NFPA 1670 Vehicle Rescue, Technician-Level Competencies – Part 1

SUBJECT: NFPA 1670 Vehicle Rescue, Technician-level Skills and Competencies TOPIC: Advanced Hands-on Training Skill: Jacking and Shoring of a Side-Resting Vehicle OBJECTIVE: Accomplish jacking and shoring...


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SUBJECT: NFPA 1670 Vehicle Rescue, Technician-level Skills and Competencies
TOPIC: Advanced Hands-on Training Skill: Jacking and Shoring of a Side-Resting Vehicle
OBJECTIVE: Accomplish jacking and shoring of a vehicle while it is in a side-resting position
TASK: Given the scenario of a side-resting vehicle with a simulated person trapped between the bottom door and the ground, lift the vehicle a distance of eight inches off the ground as measured at a point at the center of the bottom door, stabilize the vehicle in the lifted position and remove the lifting equipment.

Introduction

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Photo by Ron Moore
Use of a tensioned buttress stabilization system will be quickly recognized as the most efficient and safest way to stabilize the vehicle in this scenario.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has produced a recommended standard that contains information of interest to extrication personnel. Known as NFPA 1670, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Rescue Incidents, 1999 edition, the document became effective November 1998. In its 10 chapters, it identifies and establishes levels of functional capability for safely and effectively conducting operations at technical rescue incidents. Specifically, Chapter 6 focuses on vehicle and machinery rescue. This includes incidents involving cars, trucks, buses, trains, mass transit systems, aircraft, watercraft, agricultural implements, industrial/construction machinery and elevators or escalators.

NFPA 1670 establishes Awareness, Operations and Technician levels for vehicle and machinery rescue much like the field of hazardous material emergency response. Each level has its own capabilities as well as limitations.

At the Technician level, NFPA’s Standard 1670 requires vehicle-rescue personnel to be capable of completing advanced stabilization of unusual vehicle and/or machinery rescue situations. The Standard further explains that a car on its side is considered an “unusual” situation.

1_extrication2.jpg
Photo by Ron Moore
One power ram is working on each side of this vehicle to lift it evenly. This will work if the lift is balanced and the stabilization equipment keeps up with the changing position of the vehicle.

“Advanced stabilization,” as described in the NFPA Standard, involves techniques that use equipment such as rescue chains, cables, jack devices, and cribbing/shoring (NFPA 1670, 6-4.2b).

This University of Extrication column is the first of a multi-part series presenting advanced technician-level vehicle rescue training scenarios. Each article will describe an interesting and challenging vehicle rescue evolution that can be used in a training environment to challenge personnel with technician-level skills and competencies.

Jacking and Shoring of A Side-Resting Vehicle

To set up for this scenario, a vehicle must be placed on its side, preferably with the driver’s side down. The simulation is that a person is trapped beneath the door and the ground. The rescue team must lift the vehicle until the bottom door is eight inches off the ground to free the “patient.”

1_extrication3.jpg
Photo by Ron Moore
Be extremely careful when lifting a load with a power spreader. The arc of the arms as they open can push the load instead of lift it. Lift a little, then crib, reposition the spreader and lift some more. A little at a time is preferred to maintain stability.

A four- to six-person team should be capable of accomplishing this task in 12 minutes or less. The strategy is to first stabilize the side-resting vehicle, and then accomplish the lift. The stabilization equipment must adjust to constantly maintain a secure and stable vehicle as the lift takes place.

The most effective stabilization tactic is to utilize a tensioned buttress stabilization system. Because the vehicle will be lifted, the struts should be placed at a slightly shallower angle than normal. Then, as the vehicle is lifted, the struts can be adjusted to assume a more correct stabilization angle. The strut system will also carry an increasing load as the weight of the vehicle shifts to them.

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