SRS & AIRBAG SYSTEMS
Whilst there is no doubt that passive safety systems have saved many thousands of lives, they remain a major topic of conversation within the rescue community due to the potential risks they pose if undeployed i.e. when they have not activated during the initial impact. This is principally around the issue of airbags. I have witnessed first-hand that our misunderstanding of this risk can compromise patient care; this should not happen. Simple preventative measures (isolation of power and limiting exposure to the risk area) will ensure the safety of emergency responders and allow us to proceed. For many years I have worked closely with passive safety engineers from major motor manufacturers and they have confirmed my suspicion that the long standing ‘safe working distances’ around airbags, the so called ‘5-10-15-20-inch rule’ is outdated and impractical. Vehicle Extrication - The NEXT GENERATION looks at these systems and contextualizes the perceived risks. These systems have impeded our ability to extricate patients, but is it time to rethink the risk?