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  • Extricate while in a pool

    I was reading about an incident where a person drove into a pool. http://www.click2houston.com/news/2594627/detail.html
    Assuming there is enough damage to where you have to cut and pry, how would you guys go about it? How would you stabilize something like that?

    -Mike

  • #2
    In case anyone's curious on the math...

    Looks like he's on the shallow end of the pool, say 4' deep max.

    16' x 32' x 4' = 2048cu. ft.

    2048cf/(0.1337 cf/gallon) = 15,000 gallons basically.

    10 minutes and a 1500gpm fire pumper...
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

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    • #3
      Interesting solution. Any other ideas?

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      • #4
        Well, with fire not an issue then electrocution would be the next on the list, though how you would get at the battery without getting in the water I have no clue. Dalmations idea sounds about the best IMO, though won't the hydraulic tools work underwater? The hydraulic lines are obviously sealed and except for possible rust issues (i'd hope they can handle getting wet though, water is one of the most prominent things on a fireground) with the tool it should work under there provided you have a long enough hose from the pump.

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        • #5
          While Dals theory is correct, the water in the pool is now contaminated with gas, oil, and whatever else a vehicle carries. Not too sure the DEP/EPA would be happy with you drafting it and pouring down the street drains (kind of like why we now need biodegradeable primer pump fluid). In an emergency, yeah, I would do it anyhow. But this does not look like a dire emergency to me. The back end of the car is already supported by the wall, the front can't go any further as it's against the other wall. Struts would work, regualar wood cribbing would work - but should be disposed of after using. A diver or two would be a great help with the stabilization and luckily, I have about 10 around. By the way, SCBA works in 4' of water also. After it's stabilized, hydraulic tools work fine, so would porta powers.

          Not sure how much electrocution risk there is with a 12 volt battery in a 15,000gal pool...but a definite thought if this were a hyrbrid vehicle...
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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          • #6
            Not too sure the DEP/EPA would be happy with you drafting it and pouring down the street drains (kind of like why we now need biodegradeable primer pump fluid).

            Good question, but they'll clean it up afterwards if they see it as a problem.

            Priorities go Life, Health, Environment, and Property in that order.

            The analogy to primer fluid is apples & oranges. The contamination from someone driving a car into a pool and being trapped is unusual and unexpected. Using your primer is usual & expected.

            Besides, Gasoline, oil, and I'd imagine tranny fluid all float. The antifreeze & battery acid and other incidentals like windshield wiper fluid and brake fluid will all be highly diluted if they're not floating already.

            This reminds me of reading of the old style burn pits. Oil was floated on top of water in a trapezoid (sides slant in towards the bottom) pit. Need a big fire? Pump up the water level, more surface area, more fire. Want to regroup and teach another lesson? Drain the water, less surface area, smaller fire.

            Anyway, where I'm going with this is something I hadn't thought of but Bones' concern brings up -- Ok, car is in the pool. Car is leaking gasoline. On the side of the road we through down sand or speedy dry, plug the tank, it ain't that big of deal. But in the pool now we have a 16' x 32' area of floating gasoline...just another concern (I can see it now, explaining why your pumping from the bottom of the pool, while spreading a foam blanket on top...)

            Ok, most likely it won't leak enough gas to matter...but...
            IACOJ Canine Officer
            20/50

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            • #7
              Ok, most likely it won't leak enough gas to matter...but...
              Stuff does happen. We were once dispatched to a o-dark-30 car fire. On arrival we found a Ford Taurus nose into a pond at about the same angle as this car. The surface of the pond all above the hood of the car and the interior of the car at the windshield/dash area (which was also the waterline) was burning merrily along and there was a strong smell of gasoline in the air.

              The State Trooper had done his investigation, placed the driver into custody, and called for a wrecker when whoosh, bye-bye Taurus.

              The point about the floating oil and gasoline can't be overlooked if you're going to be working in the water with a patient.

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              • #8
                Not sure how much electrocution risk there is with a 12 volt battery in a 15,000gal pool...but a definite thought if this were a hyrbrid vehicle...
                Basically nil, but if you were to get anything metallic too close to the battery you could get a shock, you wouldn't even have to touch it with water being involved, I was just throwing it out as a possibility. There's also the chance of there being a high powered audio system in the car,it's not uncommon to have several 1+ farad capacitors or even extra batteries in those,and they're becoming more and more common, with power supply lines running along the door footboard on either side of the car.

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                • #9
                  I can't say I'd be too keen to be working in the water with coolant and other chemical nasties floating around in it. My safety comes way before the casualty!

                  I'd opt to pump the pool also.
                  Attached Files
                  Luke

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                  • #10
                    Here's another photo I found on the web...
                    Attached Files
                    Luke

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                    • #11
                      Rotten.com

                      Check out THIS LINK to Rotten.com- it's a pile of photos of a car swallowed up by a hole in the road! As Rotten says, "Puddle 1, Woman 0" !!

                      How do you extricate from this one?!
                      Luke

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                      • #12
                        Well, at least the pools are doing their job as modern-day moats and keeping those nasty cars from hitting the homes they protect
                        IACOJ Canine Officer
                        20/50

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                        • #13
                          BellevueMedic,

                          Bellevue, WA??? Just curious.

                          Wet happens (the crew is prolly gonna get wet on this one)

                          Anyhow, there are a few good ideas posted above. Besides pumping the pool out to the storm drains (good idea Dal). We could stabilize easily with Tension Buttresses. Better yet if one is close by, use a tow truck to stabilize and even remove the vehicle if practical and safe for the vicitm and rescuers. You could also stabilize the rear of the vehicle (the higher end) and place your high pressure air bags under the front end and float the vehicle up high enough to block under the car. This raises the victim higher out of the water and allows tool to be utilized in a better position. You still need to use the same precautions with the SRS as you would any other time. Small amounts hydrocarbons floating around in the pool should not be a problem. (just use the extractor on your gear afterwards) and NO Smoking. If there is a lot of fuel (strong smell) Then KEEP OUT and keep non-intrinsically safe gadgets away. Then either pump out the pool or pull the vehicle out on to a flat bed tow truck. Remember, Every "vehicle in the water" incident is ever so different and there is no "blanket evolution" that covers them all.

                          Good Post.
                          (Lutan good pic's too)

                          Be safe bro's,
                          fraternally, JW
                          Last edited by NB87JW; 11-03-2003, 06:42 PM.
                          "Making Sense with Common Sense"
                          Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
                          ( [email protected]) Jordan Sr.

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                          • #14
                            How about just remove the car from the pool?Hell of a lot easier to remove the car than pump the pool.87's right on the money,childs play for a tow truck operator.Can be done with the Dept. P/u or suv handily.I personally don't like working in water so I'm going to put the car on terra firma.This particular job COULD be done by HAND if one had some snatch blocks,some good rope,and 4-6 firefighters.Sometimes you gotta think outside the box.A burner in the pool?That would be something to see,what a mess!T.C.

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                            • #15
                              Someone asked about using the hydraulic tools underwater. They work perfectly find under water since they are a sealed system. One of the most interesting classes I have been involved in was the Commercial Vehicle/Heavy Rescue class at the State Fire School in Ohio. We put vehicles in a 5 foot creek and practiced removing the doors with the hydraulics. The water was muddy, so you basically did it all by feel. It was a great confidence builder when you found that you could almost "feel" what the tool was doing rather than seeing it.

                              I like the idea to spread foam and drain the pool. While the EPA may not be all that pleased, life safety takes priority over environmental issues. I suppose if the EPA wants to, they can sue us later.
                              Richard Nester
                              Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

                              "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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