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PATIENT TRAPPED (no fuelin!)

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  • nmfire
    replied
    Where's the guy that thought you could use natural gas as a fire extinguishing agent? Maybe he would have some insight to what should be done here.... Oh I know what he would say... Just saw the tank open. Eventually, the vapors will be so dense, it won't have enough air to burn.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    14, Hold up a Bic,he might not be as entrapped as you think;Hehe.You could pull the vehicle with another but you lose the margin of control you have with a winch.The new planetary winches are fast and you retain the margin of control not to mention brute force.What!you didn't monitor the air in the van before you started choppin?You really give new meaning to the words "gas grill".Nah,I know you weren't doing the cutting,but hey I gotta stir this up somehow.HHow about we fill the van with Hi-x?T.C.

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  • Resq14
    replied
    Originally posted by Ohiovolffemtp
    I'd bet that cutting the steering wheel with a hacksaw
    And my chains were going to take care of the situation, eh TC?

    Perhaps in the van on the driver's side, you're above UEL and can hack away all you want.

    We'd have to do something quick, and at least in my department we have no way to completely eliminate the chance of a spark or static. Let's not forget that the truck probably has a hot engine and exhaust, may still be running, etc. So I don't know if I'd really be too worried about a quick hook up, or a quick hack job for sparking/static reasons. I think it would be a "run in, hook up, and get the van away" type deal. Might even pull it with a truck vs. a winch. If it lights up, a winch is a slow way to get the vehicle away from the tanker. I think under the protection of some foam deluge guns, this is still the best choice. I still don't think I would send my people into the van.

    Maybe the operator can be coaxed out of his jam via PA announcement. That or the sight and smell of what's next to him might do the job too. I really hope I never face this situation!

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  • Ohiovolffemtp
    replied
    Depending how badly the patient was trapped, I'd see whether I could get him out with just wiggling entrapped body parts. A major gasoline leak qualifies as a need for rapid extrication. C-collar and manual stabilization is all that I'd take time for.

    First item would be to foam the area: tanker, outside of van, & ground. Full turnouts and SCBA for extrication crew - though that would make it very crowded in the van. Given the apparent damage, I'd bet that cutting the steering wheel with a hacksaw and possibly moving pedals with a pry bar would be sufficient to give me enough room to get the patient out.

    Winching the van away from the tanker sounds good, but I don't have any way to implement that rapidly, especially if there's no solid ground on the side of the van away from the tanker.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    I don't profess to be a meter expert.But any meter I have ever used has alarmed on gasoline well before you were in the dodo.As far as the chain goes,if you want to drag it in fine!You go first,I'll bring my synthetic strap if your chain doesn't eliminate the problem in the first place.So much for the fuel,what about my entangled patient?If I don't get a class in Yarmouth soon,I'm going to make it a point to come down and lock horns with ya.Hehe T.C.

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  • Resq14
    replied
    Two Thumbs Up for Proactive

    Originally posted by Rescue101
    If the four gas is screeching and flashing,you probably hadn't ought to be there... ...Do as you will,but I think I'll use it.T.C.
    Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge proponent of atmospheric monitoring--I plan on buying 3 new ones as we speak. I just want to caution that if you rely solely on a methane-calibrated 4gas to tell you when you're in/approaching unsafe conditions in this situation, it is not a safe thing to do. Sure, the extra information doesn't hurt. But by the time it starts beeping, it is entirely possible that you have already entered a dangerous atmosphere. Don't rely on it in this situation is all I'm saying, as the sensor could read a less-than-LEL reading when in fact you are already above LEL.

    A broad range hydrocarbon PPM reading would be more valuable to me, but these are not common in 4gas detectors. Again the information doesn't hurt, but I'm going to assume "explosive environment" even if it doesn't register a LEL reading.

