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Hybrid extrication - do you do it?

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  • Hybrid extrication - do you do it?

    I was having a conversation with some friends last night and the topic of hybrid vehicles came up. I am a firm believer in hybrid technology. I think it's a giant step forward into decreasing our dependency on oil. One of my friends was saying they had heard that several departments won't extricate on hybrid vehicles. I was flabbergasted. The thought that a department would leave a trapped occupant in a vehicle seemed totally outrageous to me. My department has been trained on Hybrid extrication safety, and feel confident we would be able to disable the batteries and conduct an extrication in a safe manner. But the question remains, will your department extricate a patient from a hybrid vehicle? Have you heard of any departments that refuse to?

  • #2
    My initial thoughts upon reading the topic title, before opening the thread, was "what.. as opposed to NOT extricating?" It seemed that ridiculous of an idea.

    I have never heard of a department which refuses to perform their duties given a certain, specific situation. Well, that's not true. Back when my father joined the department here in 1990, after spending 10 years back home as a captain, one day the topic came up of getting a proper fit on the SCBA mask. One firefighter on the department told him "We don't worry about that." My father's response: "What? Why don't you worry about that? What if you're in a burning building and--"

    And the response, the kicker: "Are you crazy? In a burning building? We don't do that. If your house catches on fire, our job is to make sure your neighbors' houses don't burn."

    That guy, and that attitude, evaporated from the department not long after.

    In all seriousness, though, I would have no problem doing an extrication on a hybrid vehicle. IMO, those who are too scared of hybrids to work on them aren't thinking of all the dangers in conventional cars that could make for a much worse outcome than cutting into a 600v battery. What if someone has a propane tank or two in their trunk when they get rear-ended by someone else?

    Vehicle extrication is risky business, just as bad as fighting fires. The appropriate reaction isn't to refuse to do the job, it's to get training and learn what (if any) things need to be addressed in order for your crews to get it right (and safe).
    --jay.

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    • #3
      Yeah... not to mention the lawsuit that would result from allowing a potentially viable patient to die while we sat back and watched due to our fear. I believe this friend was speaking through their rectum...

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      • #4
        We have depts in my area that will not extricate a hybrid. PERIOD

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        • #5
          Originally posted by malana1 View Post
          We have depts in my area that will not extricate a hybrid. PERIOD
          So what do they do when there is a patient in one of these cars? "Sorry, we can't save you because we don't like touching your car"?
          --jay.

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          • #6
            Hybrid Vehicle Responses

            Good day all,

            If you enter my Website and look under "Tips & Articles" you will find "Procedures For Emergency Responders Involving Hybrid Vehicles" in an Article I wrote for Canadian Firefighter Magazine.
            Hybrid vehicles are no more dangerous than conventional vehicles if you follow a few simple rules, the same also stands for Hybrid Vehicle Fires.

            Firedog7

            http://www.albertavx.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by firedog7 View Post
              Good day all,

              If you enter my Website and look under "Tips & Articles" you will find "Procedures For Emergency Responders Involving Hybrid Vehicles" in an Article I wrote for Canadian Firefighter Magazine.
              Hybrid vehicles are no more dangerous than conventional vehicles if you follow a few simple rules, the same also stands for Hybrid Vehicle Fires.

              Firedog7

              http://www.albertavx.com
              Thanks, very interesting article!

              And for the main subject, NO, I've never heard such a thing as a FD refusing to extricate on hybrid...

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              • #8
                Ditto what RD says...In the hybrid class that a fellow firefighter is teaching (and I am as well I guess). We touch on the fact that most depts., in the past wouldn't touch a Hybrid. Now, they are being manufactured in a way that if you understand them and how they work, extrication can be done on them safely.
                All the manufacturers websites have links to their respective Hybrid versions and safety info.
                Last edited by WaterbryVTfire; 02-06-2007, 11:49 AM. Reason: addition
                "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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by malana1 View Post
                  We have depts in my area that will not extricate a hybrid. PERIOD
                  Seriously, all kidding aside...what do these depts. do if they arrive and find a pt. entrapped in a hybrid vehicle?? Do they just leave the person trapped or do they request mutual aid from a dept. that WILL extricate from a hybrid???
                  Just seems like a strange stance for an emergency service agency to take..."ok, we'll rescue you but not from this situation 'cause it's too dangerous"... isn't that why we're there...to get them OUT of the dangerous situation????

