Thread: Ohio Rescue

  1. #1
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    Default Ohio Rescue

    Let me first preface my post by saying I am not criticizing my brothers in arms. I was not present at the scene, I don't know all the facts or details, other then what was posted with the original story. I'm sure we all would act in our own way, as the situation needed, as I'm sure they did.

    That being said, does anyone else see a firefighter safety issue? Obviously, the power isn't off to the unstable pole. Since the vehicle traveled all the way up the guide-wires, it definitely had enough speed to dislocate wires and the transformer itself.

    How would your department handle the crash? Would you stage until the utilities came in? Move in and do a emergency extrication? Stand there in awe of the crazy driving? Either way, crazy stuff!

    Car strikes top of pole.


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    It depends on the situation. Was the transformer just burning or arcing? If so, we deal with that every winter. I have yet to see one fall or create a problem other than sparks on the ground.

    Now, if there was a risk of the transformer falling, a wire falling, the oil in the transformer dumping, or the pole falling, I might have some concerns there. Weight the risk vs benefit and make a decision.

    Of course, the biggest factor is the condition of the patient. If they're stable and have no life-threatening injuries, by all means wait for the electric co. If they're swirling the drain, it's time to put on the big-boy boots and figure out what you're going to do and get it done in the safest manner possible.

    A good example of why whoever's in charge needs good situational awareness.

  3. #3
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    I hate electricity. Really.

    First of all, the cops would've probably already dragged the guy out if they beat us there.

    Second.. If that patient can't get out on their own, then you probably have to get them out.

    Damn. Tough call.

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    My biggest concern isn't quite the electricity, though, don't get me wrong, it very well could be. By the reports of the accident, the car actually traveled up the guy-wires and struck the top of the pole. I would be worried about the transformer falling, or other parts of it.

    Eitherway you slice it, rough case.

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    Tough call on whether to wait for the utility or go for the occupant(s). If I did decide to go for it, one thing I am sure of-as a company officer or IC, I would not have 4-5 guys standing under it looking at it. Maybe 2 concentrating on getting the work done as fast as they can and one spotter to call out a warning. The others can fetch tools and be RIT.

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    Here, the dispatchers would call the power company while the FD was enroute. If by chance they didn't, the responding agency would request it. For the most part, the power companies in this area are pretty quick (less than 20min) for anything like this or a structure fire, or something where power is making a hazard.

    In a case like this, usually there are only a couple arcs like this and it trips some fusible links in the line to cut the power to prevent further damage to the lines or substations. Hopefully, it would only be a few pops and it would be all over. You still can't trust that the lines would have no power EVER!!

    I guess I would say a very skeleton crew to make the rescue, no extra people standing under it. I would also say do just enough to get the victims out, horse collar and go type of thing. Drag them out from under that and then package them properly.
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona, WI

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    tough call. Obviously hard to say based on that situation because I wasn't there. Definitely where the transformer is on the pole would be nice to know. Not that it would make a giant difference, but if it was located on the opposite side of the pole that would help us out a little bit if it started dumping oil or fell. as well as wind direction. like I said, not going to make it safe, but wind and position being favorable to us would make it safer.

    Like everyone else said, have to take a gander at it and the PT and decide if it was worth the risk. Might be better to go in and grab the person now than let the transformer dangle while waiting for the power company and then work under a transformer thats been dangling for the last hour.
    Last edited by nameless; 10-31-2009 at 12:32 AM.

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    Definetely a situational determination. This is a couple hours away from us. If they have the response times that we do from our power company, then I can see why they proceeded. 30 minute response time is usually considered GOOD for our area. I agree with the other posters that an arcing transformer while a concern, does not necessarily mean it's going to be a hazard at the base. Watch for the potential for it to drop, keep unnecessary personnel clear, and go to work.

    New meaning to rapid roll out eh?

    Glad they stayed safe.

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    saw the full article for the first time .............I say wai t for the powere co ......OR .........try to quickly winch the car out the onto the roadway ........anyone else>?
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