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  • Cold Weather Extrications

    Hello All,
    In my neck of the woods, we deal with cold weather 6 months of the year.
    My dept is looking at different methods to enclose the immediate extrication area for situations that may call for extended patient removal time due to accident severity.
    One option is a inflatable structure (2-3 minute set up time) that can enclose the vehicle and then pump heat into it with a portable heater we carry on a our Air/Light truck. Hypothermia has become a serious issue for us when the temp gets 10 - 20 degrees below zero and the wind picks up, whatever method we choose it has to be flexible or adaptable enough to be able to encompass different accident scenerios such as car verses pole or underride type situations etc,
    Do any depts utilize such a structure or have devised a system to shield accident patients from the harsh weather?
    I have seen crude improvisions with tarps and PVC tubing but I think that it would be time consuming and ackward to set up.
    Deployment time must be fast and efficient.
    Any suggestions out there?
    Thanks!
    Fire dog

  • #2
    You need to be VERY careful with any type of enclosure as you can trap CO and different gasses both from the vehicle and your extrication equipment that can cause you problems if you are there that long. I suggest that you look into the heaters most departments use for confined space (same as what the phone and electric company use for guys working in manholes). It allows you to pump heated air into the area using large hoses (about 2-3' diameter), this also allows you to get the air from a few feet away from the work area so you can keep it fresh and clean. This method also is far more versitile and you can use it on many different types of incidents and scenes.

    Just my two cents!

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    • #3
      We have just what you are suggesting, our diesel fueled heater utilizes a 30 foot long heater hose so heat can be pumped into structure and be able to have the heater far away from the area so as to not introduce CO into the area and keep the heat source away form ignitable material.

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      • #4
        That is a very interesting idea. I've never thought about it. Though winter's were I came from weren't too aweful, but now that I'm in New England I think that's gonna change.
        Fir Na Tine
        Fir Na Au Saol

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        • #5
          I understand the fact that it is cold out and such. Have we thought about the patient? I heard somewhere that the cold helps keep blood from flowing. We have all heard of at least one time when somebody gets a serious wound and the only reason they are alive is because it was to cold out. Just throwing that out atcha.
          J
          It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

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          • #6
            Yeah, but at subzero temps we might have issues just from it being that friggin cold out too. We stand a better chance of having a poor outcome with a patient because they are cold instead of the cold helping us.
            Fir Na Tine
            Fir Na Au Saol

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            • #7
              Cold

              Firedog, try a parachute. We have these and if your heater throughs enough BTU's it will inflate it. With the hole in the top it will release any Co if there could possibly be any hanging around, Motor can be outside, hoses passed underneath. Cribbing can be used to hold them down, however in high winds this can be an issue. We carry two on our trucks up here where it is really cold. And we have access to heaters at a moments notice. I will put up a pic of one set up. Oh don't forget to get rid of the rope, just use the shute.

              Later
              Burn
              Burn<br />LT/EMT/Inst />Central Mat-Su FD<br />Wasilla Alaska

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              • #8
                Burn,
                That would be great, sounds like something like that may work.
                Firedog

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                • #9
                  What about a tent of some kind. Something about 15'x15' or so? I see all kinds of surplus tents (military type) here and there all the time. Something with a supporting structure for the roof and sides with just flaps for doors, no floor, that can be thrown up in a hurry and folded up no to take a lot of room. I'm assuming at least a surplus military tent would fit that kind of description, never actually mess with one.

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                  • #10
                    The wind doesn't always blow in the windy city. What we have done with moderate success is use an old circle D light to provide warmth to the patient. A new hallogen bulb is too hot and is a risk of fire or burning the pt. the older (but still made) circle D will warm the pt without being a fire risk. then if we have some wind we put up an aluminized fire blanket. it is about as heavy as an old canvas duck tarp so the wind doesn't blow it around much.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Here Is A Pick From The Outside Of Vehicle. This Is Up In Prudhoe Bay - Anwr Neighbor. The Artic, So We Have A Need For It, The Heater Is On A Utility Truck We Have Or We Can Have A Heater Pulled To The Area. The Heaters Are Expensive, But The Oil Companies Have Lost Of Money Sorry For The Jesture By One Of The Troops.

                      Burn
                      Attached Files
                      Burn<br />LT/EMT/Inst />Central Mat-Su FD<br />Wasilla Alaska

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                      • #12
                        Burn,
                        What size parachute is that?
                        Firedog

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                        • #13
                          What is everyone's take on using electric blankets to cover patients and keep them warm?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by firedog7
                            What is everyone's take on using electric blankets to cover patients and keep them warm?
                            I'd avoid using one. Now I am not an expert at all on extrication and I learn something new everyday.....but my thoughts..

                            1) We/you/they should have disconnected all electrical power (battery), to prevent any sparks to ignite fumes. (Handline should be in place.) The blanket runs in electrical power, with the cord in close proximity to the patient and or on the ground..

                            2) IF the air bag has not been deployed, even though the battery has been disconnected, could there be enough residual electrical current/static electricity from the blanket to affect any undeployed airbags?

                            3) One more (or less) cord to have responders trip over and/or get entangled in.
                            "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
                            ********

                            IACOJ

                            ********

                            "Criticism is prejudice made plausible."
                            - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

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