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Thread: using a tow truck to pull a steering column?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isitjustme View Post
    Rescue101: They have Genesis at "Closed Mind Fire Dept"...problem solved!

    JohnsB: Oh, we have lights and siren on 2 of our heavies. First due response for the interstate. HazMat certified. Carry airbags, cushions and a combi-tool on one of the units. Almost all of us are fire fighters too...and not a one is named "Bubba"

    And you're not in Ohio, moot point. Are any of you paramedics?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    You might want to enlighten John that the " Heavies" you speak of are TOW TRUCKS, not rolling toolboxes. Genesis are OK, not my favorite but some think you can't do extrication with anything else. I'm not that fussy,when I started it was tow trucks,hacksaws,portopower and hand tools. Hydraulics are GREAT,regardless of mfg.
    Yeah, even though I went to public school, I was able to figure out the "Heavies". But even when we use a Heavy for commercial vehicles, they strictly do stabilization and no extrication.
    And yes, most every hydraulic rescue tool will do the job, but like driving, any car will get you there, but some are nicer to drive.

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    @johnsb...yes, Paramedic since '82, and from your responses that is probably longer than you have been around...just a guess of course.

    Being in Ohio does not isolate you from the world, its okay to see "outside the box".

    You would allow the heavy to do stabilization, but not extrication. That in itself is a start, good for you. Our operators do not do extrication either, but we certainly work as a team so if and when the need exists, we could. Just as an aerial device is not need on every fire, it is nice to have a wrecker there in case it is needed.

    We cross train extensively with fire/rescue/ems. We know what each others specialties are, but we also know what we all are expected to do. Can I run a rescue tool, yes. Can the wrecker operator run the rescue tool, yes. Do i expect him to...NO. Does he expect me to run the 50ton rotator/slider, NO, but I can and would in a pinch.

    You just need to open your eyes a bit...attend a "dual focus" class...see what the world has to offer, I think you would be surprised.

    To get back to the original topic...would we allow a wrecker to pull a steering column...answer is, if the need arises and we have exhausted what we can do...yes we would.

    I say all this with all due respect, most likely this will be my last post on this topic, I do not enjoy feeding into the "******in match"

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    And you're not in Ohio, moot point. Are any of you paramedics?
    And if you don't mind me asking, what does being a Medic have to do with the subject at hand? Just not seeing a corelation unless you are suggesting that because I'm NOT a Medic that I am incapable of knowing patient dynamics. When nothing could be farther from the truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    And if you don't mind me asking, what does being a Medic have to do with the subject at hand? Just not seeing a corelation unless you are suggesting that because I'm NOT a Medic that I am incapable of knowing patient dynamics. When nothing could be farther from the truth.
    I'm saying most tow truck operators wouldn't have any knowledge of patient dynamics. Any good EMTB should know enough to tell what's going on with the patient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isitjustme View Post
    @johnsb...yes, Paramedic since '82, and from your responses that is probably longer than you have been around...just a guess of course.

    Being in Ohio does not isolate you from the world, its okay to see "outside the box".

    You would allow the heavy to do stabilization, but not extrication. That in itself is a start, good for you. Our operators do not do extrication either, but we certainly work as a team so if and when the need exists, we could. Just as an aerial device is not need on every fire, it is nice to have a wrecker there in case it is needed.

    We cross train extensively with fire/rescue/ems. We know what each others specialties are, but we also know what we all are expected to do. Can I run a rescue tool, yes. Can the wrecker operator run the rescue tool, yes. Do i expect him to...NO. Does he expect me to run the 50ton rotator/slider, NO, but I can and would in a pinch.

    You just need to open your eyes a bit...attend a "dual focus" class...see what the world has to offer, I think you would be surprised.

    To get back to the original topic...would we allow a wrecker to pull a steering column...answer is, if the need arises and we have exhausted what we can do...yes we would.

