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Webcast Question: Stabilization

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  • #16

    This debate has been around for many years, the step chock is designed to be used the correct way up, as this increases the maximum surface area in contact with the ground, which is what stability is about. If the block does not quite reach the sill we can simply correct this with the use of wedges.

    Naturally as already stated it can be used upside down for the right situation in the same way it can be used on its end or interlocked with another step block. Lets use it the right way for the right job and not just for simplicity.

    Flat tyre blocking is about creating a solid work platform, we should not be letting the air out so that the vehicle lowers onto the blocks, we should stabilise the vehicle as normal and then deflate the tyres so that the vehicle stays still, this just prevent the vehicle raising up on it suspension as it gets lighter.

    We used to lift the vehicle slightly to fit the step block under the sill etc but this practice has long been stopped, we are stabilising the vehicle to prevent further movement so by lifting it slightly we are creating movement that we are trying to prevent.

    A good topic



    • #17
      Originally posted by rmoore View Post
      So here is a generic scenario for me to gather your opinions on...

      4-door passenger car, head-on crash damage (moderate), airbags deployed, seated and belted injured driver as only occupant, complaint of neck pain, all doors open normally, car on level blacktop surface, all tires inflated...

      To what degree would your organization "stabilize" this vehicle prior to bringing the patient out?
      I wish we were more consistent in our practice. I can tell you that if there is no entrapment, then more then likely no stabilization.
      I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

      "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."


      • #18
        Originally posted by rmoore View Post
        Remember, the step-chock was created in 1984 by a Florida team participating in extrication competitions sponsored by T.E.R.C. Their original design, which is now the most common, has a wider board or base and thinner 'steps'. That original design means that the step-chock is more stable when used right side up. Yes, stability is greatest when the car settles into one of the steps of the step-chock.


        Ron, are you referring to plastic or wood cribbing??

        The wood cribbing can be made however you want. I remember years ago the wide base (wider wood) was used for the bottom (long) section and the remainder where not as wide.

        Personally I haven't used that design in over 20 years. I also don't see it to often in the field anymore either. We do allot of training classes a year including outside the US.

        All my WOOD steps (not talking about plastic), are the same size. I use 6" and also larger wood. It also serves as a great platform/base for lifting bags.
        howie aka scooby



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