                  I've taken several hybrid extrication classes and while they do have their own unique, very serious dangers, they are no worse than gasoline powered vehicles that have almost as many if not more hazards. Being aware of the dangers, respecting them and knowing how to operate around them in a safe manner is the true mark of an educated emergency responder.

                  On the lighter side, I suddenly envision a new t-shirt design that would be worn by those depts. that WILL extricate from a hybrid...picture a Toyota Echo (that slanted little bug lookin' thing) being crushed between the tips of a HRT with the motto "We Fear No Hybrid" around it...

                  Just my 2 cents...I REALLY would like to know what these depts. do for a pt. trapped in a hybrid...Stay Safe...

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                  • #10
                    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...onId=19&id=752

                    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...r.jsp?id=44110

                    There is no reason to wait to do anything you wouldn't normally due at a rescue scene. Just stay away from any brightly colored cables.
                    Steve Dragon
                    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
                    Volunteers are never "off duty".
                    http://www.bufd7.org

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                    • #11
                      Inexcusable !

                      There is no reason for a department not to have some knowledge of the training that is out there now on Hybrids. If a department does not have training to safely do extrication on a Hybrid by now it is time to change training officers. That may sound rough but I do not care how small a department is someone has a computer and there is plenty of info on the Internet grant you some is not real good but by studying anyone can put it together.
                      I know of about 12 of us that have full training programs out, that each one created his own, and in the end everyone of us teach the exact same seven steps as the others. I actually teach 8 steps, but one I just added because it is something I feel should be on every rescue.
                      With These 7 steps Hybrids are safer to work than conventional vehicles, In my program I refuse to even list all of the safety factors that are built into Hybrids because I teach that we do not depend on built in safety, we depend on our training and the built in safety covers our human error.
                      Ron has a lot of very good info and training on here and in the mag.
                      Todd Hoffman has very good info and training Free to all.
                      Ron Shaw has all kinds of info on his site.
                      Every manufacturer has Free ERGs on their site
                      There is no excuse not to respond to someone in trouble.
                      http://www.midsouthrescue.org
                      Is it time to change our training yet ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dragonfyre View Post
                        http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...onId=19&id=752

                        http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...r.jsp?id=44110

                        There is no reason to wait to do anything you wouldn't normally due at a rescue scene. Just stay away from any brightly colored cables.

                        that says it all. i was a teacher for toyota to teach emergency services workers about hybrid technology and what he said is exactly it. there are som precautions that you can take which are great. i recommend going to each manufacturer and getting an emergency services guide if you are truly interested in hybrid extrication and fire supression activites. if nothing else, its a good read. the only thing that i make sure to do, which alot of people over look is to remove the fob and get it far away from the vehicle. at least 15 feet. however, there are becomming more and more vehicles that are using keyless ignitions so this doesnt apply to just hybrid cars, the danger with the hybrid and keyless ignition is that the car can still be powered on and you wont hear it run because its in "hybrid mode". you can look on the dash, and if the dash lights are on, then that is a good indicatior. finding the fobs can sometimes be like a real life game of wheres waldo because they can have them in their pocket, their pocket book, or they can have them in the jacket inner pocket, located on the back seat or floor of the car. if the person is 10-97, that makes it even harder because...well...you cant ask. the other thing that they say is to "let it power down for 5 mins before you cut" well, we dont actually do this, but if the car is turned off during or after the wreck, most of the time, itll take you at least 5 mins to get there, and if your anything like my department, who covers literally the worst stretch of highway in the united states, your dispatch center prolly wait 4 mins before dropping the tones.
                        if you have any questions, or just want to bs about sop's and anything else, dont hesitate to email me
                        [email protected]

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                        • #13
                          we're not going to get you out

                          Could you imagine seeing a hybrid sitting on the side of the road with 2 skeletons in it because they were in a crash 6 months earlier that no one would touch...just a visual. Hahaha

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                          • #14
                            Wait a minute. Am I reading this right? There are departments who refuse to do extrications on a hybrid?? Please tell me I'm just reading this wrong and that nobody in the fire service could be THAT ignorant?
                            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                            • #15
                              Firedog7, I read your artical in an e mail I received, great info. I'm going to use a few of the other techniques I read about as well (cross ramming, and 3rd door removal) in our S-1100 I'll be instructing in Wetaskiwin this weekend.

                              Mike

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