Cutting battery cables

Safety and hazards on the job...
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Buckster
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Cutting battery cables

Postby Buckster » Thu May 10, 2012 5:23 am

According to our local RCMP accident reconstruction dude, we are not to be cutting cables any more on vehicles. They want to be able to get their evidence from the "black box" from what I understand. Dep. Chief brought this up the other night, so my response was "so we are NOT doing this any more???? The RCMP and accident investigations trump SAFETY now????" Wondering if this has come up for anyone else and I'm just behind the times or what. He will be addressing my FD and taking questions in a few weeks I guess, and I definately have some questions of my own, but I figured I would throw this out here and see whats up, and maybe you guys might have a few questions I haven't thought of.


Thanks
I may not know karate, but I know KA-razy, and I'm not afraid to use it!

ghfd04
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Postby ghfd04 » Thu May 10, 2012 8:08 am

Just disconnect the terminals...no need to cut. Put the end of the wire into a nitryl glove, a couple of wraps of tape and you have a securely isloated circuit. If the coppers (or tow truck drivers) or anyone else needs power they can remove the taped glove and reconnect.
From an operations standpoint, it makes sense with all of the power options and accessories available on vehicles, you may want power to move a seat, access a sunroof, move pedals, etc...

If you cut the wire, it is very difficult to hold the two ends together while someone else moves a power seat back!

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hmckay91
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Postby hmckay91 » Thu May 10, 2012 10:47 am

Buckster

Cutting battery cables does not affect the evidence in the so called "black box". It may cause the Collision Analyst to acquire the data in a different way from a different point in the vehicle (and be more work for them) but it does not alter, remove, or contaminate any data (evidence) that may be available post incident.

Removing/disconnecting a battery cable is perhaps a "better" option than cutting in most circumstances, but the purpose and reasoning for the fire service doing so, remains.
www.cedtechnologies.com wrote:The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety describes an event data recorder (EDR) as “a device that records certain information from a vehicle immediately before and/or during a crash… Police, crash investigators, and others can download the data from the EDR's memory to help them better understand what happened to the vehicle and how the safety systems performed, and in some cases, help establish culpability”.
Above is what is commonly referred to as the vehicle "black box" and they are much less sophisticated and capable than those used in aircraft. The data is often accessed through the vehicle On Board Diagnostic (OBD) port. The EDR can also be connected to directly or removed from the vehicle and downloaded in the lab.
Mechanical Forensics Engineering Services wrote:Up to now, manufacturers have each approached EDRs in their own way, but in August 2006, NHTSA issued a rule governing what data an EDR must record when a car has one. In January 2008, they issued their updated Final Rule which addressed some of the petitions they got after the first Rule was announced. It now applies to cars built after 01SEP2012. It mandates a list of things that an EDR must record if the car has an EDR which is intended to be downloaded after a crash. Think about that for a moment: if a car doesn't have an EDR intended to be downloaded after a crash, then the rule does not apply.
"Rusty Haight - Collision Safety Institute" wrote:There is no stand alone "EDR" in a car. An "EDR" is a function of another module (i.e.: rollover sensor or airbag control module). So, during a collision these modules do whatever it is they do and then, when their primary function is done they MAY, MIGHT, COULD record some crash related information as a function of the EDR capability of that module but that's going to happen long before the fire department shows up. If the module which has an EDR capability has done its job, it has long since recorded crash related data before the fire department cuts cables so their cutting those cables doesn't really impact the data but can make it "that much" harder for you to get data using the Bosch CDR System later.
There's never time to do it right but always time to do it over.

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Buckster
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Postby Buckster » Fri May 11, 2012 12:42 am

Good info, from what the DC was saying it needed to have constant power in order to do its job.....knowing the mounties in this area, the "make more work for them doing things another way" makes sense, theres a reason why they built their new building across the road from the donut factory (seriously)
I may not know karate, but I know KA-razy, and I'm not afraid to use it!

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dentedhead
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Postby dentedhead » Fri May 11, 2012 1:14 pm

Why would you even cut cables? Disconnect the ground protect it with something or put it in a safe spot.It you still want to roll pold school pull em both.Battery pliers are cheap!

Most of these "black box type things do hold some stored engery to keep working.

Dentedhead
Thousand a week for hide and seek on call when Im paid to be.

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Buckster
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Postby Buckster » Sun May 13, 2012 12:37 am

I like breaking things, thats why lol I meant cut, disconnect, cut the power, kill it....
I may not know karate, but I know KA-razy, and I'm not afraid to use it!

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3rdGen
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Postby 3rdGen » Sun May 13, 2012 2:22 pm

Couple things to add,

specific to your question I just did a hybrid/new vehicle technology 1 day deal and his answer to this was 'its a computer, it doesn't need power to remember, safety first'

If the vehicle is getting towed then disconnect the battery even if it is minor. Failing to do this could cause a fire due to a short in the system. And having put out a car fire in the middle of a towed car storage lot where cars are tightly packed together...i can tell you it is not fun.

but further, with all the myths about hybrid, HID lights, electricity in general I HIGHLY recommend bringing this program to your area. Invite all your neighboring department and send a few people from each department to bring the info back to their crews. We had 100+ people their from 15+ deparments i'd say.

http://www.mgstech.net/

are you afraid of hybrids and that scary orange wire...is it on and ready to drive away?? how about SRS systems and bleed down times?? you should be afraid of HID headlights, but with the right training it is just a car, metal and plastic like 100 years ago.
"You can't be wrong for doing the right thing"

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irsqyu
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Postby irsqyu » Mon May 14, 2012 12:14 pm

SAFETY FIRST, I have seen the wiring in the steering column short out and burst into flames with a person still trapped behind the wheel. I can also recall a couple of instances over the years where we have been recalled to the towing compound after wiring shorted out. The obvious as well is the danger of airbags deploying while doing extrication. The accident scene and extrication is OURS as well as the paramedics for patient care. The police can direct traffic until we turn the scene over to them. Firefighter/Paramedic/Patient safety is paramount.
"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work."

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LTPVFD
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Air Bag Deployment

Postby LTPVFD » Mon May 14, 2012 4:21 pm

[quote=""irsqyu""]The obvious as well is the danger of airbags deploying while doing extrication.[/quote]

3rd Gen - I took the same course with MGS in Parksville. I am NOT an expert in vehicle extrication, nor do I pretend to be. However the information I learned in this class sure made me more confident if I have to deal with a hybrid vehicle involved in an MVA.

One of the "myths" that we discussed was air bags deploying while doing extrication. Only one documented case that the instructor knew of (Dayton, Ohio), and that was caused by a number of factors.

In order for an air bag to deploy, 3 things are required to make up an "event" - impact, deceleration, and speed. When all three are present and receive the right signals at the same time, then a "command to fire" will be initiated, and the air bag will deploy. Without all three, the air bags will not deploy. So all of the worry about air bag deployment after a crash is just a myth. :)

So - it is not possible to deploy air bags after the ignition is off, and the 12 volt battery has been disconnected. ;) In answer to the original question, make the scene safe by disconnecting the battery - the information in the onboard computer will not be lost.

Stay safe !!

LTPVFD
Safety First - EVERYONE Goes Home !!

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Roadwarrior
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Postby Roadwarrior » Mon May 14, 2012 7:00 pm

Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!


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