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Pull the dash with the wheel?

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  • Pull the dash with the wheel?

    We had a MVA call yesterday and had to get the dash off of the driver. after much size up, out came the chain around the wheel, hooks on the spreaders and pulled it off him.
    Does anyone else do it this way?

  • #2

    I find that pulling columns with the power spreader and chains is no longer the most common method of freeing a trapped driver. Most crews that I work with, both in real incidents and in University of Extrication training seminars, prefer to either "roll" the dash or "jack" the dash. These techniques are typically faster to complete.

    What is interesting about your rescue is that you explained that your team did a good size-up and then determined that pulling with the spreader was the best option.

    Would you please describe what conditions you had and what made you decide to pull across the front?

    Your crash is an example of why rescue personnel must never forget the basics and must never forget to have options for everything we do.

    Ron Moore
    University of Extrication
    Message Forum Moderator
    <[email protected]>


    • #3
      I think everyone now is aware of the "potential" dangers of lifting at the steering wheel. But, as our Moderator points out, you did a good size-up and chose what appeared to be the best option at the time. Bottom line, the victim was freed without further injury.

      I keep the "old fashioned" steering wheel pull in the back of my mind as an option. Some things to make it safer are:

      1) Only pull far enough to free the victim (in the old days during demos, we'd pull the steering wheel clear up to the fire wall!!);
      2) Attempt to position your chains as low on the steering colum as possible. Also, crib directly above this location to create more upward force than lateral force;
      3) If practical, place a backboard between the steering colum and the victim. While it may not stop a broken colum from contacting the victim, it will slow it down a bit and reduce it's injury causing potential.

      A while back I posted where we had a simular situation. In our case, the car's dash was damaged to the point that attempts to roll and jack it actually forced the steering wheel down upon the victim. What worked for us was to put the spreader in the center hump and lift the dash in the middle. I have since done this in an extrication school using a ram with excellent results.

      Richard Nester
      Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.


      • #4
        In response to R Moore , we only have one ram and it is long. the driver's leggs were pinned but his door was open and if the ambulance attendants didn't keep him up he would fall on the ground. Major impact! Plus he was fighting with everyone trying to help.
        I wanted to use the Ram. I have used the chain many times before, every time I get nervous.I just wanted some feedback..Thanks


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