

    I recommend that you;

    1) Shut down the power and 2) go about your business. Drain times for the past 6 to 8 years worth of cars average about 2 to 5 minutes. Some drain in one second.

    Remember, nothing happens till you shut down the power. There are three steps to shutting down power that must become your standard operating procedure;

    1- locate battery/batteries and disconnect or double cut both negative and positive cables

    2- determine that power to vehicle is shut down by viewing lights, instrument panel, etc to confirm

    3- unplug any accessory appliances plugged in to the cigarette lighter or other power ports.

    If there is any new and updated info available on the drain times, it would be Todd Hoffman that would have it. I don't care about these little details any longer.

    You may want to contact Todd, owner of the private website www.sceneoftheaccident.org. Todd's email is [email protected]
    Somebody talk to me about connect the positive and the negative together to drain all the power, what to you think about that????

    Comment


    • #3
      With all the possible other power sources that could exist, I'd rather NOT connect the positive and negative together. OnStar systems, cell phones, etc.

      We disconnect and that's it.
      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

      Comment


      • #4
        We cut the cables for extrication or fire hazards and disconnect for minor incidents. We always double cut so there is no chance of the cable coming back together. Drain times are insignificant due to the fact that we won't be standing around waiting and we treat every vehicle as if the power is still on and bags may blow anyway.

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess Ron forgot about the Rescuer's Guide put out by Holmatro, funny..

          The newest one at FDIC had thru the 2007 model, in print and CD. They said they will be updating it yearly. The drain times were listed as well as so much other info. The $200 price makes it a bargain when compared most of the other stuff I have looked at on the market.
          I really liked the CD version.

          Comment


          • #6
            Drain Times

            I tried as many people did to keep up with this information. I was sitting in Chicago at one of Todd Hoffmans classes when the lightbulb finally came on. There was a picture of a mangled wreck on the screen and he asked the class to quickly identify it. Same Principle with the holmatro book, Great book. But you have to be able to indentify the year make and model of the vehicle for it to be of use. I think that Ron is on the right track. Know that there is a drain factor Cut the cables turn on the lights confirm power down and treat everything as it were still live ( some cars still have the mechanical airbags Volvo , jeep etc..)

            Comment


            • #7
              In the time it takes to find the information in the book/cd, the capacitor has drained.
              "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

              Comment


              • #8
                I am trying to get people into the habit of treating every vehicle the same. I know that every incident is different but the routine can be the same for the safety factors.
                Most of us have a habit that when we pull up on scene the first thing that happens is the EMS jumps out of the truck, grabs his med bags and runs to the patient. If this vehicle is a Prius most of us would know not to, but if it was a Honda Civic, or Toyota Camry there is know way of knowing whether it is a hybrid or not until we see the emblem on the trunk lid. And it could be in Idle Stop Mode.
                What I am trying to instill is place two chucks in the box were your med bags are kept, when the EMS person jumps out let him place one under each wheel when the other person jumps out let him cut the battery cables, now we are not going to be run over and the bleed down time has started, now the officer can make his walk around, the Medic can do his triage, The third man can set up his tools, the officer tells the rescuer what he found and a purchase point is made. The average bleed down time is almost over.
                If we get in the habit of doing it to every vehicle then the one bad one is not going to get us, and all of this can be done without knowing the make and model and without the time of looking it up in a book, and with a small or large crew.
                Remember we teach an average bleed down time is five minutes, but if you look them up in the books about 80% are less than one minute.
                Last edited by LeeJunkins; 04-25-2007, 01:06 PM.
                http://www.midsouthrescue.org
                Is it time to change our training yet ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  The way I used to teach extrication for the last several years was to first talk about drain times and then tell everyone to avoid the deployment zones at all times. It all of a sudden occurred to me that "who cares what the drain time is". If the 5 minute clock winds down, am I going to recommend people then sit on the steering wheel while collaring the patient? NO! I don't care if the battery left the vehicle while it was rolling over and is now in a tree 500ft down the road. Stay out of those airbag deployment zones ALL THE TIME.
                  Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nmfire View Post
                    The way I used to teach extrication for the last several years was to first talk about drain times and then tell everyone to avoid the deployment zones at all times. It all of a sudden occurred to me that "who cares what the drain time is". If the 5 minute clock winds down, am I going to recommend people then sit on the steering wheel while collaring the patient? NO! I don't care if the battery left the vehicle while it was rolling over and is now in a tree 500ft down the road. Stay out of those airbag deployment zones ALL THE TIME.
                    Stay out of those airbag deployment zones ALL THE TIME.

