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Roof-Resting Battery Shutdown

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen training for vehicle rescue, responders  consider electrical system shutdown  a necessary task when working at a Real World injury accident; especially when occupants are trapped and extrication work must be accomplished.  In training sessions, responders should practice forcing opening hoods with vehicles resting on the four wheels as well as when the vehicle is stabilized in a side-resting position.

Accessing a battery under the hood while the car is on its wheels or on its side takes some training.  But, to really be prepared, rescuers should also roll a junk vehicle onto its roof and practice electrical system shutdown on a roof-resting vehicle.  Assuming that the most likely location for the battery is under the front hood, a rollover can complicate battery access and shutdown.

Through training for this possibility, your rescue crew should be just as capable at accessing a 12v battery located under the hood even when the vehicle is roof-resting.

In my Vehicle Rescue 1-2-3 training manual under the ‘B’ tab, there are two entire pages that detail the step-by-step process for accessing a battery within the engine compartment of a roof-resting vehicle and shutting down the power(pg 21 & 22).  You will see that your options include access through a wheelwell or fender area, access through a front grill or headlight opening, as well as access to the cables by coming down through the bottom of the engine compartment.

Practice this scenario next time you are working with your extrication tools in a hands-on setting.  You want to be prepared for this challenge ahead of time.


About Ron Moore

Ron Moore retired as a Division Chief with the McKinney (TX) Fire Department. He is now employed part-time with the Prosper, TX Fire Rescue and the Plano Fire Rescue. Ron is the author of now over 200 published articles in his renowned University of Extrication series, featured each month in Firehouse Magazine and is the moderator of the University of Extrication interactive section of the Firehouse.com website.