1. #1
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    Default High tension hwy barriers

    any had run ins with them? what procedures do you use?
    Whos says Fire Trucks cant be YELLOW!

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    We have none in our district right now. However, Kentucky has begun installing them in a few select locations. Lexington has them on a good portion of the limited-access section of New Circle Road, for example.

    We cover about ten miles of a 4-lane highway, so I'm interested to learn about these things in case we end up with some.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    Work with your Department of Transportation, they should have training required by the installing Contractors for First Responders. This should give you insight to the installlation & safe operations around the cable system. Cable barrier presents issues which must be dealt with safely by everyone including all Emergency response agencies.

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    yeah we had a class last was night on them which was fairly interesting, didnt think u could cut them with shears and a k12 but guess u can. just wondered if anyone has exactly had an extrication with them involved?
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    Here are some older forum threads
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show....php?p=1027300

    Also Ron Moore has a couple articles on the subject
    http://www.firehouse.com/independent...arriers-part-1
    http://www.firehouse.com/independent...arriers-part-2

    Outside resource with videos of various cables being cut.
    http://minnesotafireservice.com/what...on_cables.html
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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    awesome! thanks Sir
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    Quote Originally Posted by InstructorJV87 View Post
    yeah we had a class last was night on them which was fairly interesting, didnt think u could cut them with shears and a k12 but guess u can. just wondered if anyone has exactly had an extrication with them involved?
    I WOULDN"T be cutting them unless I loosened them first. Not a recommended procedure. T.C.

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    JV87, I have been involved in cutting these cables three times, the cable in the link provided by N2DFire was stretched about 20 feet from the middle of the median to the beginning of the middle lane of a three lane highway.

    When we cut this cable it fell to the ground with minimal forward retraction, I am thinking that although the cable was stretched a significant amount from its resting position that the collision and stretch must have somewhere along the cable actually loosened it from its 5000 psi, and the only tension we had to deal with was less than the weight of the cable itself.

    Now if you are dealing with a cable that is not so heavily impacted and still retaining most of its pretension force, I would believe that the cable would react in a bad way to being cut.

    Also when we cut these cables we make sure that we use large cable ties on both sides of the cut to keep the cable from unwinding and causing injury...

    To be clear, I am not advocating cutting these cables, but two words I dont like to use in the fire service are never and always. There may very well be a need to cut these cables as a primary plan, knowledge of the barrier and experience will dictate what you should do to overcome these obstacles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I WOULDN"T be cutting them unless I loosened them first. Not a recommended procedure. T.C.
    Fer sher. With a vehicle crammed up against them, they could have even more tension than an undisturbed barrier.

    As a farm boy, I know that high-tensile fence has little ratcheted things that load the wire much the same way as these barriers. There is a specialized tool you can buy to install or adjust those fences. I wonder if a person could get such a tool for the highway barriers.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    Thanks for the heads up guys youve been abig help!!
    Whos says Fire Trucks cant be YELLOW!

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    Here is a wreck where as the article says they were "ineffective"

    http://www.wlky.com/news/22963109/detail.html

    From Munfordville to Bowling Green Ky, less than 50 miles, in the last 10yrs there has been 70-80 people lost to the best of memory. With memory being what it is there more than likely is more. For example, wrecks on both ends of the area took a total of 18. There has been a push in the state to find out why so many fatalities in a short distance. Instead of funding for a divider wall we end up with these things.
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down? (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    Well, they're sort of like seat belts. They'll prevent a preventable crash, but if a loaded 18-wheeler nails that thing at high speed, it's not going to help. But a little car that drifts off the fast lane with a sleepy driver will 1) not go into oncoming traffic and 2) diffuse some energy dragging against the barrier rather than bouncing off concrete and back into its own lane, damaged and out of control.

    Most of the barriers are in areas where medians were wide and concrete barriers couldn't pass cost/benefit muster, so it was either cable systems or nothing. I know the stretch of 65 you are talking about; traveled it many times. No way the state would have sprung for that many miles of concrete.

    You have some statistical outliers there, too. The Mennonite crash alone was responsible for, what, ten of those fatalities, right? And how many of the crashes involved crossing the median?

    Fact is, they are not better than concrete in many cases, but they are better than nothing.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    We have the cables running from end to end in my county, We were told not to cut for any reason, the training put on by the dot showed us how to loosen then or even disconnect them. Also he have had many cases where the car went under the cable. Motorcycles do not fair well either.

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    The two University of Extrication articles that I wrote on this subject were published in the February and March 2011 issues. At that time, there were only limited knowledge about these systems and fire departments had only limited incidents.

    Things are changing now. The State DOTs are looking at 3-cable or even 4-cable systems. The reality for them is they are much, much less expensive than the concrete barriers.

    Whether they work or not is not my point. What I do emphasize however is that if these systems are installed within your run district, then it is your responsibility to get familiar with them, train on how to deal with them, and then develop departmental protocols for highway incidents.

    A new concept is for FDs to purchase cable-puller devices which allow you to pull the cable tight and create slack in a section; which is where you then cut a NON-tensioned cable. These pullers are not expensive and this is really something to consider.

    In Part 2 on my series, I even went so far as to present a tactical checklist that can be used on-scene. I can send it to anyone who wants it in a pdf format. Rmoore@firehouse.com is my email to request it directly.

    Here is the text of that model protocol;

    University of Extrication
    Model Decision-making Protocol: Cable Median Barrier Incidents

    Decision Point 1:
    Determine if a cable median barrier system is present at the collision scene,

    Decision Point 2:
    Determine if damaged vehicles are contacting any cables,

    Decision Point 3:
    Determine to what degree the cables are obstructing the crash-damaged vehicles,

    Decision Point 4:
    Determine if the obstructing cables can be moved manually,

    Decision Point 5:
    Relax the tension on the obstructing cable in a controlled manner then re-try moving obstructing cable,

    Decision Point 6:
    Manually move or remove the supporting posts, then re-try moving obstructing cable,

    If cable still obstructs, prepare for last resort tactic of cutting turnbuckle or the actual cable itself.

    Decision Point 7:
    Locate and prepare suitable cut location, cut point located at turnbuckle or at cable between two intact support poles all cables are running parallel and are not twisted or stressed tension is released at turnbuckle hazard zone established and clear of non-essential personnel rescuer with cutting tool in full PPE including eye protection, full face protection, and wearing heavy-duty gloves multiple wraps of duct tape applied on both sides of cable cut location

    Decision Point 8:
    Use rotary saw with an abrasive blade or a power rescue cutter to cut through the turnbuckle or the steel cable.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    In my fire district we only have the concrete barriers and that is on I-35 itself. They are currently expanding it from two lanes to three lanes but I don't forsee them going to the cable barriers instead. The state hwy (Highway 6) just put in cable barriers a couple of months ago. There have been a few wrecks aready with cars leaning on them but I haven't had a chance to talk to those FDs that have them about their protocols. And I haven't ran any wrecks myself on the box in those areas either.
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