Working in the automotive industry I’m very proud of all the advancements that the United States has made in terms of making a safer car and protecting the occupants. Many times automotive safety pioneers like Mercedes-Benz are first to implement new costly safety devices in production vehicles. I mean Mercedes-Benz has a car with automatic partial braking that intervenes if driver does not react in face of acute danger of accident. So I was not surprised to find out that a revolutionary extrication tool was implemented across the pond. There is something that an international foundation has started and needs to gain the legs to get it spread around the globe, especially here in the US. The FIA Foundation has developed a standardized A4 “rescue sheet” that includes information on the location of cabin reinforcements, tank, the battery, airbags, gas generators, control units etc. – and indicating adequate cutting points must be used throughout Europe. The best part, the rescue sheets are free! The only catch is that individual vehicle owners, our “customers” if you will, need to print out the sheet and put it on the driver side sun visor.
The FIA Foundation decided to take the rescue sheet one step further. The ADAC Initiative (the ADAC is Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobile-Club which is the largest auto club in Germany) main goal is to provide a fast on-site access to non-commercial database of all rescue sheets for all makes a models. No small task!
Ron Moore from Firehouse Magazine’s University of Extrication proposed something very similar to the Rescue Sheets called the “Vehicle Safety Data Sheet” (VSDS). Ron proposed requiring one VSDS placard to be applied to the underside of every hood and a standard location for a second VSDS placard under or behind the rear license plate. Just like the rescue sheet, Ron also thought the best inside location driver’s side sun-visor. Interesting enough, Ron proposed this idea back in 1999! Ron is truly a pioneer in the world of extrication and if you have never been to a live training class that he puts on you are missing out!
Another interesting fact about the rescue sheets is the very common appearance the sheets have compared to Moditech’s Crash Recovery System. I have a feeling that Moditech is creating the sheets for the automakers.
The FIA Foundation is an independent UK registered charity which manages and supports an international programme of activities promoting road safety, environmental protection and sustainable mobility, as well as funding specialist motor sport safety research.