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Complicated/Prolonged Extrication

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  • Complicated/Prolonged Extrication

    What has been you most complicated/prolonged extrication. Give some details. What worked? What didnt?

  • #2
    We ran an early AM mutual aid call for a pin, auto vs; wire cable guard rail with the cable wrapped around the auto at least 5 times and keeping the auto from rolling down a 35 foot embankment. The pt was also entangled in the auto. The very first problem was the pt was the a family memeber of the first due to dept.

    This was in the late 70's, so you can guess what types of extrication equip we had available.

    The pt was deceased, I guess if there is anything fortunate about it being a fatality, it was that we could take our time, formulate our action plan and then implement it.

    We used multiple chain come-alongs and two winches to stabilize the vehicle. After this it was determined that due to the tension on the guard rail cable, that we could not cut the cable.

    We basically had to cut the car apart, piece by piece using multiple hand tools and hydraulic tools. This was an extensive operation during a very hot/ humid July night. Took about 4.5 hours to eventually free the body and without any injuries.

    We've run numerous other pins that were challenging to say the least, but this one has always stuck in my mind.



    • #3
      1930hrs December 23 a few years ago. 5 kids, not one over 17 yrs old. Car hit a tree at approx 75 mph (estimated by sheriff's investigators). It took 45 min to extricate all of the pts. Had to be done sequentially due to how they were pinned. Luckily all survived.

      It was a 4 door car. Basically just roofed it and started popping doors. Had to be careful on the front seat passenger (window crank imbedded in thigh). And took our time rolling dash. Couldnt lift dash because the patients legs were too close to the "A" post. Once dash roll was complete two front seat passengers had to be untangeled from the dashboard.
      I will always remember this one. 4 of the 5 kids were flown to area trauma center.

      [This message has been edited by Lewiston2Capt (edited 05-10-2001).]


      • #4
        Mine is still the tractor-trailer rig that lost control on the ice and struck a bridge. The cab of the tractor ended hanging about 15 feet in the air off of the bridge over a creek and upside down. The driver was pined by the seat against the driver's side door which was against the side of the bridge. He was hanging upside down as well and was alert through out the rescue.

        The problems were that we had to work from ladders to free the driver from a vehicle that was very difficult to get stable. Looking back, I have to wonder how smart I was to get in between the truck and the bridge to try to get a spreader in to free the trapped leg. We finally got a wrecker operator involved who suggested that we force the floorboard upward rather than sideways. This did the truck.

        The bizzare thing was that when we freed the leg, there was no leg beyond the knee. As it turned out, the leg was amputated during the crash and landed in the creek. We could not access where it was supposed to be, and the driver was experienceing "phantom pain" so we had to assume it was in tact. The leg was found near the end of the extrication, but no one told the rescuers that it was off since the Officers felt it would just increas the stress in an already tense extrication operation.


        • #5
          One snowy night two people in a car got gas and drove off without paying. As they sped through town they attracted the attention of the local PD, who were chasing them for speeding, unaware of the theft of gas. The driver of the car finally lost control at a bridge. The car came to rest driver's side down, the front of the car on a concrete barrier between the roadway and the bridge structure. The rear of the car came to rest on the railing along the outside of the pedestrian walkway. It was about twenty feet down to the water. The driver was sitting on the window of the driver's door and the passenger was on top of him. We ended up laddering the car, bringing in an aerial, and hoisting both patients up through the passenger door after immobilizing them. All at 0100 in 2 feet of snow.


          • #6
            A few years back we were called in to assist a neighboring Rescue Co. with a tractor trailer accident. We all heard the dispatch but when we actually got there, we were amazed. I thought this was going to be a recovery, not a rescue. One tractor trailer pulled ou in front of another one in a foggy daybreak morning. No skid marks at all. A direct hit right behind the cab of the one that pulled out. The OIC set up the ICS (back then it was unified by choice) and it worked really well. The medic made contact with the patient and all of us worked together. ICS called for a local lumber company to deliver 6x6 and larger rough cribbing. You could have built a house with what we had there. The plan was to work under the trailer of the one that was hit and go through the left front to get to the cab. It was in there good. They started to use sawzalls on the fiberglass and then a Hurst set up. When we got there we used our Holmotro system and that seemed to work better on the big stuff. We eventuall cut up into the floor board and remover everything back to the sterring wheel. after about three hours, we got him out. He was hurt, but not real bad. They did fly him to a trauma center. The worst part was cribbing something that big and still allowing access to where we needed to be. The best part was the coordination of all units (Fire, Rescue, EMS, PD and the public help) We rotated crews to keep people fresh. even though some didn't want to move until it was done. One of the hardest and longest I have ever seen. Be safe.


            • #7
              When ever I have a bad call, I think about the this one:

              Single Vehicle Roll Over: The 17 year old driver went off the road and rolled down an embankment, coming to rest on its passanger side while leaning over onto its roof, held up by two trees: one on the hood, the other on the trunk. I was the first FR (First Responder) on scene and did spinal in from the front window, as she was being held up by her seat belt while her legs were pinned under the dash.

              Once the vehicle was stable (using chains and cribbing) another FR went in from the back window and took over.

              We then had to flap the roof down in order to gain access as well as removing the driver's door so that the dash could be rammed forward. In order to do this, we had to stabalize the PT so that when the door and dash where moved she didn't fall out of the vehicle. When this was done, we rolled the PT out and down onto a backboard and stabalized her in a basket stretcher, that we had to carry back up the embankment.

              It took a little over 40 minutes from the time we got on scene to the time she was in the back of the ambulance. We where later told that she had suffered a broken neck and was in a full halo-harness and backplate. She is expected to make a full recovery.

              This is what it's all about, the training, the exhaustion, missed meals, and the million other thankless jobs we do. All so that a 17 year old girl is able to walk.

              Like I said above, when ever I have a bad call, I think about this one.

              [This message has been edited by firefighter26 (edited 05-15-2001).]


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