    I say all this with all due respect, most likely this will be my last post on this topic, I do not enjoy feeding into the "******in match"
    I'm not seeing this as a ****ing match, more of a difference in opinion. I just come from an area where we pretty much do it all ourselves. We're not above using other resources, we're just selective. BTW, you got a year on me.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I'm saying most tow truck operators wouldn't have any knowledge of patient dynamics. Any good EMTB should know enough to tell what's going on with the patient.
    Guess I'll use one of your Quotes"Maybe in YOUR lil holler", just about every tow truck driver in my area is either a FF,EMS trained,or cross trained in both arenas. Maybe the little state of maine isn't so backwards after all. And I'm OK with your protocol,all I'm suggesting is maybe you ought to get out of town(or state) and see how the other half lives. Could be you MIGHT see something of value to you. But ONLY you can make that choice. If not,there is only one of us who won't benefit..........and it isn't ME.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Guess I'll use one of your Quotes"Maybe in YOUR lil holler", just about every tow truck driver in my area is either a FF,EMS trained,or cross trained in both arenas. Maybe the little state of maine isn't so backwards after all. And I'm OK with your protocol,all I'm suggesting is maybe you ought to get out of town(or state) and see how the other half lives. Could be you MIGHT see something of value to you. But ONLY you can make that choice. If not,there is only one of us who won't benefit..........and it isn't ME.
    Around here, I don't know of ANY tow truck drivers that are trained at all as an emergency responder. This is more of a metropolitan area where I'm at. Even in the surrounding rural areas, never heard of them using a tow truck for extrication. But like I said, we do have a few tow companies that do heavy recoveries.
    Something that I forgot to bring up earlier, when a tow truck pulls a column, how do you make sure it doesn't lift the car off of the shoring or chocks? With a spreader, the force is directed back against the car so it doesn't move. Seems to me there might be a possibility of lifting the car a bit using a tow truck cable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Around here, I don't know of ANY tow truck drivers that are trained at all as an emergency responder. This is more of a metropolitan area where I'm at. Even in the surrounding rural areas, never heard of them using a tow truck for extrication. But like I said, we do have a few tow companies that do heavy recoveries.
    Something that I forgot to bring up earlier, when a tow truck pulls a column, how do you make sure it doesn't lift the car off of the shoring or chocks? With a spreader, the force is directed back against the car so it doesn't move. Seems to me there might be a possibility of lifting the car a bit using a tow truck cable.
    I'll attempt to answer your question and direct one of my own. IF you are NOT using Towing companies as a MA resource you are missing out. IF they are NOT trained,WHY NOT? Is it because they don't WANT to train or is it because your agency and other like it haven't bothered to INCLUDE them in your training? With all due respect John,you need to do further study on this.LA County has at least one if not more rotating wreckers IN THEIR FLEET for Rescue. Gotta be a reason. Now in your question about pulling a column with a tow truck.90% of todays Tow trucks are hydraulic. Their controls(In Competent hands)are just as sensitive and controllable as your HRT. How much energy do you have to impart on a column to move it enough to free a victim? You can do it with a hand come along so NOT MUCH. Considering that the minimum winch on a Tow truck is 8000#,I think you can see this isn't much challenge. You WON'T lift the vehicle because it weighs a ton plus,don't see many under 2000#,the column will start displacing at somewhere around 100# imput if you rig it right. And NO,we aren't going to use a TT to pull columns on every job.While it works well and it's fast,the reality is it's something else(the Tow truck)that you have to work around. But there ARE many things the vehicle does WELL that can assist Rescuers to do their job FASTER and SAFER if performed by an operator who has TRAINED with the FD and has practiced the art. I ENCOURAGE you to look further into this if only for your own benefit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    .... Something that I forgot to bring up earlier, when a tow truck pulls a column, how do you make sure it doesn't lift the car off of the shoring or chocks? With a spreader, the force is directed back against the car so it doesn't move. Seems to me there might be a possibility of lifting the car a bit using a tow truck cable.
    If the tow truck your working with doesn't have a low boom or one that will lower down enough, use a pulley. Run the cable from the boom to the pulley (attached to tow truck body) and the cable pull will be parallel to the road surface instead of angled from the raised boom. Same pulling direction as using a spreader....
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I'll attempt to answer your question and direct one of my own. IF you are NOT using Towing companies as a MA resource you are missing out. IF they are NOT trained,WHY NOT? Is it because they don't WANT to train or is it because your agency and other like it haven't bothered to INCLUDE them in your training? With all due respect John,you need to do further study on this.LA County has at least one if not more rotating wreckers IN THEIR FLEET for Rescue. Gotta be a reason. Now in your question about pulling a column with a tow truck.90% of todays Tow trucks are hydraulic. Their controls(In Competent hands)are just as sensitive and controllable as your HRT. How much energy do you have to impart on a column to move it enough to free a victim? You can do it with a hand come along so NOT MUCH. Considering that the minimum winch on a Tow truck is 8000#,I think you can see this isn't much challenge. You WON'T lift the vehicle because it weighs a ton plus,don't see many under 2000#,the column will start displacing at somewhere around 100# imput if you rig it right. And NO,we aren't going to use a TT to pull columns on every job.While it works well and it's fast,the reality is it's something else(the Tow truck)that you have to work around. But there ARE many things the vehicle does WELL that can assist Rescuers to do their job FASTER and SAFER if performed by an operator who has TRAINED with the FD and has practiced the art. I ENCOURAGE you to look further into this if only for your own benefit.
    101, nobody uses TT's (that I know of) for cars because most everyone in Central Ohio has the resources to handle virtually any auto extrications themselves. Most depts around here do everything, fire suppression, EMS, rescue, haz-mat, etc. To start a program using tow companies would be time consuming and expensive, not to mention having to bid out jobs. There's probably 50-100 tow companies around here. There's maybe three heavy companies we work with, we can have our dispatchers call them. But for the small guys, who knows when they'll show up. They get there when they get there. And LA county is a different bird. They are FD run trucks, not civilian. You shut down a freeway in LA, and you have to call in FEMA 'cause it's a disaster.