    Let's say you send someone in there to hook a chain ASAP, and they have the 4gas on them. I'm going to guess it's going to start picking up a reading [so many variables here] and will start beeping once it goes over the alarm threshold for LEL (that's not saying the 4gas is indicating LEL, just that it typically alarms between 10%-30% depending on which agency you follow). So, glancing down quickly, you might see that it's reading 40% LEL. Do you change your plans? Do you trust the monitor? Do you keep on moving towards the vehicle with the unconscious and pinned person in it? Somewhere on that scene there is a 100%+ LEL environment, I think we all agree with this.
    Last edited by Resq14; 11-03-2003, 07:41 PM.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    Ah 14,you just opened the box!When dealing with ANY unknown atmosphere,one of your first tools off should be the four gas.While it's true that flammables all have their "set off"formulas,one thing I can tell you for certain.If the four gas is screeching and flashing,you probably hadn't ought to be there.For example:Using the TIC at a propane leak to check tank levels.DID YOU MONITOR the air first?Seeing the correlation now?Same with this can of kaboom;I want to know what the levels are before I assign troops to the problem.A four gas will give you limited information,but it MAY give you enough to keep your tail from going into low orbit over Mars.Do as you will,but I think I'll use it.T.C.

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  • Resq14
    replied
    Haha not to prolong the fuel discussion, but I have to be honest and say grabbing our atmospheric monitors at a gasoline leak never happens (maybe it should, but I'm still not convinced). I understand the flash point temperatire, LEL, and vapor pressure of gasoline, and I have a hard time understanding why you would find a detector useful. The concentration gradient at such an incident should be much steeper than a chemical that is gas at ambient tempertaure, like drifting propane.

    Dal, your quote from Biosystems was for a propane-equivalent cal gas. I'd double check and I'd bet the farm that you're using the common multigas methane calibration mixture.

    Regarding LEL sensors:
    "With the sensor calibrated to methane, the values below represent what the combustible sensor would read if it were exposed to an environment containing 100% LEL of the listed alkane.

    Combustible Gas/Vapor Relative Sensitivity %LEL
    methane (CH 4) 100
    n-propane (C3H 8) 65
    n-pentane (C5H 12) 50
    n-hexane (C6H 14) 45
    n-heptane (C7H 16) 40
    n-octane (C8H 18) 40

    What this table illustrates is that the choice of gas used to calibrate the sensor is critically important in obtaining accurate readings for the gas being measured!"

    So yes the monitor might read "something," but you have to be careful and realize that you might need to double figures to get a correct reading, and I find that to be dangerous especially since you're going to be closer to the average gasoline spill before it starts to register anything anyway.

    For the patient: Class B foam deluge for a bit, then trying to remove the vehicle from the scene under the flow of the foam sounds like my favorite option so far, especially with respect to FF/rescuer safety if the patient is indeed pinned.
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-31-2003, 06:34 PM.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    Better study your chemistry

    Forgot to mention in my earlier posts that a four gas will work just fine on gasoline.If you look at the chemical composition of gasoline there is a lot of 'anes in it's makeup.We've done some solid thinking on the fuel problem,what about our patient?T.C.

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  • Dalmatian90
    replied
    but what good is a gas meter going to do with gasoline? I guess if you have a broad range hydrocarbon sensor, it can detect gasoline "fumes"/vapor. Correct me if I'm wrong, but LEL and detectors for "-anes" will not sense hydrocarbon fumes

    Sure Resq14, make me scramble around Biosystem's website! They make our meters:
    For lighter cuts such as motor gasolines, Biosystems' "propane equivalent" calibration gas mix provides a close approximation to fresh gasoline vapors.

    So gasoline vapors aren't a problem for us.

    If the environment isn't explosive, sure you can approach and size-up the patient. The meter is just one tool to use in helping size-up the situation.

    There are unusual things we're gonna come across -- man down in a silo, in a sewer, person in a car with live powerlines across it, unconcious driver on a fuming truck with four placards on the side. Size-up is everything -- if there's just 2/5/10 gallons of gas on the road, approach with a hose, wash it, and move on. If I got gasoline still coming out at 20 gallons a minute from the tank, it's a different scenario.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    Dal,The way this tractors jacked you probably could back away.The problem with that tactic generally is that as a rule petro tankers are tall geared,made for moving product effeciently over the road.They DON'T do things well SLOWLY.That's why I would opt for winching the van.NM remember we are talking about GASOLINE here,excess water is not my FIRST option.A five gallon bucket of Afff would do quite a lot for mitigation and scene safety.The question stills remains of how you would deal with an "entrapped"patient.And your plan to protect your personnel while that happens.I am both a Hazmat tech and a rescue tech but you're not ordinarily going to find rescue techs on a Hazmat team,might be time to think about how you will handle the rescue on this scene.We still have a lot of logistics to work thru on this and shame on you Luke;a match is NOT the answer.Dal's got the FF logistic started the right way in my book,now let's work on entangled patient concept.Come on guys,school's in session.T.C.

