Post-crash care for emergency rescue teams

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По Elizabeth Gasiorowski Denis
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In case of serious accidents, seconds may make the difference between life and death, full recovery or a lifelong disability. Emergency rescue teams have to be able to act immediately. Now, rescuers will be able to remove vehicle occupants as fast and as safely as possible thanks to a new standard specifying the basic format of on-board rescue sheets for light vehicles.

ISO 17840-1, Road vehicles – Information for first and second responders – Part 1: Rescue sheet for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, is the first standard in a series to support emergency rescue teams (first responders). It gives the content and layout of a rescue sheet used by emergency responders to determine how best to extricate injured passengers based on the car’s make, model and year.

Rescue team performance and the new ISO 17840-1 will have a direct bearing on crash rescue, according to Céline Adalian, Project Leader of the new standard. “Every second counts when human life is at stake,” Adalian explains. “Quite often, in what little time rescuers have, rescue sheets help make information about the vehicle readily accessible and, in so doing, ensure a swift and secure rescue operation.”

The standardized pictograms and rescue sheet format of ISO 17840-1 provides the vehicle manufacturers with tools to point out where in the vehicle components are positioned that rescuers need to take into account in the rescue process.

Examples of such components are:

  • Airbags and other pyrotechnical restraint systems that could deploy during rescuing
  • Sensors and control units sensitive to cutting
  • Fuel and gas tanks, shut-off valves
  • High-voltage electric power sources, cables and electric circuit-breakers
  • High-strength zones that cannot be cut with ordinary tools

ISO 17840-1 is applicable to rescue information in paper or electronic versions.

Future parts of ISO 17840 will cover the extension of the rescue sheet for heavy commercial vehicles and buses, a template for more in-depth emergency response information (Emergency Response Guide) and a standard for identification of the propulsion fuel or energy. Together, these standards should help saving lives!

This standard was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 22, Road vehicles, under the stewardship of AFNOR, the ISO member for France.

ISO 17840-1:2015 is available from your national ISO member or from the ISO Store.

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Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

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