01-29-1999, 05:48 AM #1billyFirehouse.com Guest
sleeper removal from heavy trucks
Anyone ever removed a "sleeper" from a truck tractor to extricate victim? I need specifics if possible. Tell me your "war story"! I think sometimes it is a valuable option, however not always you know.
02-09-1999, 10:08 AM #2MedicResQFirehouse.com Guest
Our squad has gained enty through sleepers and removed patients that way but never cut the whole sleeper away. Knowing the makeup of the Semi's it is possible my tool of choice would be recip saw with a 10-12 inch blade or air chisle and remove the bolts that attach at the frame or cut them and will come right off. Have done it in training but never in the real world.
[This message has been edited by MedicResQ (edited 02-09-99).]
02-14-1999, 12:33 PM #3DFursethFirehouse.com Guest
We recently had a semi rollover and rest on its side with the driver laying between the seats. We used a 'cip saw w/ 10" starret 10-14 blade and cut straight down from the back of the door (which was on top) and down to the ground. With one extra cut for the A post, the whole cab folded down very nice and neat making great access. These cabs are relativly easy to cut apart.
02-18-1999, 12:00 AM #4SCCARESCUEFirehouse.com Guest
How would you logistically handle the removed sleeper? What would be a method of handling the entire unit? I do not know exactly how much they weigh, but I can guess that it is more than a handful of guys would want to tackle. An "A" frame?
I have been involved in numerous tractor rescues that have had sleepers, but never run into a situation that required us to consider removal of the sleeper. An interesting thought and obviously a real challenge. Hopefully someone out there has some hints.
09-14-2002, 09:13 PM #5
So billy or Rescue101, once again, I've been looking through the archives a bit and found this thread...
Billy, you've obviously improved your knowledge quite considerably since posting this, so how do you do it?Luke
09-15-2002, 03:06 AM #6
I know this is an old thread, but I will reply
I haven't been to a training class for big rig rescue, but I have driven semi over the road. Most sleepers on semis are integral built, and are usually fiberglass laid over a light sheet metal. Try to make sure there aren't any Pts behind where you are going to cut, and use a recip saw to make a door. I would recommend going 24" or so behind the door and make a "window" to allow you to see in if you can't, and go from there. Many newer trucks are putting cabinets right behind the driver and passenger seats. Also, the rear wall of the sleeper is usually where the bunks are, so be careful cutting there unless you KNOW there isn't someone in the bunk. There are nets to keep you from being thrown out of the bunk if you are sleeping and someone else is driving. If you cannot get in to see if anyone is in the bunk area, assume there is before cutting that area, and don't assume that the driver is the only Pt you will find. Many truckers run "team." Some sleepers can be removed in whole, but I don't know why you would want to. It would be a whole lot easier, and faster, to cut a door and go. I would opt for a mid side or roof cut for the door, depending how the truck is found. Once again, this is just from my experience in driving semi, not with any classes I have taken. Billy and Rescue101, tell us what you think."Illigitimi Non Carborundum"
"The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."
09-15-2002, 08:56 AM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 1999
- Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
we had a traffic accident eariler this year that we had to pull the patient out of the sleeper portion. luckily we didn't have to do any cutting, just a simple squeeze the patient through the small door there.
i've seen accidents where an 18 wheeler sideswiped another parked 18 wheeler and ripped off the side wall of the sleeper, however i can not recommend this procedure being done during rescue.NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.
09-15-2002, 05:14 PM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 1998
Visit your local truck dealer and look at the types of sleepers on the rigs. Some are designed to be removed and some are "unibuilt" as part of the cab.
Watch out for lines for air conditioning in the sleeper. Many of the newer units have separate heat and air for the sleeper. We have never had to remove a sleeper but have been on several where the sleeper came partially loose in the accident. The wrecker crew had to offload the Freon in the air conditioning lines before they could remove the sleeper to clean up the wreck. Not a big problem except it added about an hour to removing the vehicle.
09-15-2002, 06:07 PM #9
You wanna WHAT?
Good call Ray!It's an option,but on today's rigs it damn sure wouldn't be my first option.Air conditioning lines,heater lines,ELECTRIC lines,all will make for a miserable excursion.Lot's of ways to get in,some good ways mentioned.Always remember to look at the job before cutting.Cutting in the wrong place can SERIOUSLY compromise your rescue,because in many cases the sleeper becomes your "load bearing"wall.Remember even EMPTY a rig will weigh between 25-35,000#.NOT something you want moving on you.Get plenty of help and get it early on.A couple heavy tow trucks wouldn't ruin your day.T.C.
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