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    Well John my head is getting bloody so I'll part with these thoughts. You are EXTREMELY lucky that you can handle all your crashes with strictly FD resources. Most cannot make that claim. And you ARE missing out on a valuable resource whether or not you care to recognise or use it. As far a LA's unit goes,I hope you realize the operators of that rig were trained by US,the Tow operator Trainers,NOT the FD. Involving the companies you use regularly isn't that hard, and why in hell would you have to "bid" that out? Oh wait,I forget where you are, sorry. As I mentioned TT have a LOT of uses besides extrications,but you're all set so I'll leave it at that and concentrate my efforts with FF's that are interested in what we have to offer. Good luck, and God bless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Well John my head is getting bloody so I'll part with these thoughts. You are EXTREMELY lucky that you can handle all your crashes with strictly FD resources. Most cannot make that claim.
    Why not?? We can do it on my fulltime dept. with 140K runs per year, and we can do it on my POC dept. that takes less than 200 runs per year. I don't know why that's so hard for a dept. to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    And you ARE missing out on a valuable resource whether or not you care to recognise or use it.
    A resource is only valuable if you can use it. When it's more work to CREATE a use for a resource, it's not valuable. Most places around here feel it's better to spend the time and resources to train the firefighters. Plus you have a better span of control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    As far a LA's unit goes,I hope you realize the operators of that rig were trained by US,the Tow operator Trainers,NOT the FD.
    That's not surprising at all. But once they were trained, they are still an LAFD resource. It's not unusual for FD personnel to get trained by outside sources for non traditional roles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Involving the companies you use regularly isn't that hard, and why in hell would you have to "bid" that out? Oh wait,I forget where you are, sorry.
    Like I said before, there are a LOT of tow companies around here, we don't decide who comes to the scene, PD handles that. If we ever did use TT's in extrication, we'd want to pick the ones WE wanted to work with. But then again, since we are a GOVERNMENT entity, we have to be fair, and give all the companies a chance to be included if they want. That takes time to set up minimum qualifications, proof of insurance or bonding, certifications, contact info, training, SOP's, etc. THAT TAKES TIME AND MONEY TO DO IT RIGHT. Again, we'd rather put that time and money into the FD training, it's hard enough to come by as it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    As I mentioned TT have a LOT of uses besides extrications,but you're all set so I'll leave it at that and concentrate my efforts with FF's that are interested in what we have to offer. Good luck, and God bless.
    That's fine if a FD needs that resource. I'm not saying some don't. But it's sad if they HAVE to, because they can't manage something as simple as pulling a steering column. It's great that you are an asset to your FD. I know you East Coast guys operate somewhat differently than the Mid West depts. do. Just a different flavor. Regards.

