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Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

by Marcus

This article focuses on vehicle rescue and the future of glass management, the advantages and disadvantages, and why it is important for rescues.

Traditionally most cars just have laminated windshields, whilst the remainder of the glass is toughened (also called tempered). Although we are accustomed to this when it comes to glass management, things are certainly changing.

In 2018 all vehicles produced in the USA will have laminated glass fitted all round. This serves two purposes: to improve security, and to prevent occupant ejection in the event of collision.

This gives us distinct advantages and a disadvantage.

Rescuers approaching a vehicle and require rapid access, such as when there is a need to manage a casualty’s airway, there is the option of breaking toughened glass and entering the vehicle.

Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

Managing toughened glass to gain entry rapidly

Laminated glass means that this access is more difficult as it requires cutting, which prolongs entry. On the plus side the presence of laminated glass means that there will not be any uncontrolled breakages on scene, like with toughened glass, so once stability is completed, space creation can commence. In addition to this, the ability to leave laminated glass in place during the extrication process means that the casualty is protected from the environment, especially in extreme weather.

Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

Laminated glass, when broken, remains in place

Image: Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

 

Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

Toughened glass will break into small pieces.

Image: Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

Rescuer and casualty protection

Whichever type of glass we are managing, safety is critical and it is important for rescuers to ensure they have respiratory protection in place (e.g. dust mask). The casualty must also be protected by using a sheet, and the use of oxygen will reduce the effect of glass dust within the passenger compartment. Prior to managing glass we must give audible warnings to ensure that the medic is prepared and any noise has minimal effect on patient care.

Be prepared

The number of vehicles with laminated glass in all positions will surely increase in the future and therefore rescuers must be prepared.

Vehicle Rescue and the Future of Glass Management

Ian Dunbar is a Rescue Consultant at Holmatro

Find more on Heavy Rescue at: http://blog.holmatro.com

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