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  • lutan1
    replied
    What about the patient
    Patient?

    What patient?

    Dang gloves- they're so big and clumsy I can't get anything outta my pockets.

    Hang on a second.

    Here we go, let me light this match and see what's really going on around here...

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  • Resq14
    replied
    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Step 1) Ok, breath...
    2) Pick up mic, give size-up,
    3) Request DEP Haz-Mat be started
    4) There's a gasoline trucking company next town over, even if it's not there truck have a dispatcher call them to send someone out familiar with those tankers.
    5) Re-tone us and start a full structural assignment to staging areas
    (Wanna bet you'll have exposure issues if this thing catches?)
    6) Scavenge around the floor for the gas meter that went flying when I came over the hill and jacked on the brakes of the rescue truck...
    What about the patient Dal? Too dangerous to approach, or do you go for the rescue effort?

    And, I'm not a hazmat tech or anything (haha I still don't buy into the whole deal, aside from recognizing what is bad and staying away from it), but what good is a gas meter going to do with gasoline? I guess if you have a broad range hydrocarbon sensor, it can detect gasoline "fumes"/vapor. Correct me if I'm wrong, but LEL and detectors for "-anes" will not sense hydrocarbon fumes.
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-31-2003, 01:25 AM.

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  • nmfire
    replied
    Originally posted by lutan1
    I've gotta say that water would be the last thing I'd be applying to this unless it was LPG. Water may certainly disperse the fumes, but it creates added problems of increasing the fuel spread, then you've got run off problems, etc.
    That is definately something to concider. There are so many variables, you can't possibly list them all.

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  • Dalmatian90
    replied
    Step 1) Ok, breath...
    2) Pick up mic, give size-up,
    3) Request DEP Haz-Mat be started
    4) There's a gasoline trucking company next town over, even if it's not there truck have a dispatcher call them to send someone out familiar with those tankers.
    5) Re-tone us and start a full structural assignment to staging areas
    (Wanna bet you'll have exposure issues if this thing catches?)
    6) Scavenge around the floor for the gas meter that went flying when I came over the hill and jacked on the brakes of the rescue truck...

    What direction is the wind coming from? Can we get upwind? Can we get up hill? (I always love the Haz-Mat advice...approach from upwind and uphill...wonder what you do if the accident's at the top of a hill on a dead-end road )

    Only cause it was mentioned in the post do I vaguely remember about that cable shut-off thingy -- but that's why we got DEP Haz-Mat we can talk to on the cell phone, and why I called for a local company familiar with these things to consult with.

    We can't be instantly prepared for everything we come into. Until someone gets here who knows how to shut the flow and assess the tank, we're in observation mode.

    Secure the scene, start metering to define a perimeter. Do we need additional traffic control, do we need to worry about evacuations (like people stuck in traffic right behind this), is the gasoline draining into a storm drain and I'm standing on a manhole cover...

    Once we have the leak stopped, it's time to wait for DEP's assesment of the stability/intergrity of that tank.

    We don't approach a car with power lines down on it until Power Company let's us know it's safe, we shouldn't be approaching this puppy either.

    Once the leak is stopped and DEP or someone familiar with these tanks is confident it has it's integrity, then washing down the scene to effect a rescue would be appropriate. If you have an active leak, I think the only thing you could do safely is Rescue 101's idea -- pull it away under foam deluge. I already called for a 1st alarm, and I fully intend to lay at least one and probably two or three big yellow lines in the road just in case something lights up -- we might not have enough foam to control it, but we can get enough water to keep the exposures from going.

    Bunker gear may offer some small protection from a flash fire. Still it's nothing to be working in that area with -- all you need to be is soaked in gas 'cause you leaned over part of the van so you get to watch your bunker gear continue to burn after the flash is over...

    People can't move quickly during an extrication -- your holding tools, your body balance is often off, your in awkard positions.

    Is emptying the tanker the best idea? I'll leave that to DEP -- an empty tanker is gonna go BOOM a lot faster than a full one.

    For that matter, if the Tanker's intergrity looks good to DEP, rather than dragging the van away, let's foam down the area, put the Tractor in reverse, back away from the van, and then drive it clear of the van?

    Size-up is everything, and you do what is reasonably safe to do. But this is one situation to simply slow down and plan your actions & entries out. Probably as I babbled on, way too many possibilities here!

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