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How stable is stable?

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  • How stable is stable?

    I know that we all cut corners when stabilizing a vehicle when there is no entrapment and we only need to board a patient, but when there is entrapment and the extrication involves more than opening the door by the handle and removing the seatbelt how far do we go to stabilize.

    I rescently rolled onto a scene as mutual aid and found an extrication in process. My initial size up found that there was not a single piece of cribbing off the truck, not a wheel chock, step chock, or anything resembling a stabilization device. The extrication was already in process and the spreaders were being used to pop the passenger side door.

    I know that not having stabilization in place is wrong. But the question I am posing is when cribbing a vehicle for extrication is wheel chocks and step chocks adequate, or is box cribbing necessary?

    Stay Safe!

  • #2
    In my opinion, if you have a vehicle on all four wheels on a relatively stable surface, the step chocks are the quick and easy fix. As I recall, this is exactly what they were designed to be used for. At the same time, I like to have a supply of 4x4 cribbing and wedges off the truck and ready to supplement the step chocks should conditions change.

    I always go with the assumption that when you move a piece of metal on a vehicle, it could be supporting the vehicle. Therefore, every movement could result in the entire vehicle collapsing. While I have never seen this happen myself, I don't want to be the first to experience it when the car comes crashing down on the ground. Of course, even cribbing might not prevent this, but it could reduce the affects from it.
    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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    • #3
      [quote]Originally posted by MetalMedic:<br /><strong>[edited]<br />I always go with the assumption that when you move a piece of metal on a vehicle, it could be supporting the vehicle. Therefore, every movement could result in the entire vehicle collapsing. While I have never seen this happen myself, I don't want to be the first to experience it when the car comes crashing down on the ground. Of course, even cribbing might not prevent this, but it could reduce the affects from it.</strong><hr></blockquote>

      Considering most of todays vehicles are Uni-body or space frame construction I have to totaly agree! this type of vehicle construction can be easily equated to Truss type construction. Meaning all the component work together as a unit (hence the name Uni-body) to provide the cars strength. Since they work as a unit, similar to truss, as you violate any piece you can compromise other components. Along with the Old Cribbing Axiom of lift an inch crib an inch, we need to add, Before you violate, compensate! Plan your actions and make sure your cribbing is ahead of the rest of your plan
      Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
      Carl D. Avery

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      • #4
        For many people cribbing is an option, in my opinion cribbing should be complete before anyone even gets the tools off the truck, but recently I have seen several cases where no cribbing was done at all, this is stupid and will eventually result in bad,bad things to happen. All to often you have some of those people who want to be the hero and sacrafice safe practice to do so, anyone agree? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
        Firefighter/CCEMT-P
        May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!

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        • #5
          J Hicks, Your answer lies in what type of vehicle(s)are involved, the extent of damage and envirionment there in and most importantly the condition of the victim(s). My thought is multiple forms of cribbing (step blocks,6x6,4x4,2x4,wedges,beams) and a wood saw should be available for use. I have used all the mentioned items in mix and match fashion. Example, box cribs with step chaulks on top for pickup trucks. One time I used metal baskets of 6x6 24" cribbing and dropped one whole basket into the water and stacked the second one on top of it and used wedges to secure the trunk of a car that was upside down and over a small ditch. Keep your options open and if you arrive on scene and cribbing is needed get it done.

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          • #6
            Remember why you are cribbing! Not only to stabilise vehicle so it doesn't roll over your foot but also for patient care. You always assume spinal injuries in mva's. Think if you were the patient inside with painful and or critical spinal injury how much josseling takes place. A properly cribbed vehicle will not jossle the patient or roll over your foot.! <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">
            Some days yer the fire hydrant and some days yer the dog.

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            • #7
              Patient care should be the bottom line. I have seen and participated in many extrications of cars on all 4 tires with no cribbing in place. The design of the car has to be taken into place, as well as whether it is a rapid extrication effort, versus a typical immobilization, KED, and spinal package incident. In the system I work in a rapid extrication effort indicates a critical patient in which the bottom line is keeping alive, or removing from imminent danger. as far as how stable is stable, don't forget to check out the deflating tires/ vs. cribbing formum. A wealth of information abounds.

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