Report Difficulty on Breaking Glass in Mercedes
A firefighter in Fairfax, Va., who spoke to glassBYTEs.comô/AGRR
magazine on the condition of anonymity, advised that his crew recently
had extreme difficulty in breaking the windows on a Mercedes that
had been T-boned (hit by another car on the side of the vehicle).
The vehicle, from which the crew was trying to extract a passenger
trapped inside, appeared to have laminated sidelites that resisted
breakage as the crew tried to make its way into the vehicle.
"Unfortunately, no one trained us beforehand that this would be
coming out," he says of the sidelites, which are relatively new
in the market.
|2007 S-Class Mercedes
While the firefighter notes that the vehicle was actually more
secure for the patient due to the sidelites, he advises that it
took the crew two minutes, as opposed to a norm of 15 seconds, to
break into the vehicle to extract the patient.
Once the crew discovered it couldn't break the windshield or sidelites
as usually is the case, they tried to saw through them.
"We were thinking instead of cutting it out we could saw through
it, but it would melt the laminate and gum up the saw. The friction
was melting the laminate," he says.
Eventually, the crew cut out all of the windows utilizing a tool
they refer to as "the Glass Master" in order to extract the patient.
Both the front and side airbags had deployed on the vehicle.
While the firefighter was uncertain of the exact type of Mercedes
involved in the incident, he says the experience was an eye-opening
one for him and others involved.
"We're going to start training and preparing [for this type of
thing]," he says.
Rob Moran, manager of product communications for Mercedes-Benz,
says the company actually provides demonstration to fire departments
across the country for issues such as this. "We work pretty closely
with municipal fire departments all over the country to do demos
on new cars for extrication," he told glassBYTEs.comô/AGRR
Without knowing the exact make of the car, Moran notes that it
is difficult to tell what occurred in this situation, but that the
company's 2007 S-Class is equipped with double-laminated glass sidelites,
along with a good deal of light-alloy steeland instructions
for rescue workers who come in contact with the vehicle.
"We actually put on the windshield itself diagrams that show rescue
workers how to cut the windshield away. That's the only car I know
of that uses that diagram," he says.
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