                    This is a must, because as we have seen even without a battery, static electricity or feed back from other sources can set one off.
                    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
                    Is it time to change our training yet ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by domi411 View Post
                      Somebody talk to me about connect the positive and the negative together to drain all the power, what to you think about that????

                      I am in the automotive field and an Instructor in Missouri. This will do nothing for drain times. The reason: The computers. The Air bag module has a capasitor - right. If in a wreck the battery would short. The capasitor would drain. Possibly to quickly. So they put diodes in. Think of them as a gate. This keeps the voltage from draining out the old fashion way like connecting the cables. This inables voltage to stay in the DERM module longer and be able to allow the system the voltage it needs when in a wreck with the loss of the battery as its power source. Alan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
                        In the time it takes to find the information in the book/cd, the capacitor has drained.

                        That's another example of our old-school Rule of Thumb answers. By the time you thumb through the book to find the answer, the emergency is over.

                        I don't think were suposed to use those anymore.
                        Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

                        IACOJ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hrtrescue10 View Post
                          I guess Ron forgot about the Rescuer's Guide put out by Holmatro, funny..

                          The newest one at FDIC had thru the 2007 model, in print and CD. They said they will be updating it yearly. The drain times were listed as well as so much other info. The $200 price makes it a bargain when compared most of the other stuff I have looked at on the market.
                          I really liked the CD version.

                          There's only one problem with that or the Crash Recovery System computer program:

                          If you are not in the automotive field can you, at 0300, in the dark, still wiping the sleep out of your eyes, tell if that car with the smashed in front end is a 2000 or a 2004 "Whatever ZXP-20"? There may be a difference in the number of bags in the car. Say they added side curtains and dual-stage bags for the 2003 MY.

                          As Ron & I both teach, stay with the basics. Find your electrical source, disconnect it, keep your 5-10 distances, do an external and internal 360. Keep your wits about you and don't place anything in the path of deployment.

                          Also, don't forget to unplug anything the patient may have plugged into the power ports (Cigarette lighters). The batteries in a laptop have enough power to run back through the system and provide enough voltage to deploy the bags.
                          Steve Dragon
                          FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
                          Volunteers are never "off duty".
                          http://www.bufd7.org

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with the general idea behind this conversation. Regardless if it is beyond the bleed down of the capacitor or not, the airbag system is just as dangerous. I have always taught in my classes that bleed down is irrelevant. Cutting thru an inflation cylinder is just as big a risk as setting off a bag. Too many variables, static and otherwise can set off the bag long after the bleed down time.
                            I am not saying anyone is wrong, if anything, misinformed, but I am still not convinced on the "backflow" of charge from a cell phone charger. I have had automotive engineers tell me both ways and show evidence to support both sides. Real ones, not internet educated firehouse surfers and overpaid lectors who have less time on tools than the folks they are talking to. Our job is to extricate, and move the patient to the hospital, not to spend time trying to unplug a laptop, that I have to put myself in harms way just to get to.
                            The idea of the books, is to help, on occasion, guide you through safe extrication.
                            I agree the bleed down time of a capacitor is the last thing I would look up. However, it is not that hard to identify a vehicle. A photo of a wrecked vehicle from 10 feet away on a powerpoint is poor example. I have seen the "trick" used by someone trying to justify his ideas in a $350 dollar a person class that others do for free. Gotta have some way to sleep at night after cashing a $40,000 paycheck of taxpayer money for two days work.
                            I, along with many others in the field have used the book to identify hazards that we just did not know about or were not quite sure. It takes less than a minute if you learn to use it properly. I am not sure about the moditech program, but if it can be sold for the kind of money that it is, it must have some good info also.
                            "old school" which someone mentioned above is just that, old. I am as old school as they come, but that is also the mentality that gets folks hurt. Who would have thought 10 years ago that we would have been talking on the internet about extrication? A lot of you could no type 10 years ago, some still can't. We learned it was the best way to share ideas quickly and efficiently for a large audience.
                            The same goes for reference books and computer programs about vehicle information. The same for advanced design rescue tools. The same for lightweight, cooler gear.
                            Lets use the "old school" as our basis, and bring it forward with technology. Saying stupid things only hinders those we are trying to teach by allowing them to form false ideas and justify shortcuts that get them hurt.

                            Like Lee says, is it time to change our training. Well, it is way past time to change our thinking, if you can't, then you need to find a seat in the back and let someone else take over.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The "backfeeding accessory" thing is true. *Most* modern electronics you plug into a lighter plug will not do this. However, there are plenty of devices that can and will do it and I have witnessed it myself.
                              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                              Comment

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