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    I don't think I've ever considered it... so many variables.

    Most tow trucks that I see are not well maintained and would scare me. In addition, if you haven't practiced on it, I wouldn't do it.

    As for these operators... most can barely speak english, let alone be trained in FF/EMS. Wow.
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 06-01-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I don't think I've ever considered it... so many variables.

    Most tow trucks that I see are not well maintained and would scare me. In addition, if you haven't practiced on it, I wouldn't do it.

    As for these operators... most can barely speak english, let alone be trained in FF/EMS. Wow.
    We had to send the engine back out at 0230 on a wreck that happened at 2215, because neither of the Roll off's that showed up had any absorbant. (they had to hold the scene because of the pt's condition)

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    Our wreckers don't normally carry absorbant. That's our job.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Our wreckers don't normally carry absorbant. That's our job.
    Why not? If an oil line or radiator hose breaks in a mechanical failure, do you call an engine for that? Absorbant is cheap, and they can bill for it. The cops make them sweep up debris after a crash, fluids should be a given. I get it if it's crash related and we're making the scene safe, but a tow truck can easily carry a bag or pail of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Why not? If an oil line or radiator hose breaks in a mechanical failure, do you call an engine for that? Absorbant is cheap, and they can bill for it. The cops make them sweep up debris after a crash, fluids should be a given. I get it if it's crash related and we're making the scene safe, but a tow truck can easily carry a bag or pail of it.
    We both carry absorbent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Why not?? We can do it on my fulltime dept. with 140K runs per year, and we can do it on my POC dept. that takes less than 200 runs per year. I don't know why that's so hard for a dept. to do.



    A resource is only valuable if you can use it. When it's more work to CREATE a use for a resource, it's not valuable. Most places around here feel it's better to spend the time and resources to train the firefighters. Plus you have a better span of control.



    That's not surprising at all. But once they were trained, they are still an LAFD resource. It's not unusual for FD personnel to get trained by outside sources for non traditional roles.




    Like I said before, there are a LOT of tow companies around here, we don't decide who comes to the scene, PD handles that. If we ever did use TT's in extrication, we'd want to pick the ones WE wanted to work with. But then again, since we are a GOVERNMENT entity, we have to be fair, and give all the companies a chance to be included if they want. That takes time to set up minimum qualifications, proof of insurance or bonding, certifications, contact info, training, SOP's, etc. THAT TAKES TIME AND MONEY TO DO IT RIGHT. Again, we'd rather put that time and money into the FD training, it's hard enough to come by as it is.



    That's fine if a FD needs that resource. I'm not saying some don't. But it's sad if they HAVE to, because they can't manage something as simple as pulling a steering column. It's great that you are an asset to your FD. I know you East Coast guys operate somewhat differently than the Mid West depts. do. Just a different flavor. Regards.
    Even here in my podunk holler - we can special request a certain wrecker company,dispatch "tags" them in the rotation list as special called , they are skipped one time and then go back to regular rotation. I dont understand not planning for something beyond yor capabilities. And no I am not a medic , but we do use Genesis tools if that counts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Even here in my podunk holler - we can special request a certain wrecker company,dispatch "tags" them in the rotation list as special called , they are skipped one time and then go back to regular rotation. I dont understand not planning for something beyond yor capabilities. And no I am not a medic , but we do use Genesis tools if that counts.
    I can think of one time in 30 years that a tow truck was used on an extrication. That was to drag a car that had T-boned a car back away from the car it hit and drove into another car. The patient in that car had been removed. That was 20 years ago, and the rescues have winches now so they'd do it themselves today. Other than that, never had a need for a wrecker on something that wasn't a commercial truck or bus. We don't plan for wreckers because we don't have a need for them.
    What do you use wreckers for? And how often?

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