Chainsaws for Auto extrication
Just wanted to share a call we had. 3 car MVA. 1 car, airborne, hits conversion van causing it to rollover, left resting rightside up with tranny on the bridge guard rail, 2 wheels hanging over water. Car 3 hits van from rear (no injuries). Victim in car 1 was semi-conscious up to first arriving unit. Trauma code there after.
Van has 4 people trapped. Rescue pumper 1 works on car 1, Rescue pumpers 2 and 3 work on van. Van is stabilized immediately. Problem being access to A&B post on passenger side. We used a Stihl chainsaw to cut centerline front to C-post, then down to window. The chainsaw cut through the conversion van roof like butter. It worked much faster than Cip-saws and cutters. The 4 patients were trauma evals and were flown to level 1 trauma centers. They Survived.
Funny thing is, that the Rescue crew had practiced that technique in station training. When the oppertunity arose they identified the need and did it safely.
Interior rescue was also one of their own crew because they knew the path of the saw and could provide for the safe use over patients. Handlines where in place as well as ICS.
This is not something I would advise others to do, just something that worked for us. Risk -vs- gains dictated we attempt this rescue.