1. #1
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    Question Car vs Pole Problem

    Training at the wrecking yard this morning and saw a recent addition to their collection of totalled cars, brought in from a neighboring district. A little black 2 door Acura had slid sideways into a powerpole at high speed and there was severe intrusion at the front half of the driver's door area. The hinges and steering wheel were pushed into the center console. Lucky for the driver he wasn't wearing his seatbelt and was thrown against the passenger's side door and avoided serious injury.
    I've never worked one of these type of entrapments or had the opportunity to train on a car damaged as such(I'm trying to get the car from the insurance company now). So my question goes out to you who have.
    What's gonna be your initial and backup plan for freeing the driver had he been pinned??What problems are we likely to encounter?
    We looked at it pretty closely and figured roof removal followed by crossramming the intruding door back out to its original position (base of ram at passenger side rocker area). Then if needed we could remove the driver's door from the latch side and jack the dash if needed.

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    Oops, ended to soon. That was if the car had come back off the pole in the course of the collision. Had the car remained around the pole, obviously attacking the driver's side of the car would be impossible.
    If we were unsuccessful in freeing him using the crossramming and some selective spreading and cutting, what about lifting up the rear of the car slowly with a floorjack and winching it away from the poll? I know we generally don't want to move a vehicle with a patient still in it but in this case it seems a viable option.

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    Funny you should post this, as I just had an extrication involving this exact scenario 3 weeks ago. The victim was pinned in the car, his leg trapped between the seat and the door, with pole intrusion 21" into the passenger compartment. (Police Dept. measurements after the fact, by the way.) Car still wrapped around the pole. On-scene with an engine and heavy rescue, equipped with 2 sets of jaws, combi-tool and large jaws. Special call for ladder co., who has a Hurst combi-tool as well. Rescue removed windshield and roof, and cut at hinges, ladder co. arrives on scene, they nose up to the pass. side of the car, and use the large set of jaws and chains off the rescue to pull the car away from the pole. Reason winch on rescue not used was that we didn't realize we would need it until Hurst hoses etc. were strewn all over the scene, not practical to re-position the rig, so ladder co. apparatus was utilized. Continued manual stabilazation, of course, including C-collar. After car is off the pole, telescoping rams across the victim's lap in conjunction with step cribbing inside the car, and the driver's door is moved out enough to remove the victim through the pass side door. Victim: 2 broken vertabra, no spinal cord damage but multiple traumatic injuries. At last report, on the road to full recovery.....
    Leroy140 Fairfield, CT Local 1426

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    I ran into this type of scene about 4 years ago. A Pontiac Sunfire Vs. 5' in diameter tree, speed estimated at approx 90-95 MPH. Protrusion of 25+" into drivers side compt. Car still leaning on tree. Tow truck co. called in to use the "regular" truck to stablize the car. 3 passengers in car. Driver was pronounced after approx 20 min of on scene time. The way we got him out, granted it was easier not having to take c-spine precautions, was the roof was already removed to gain access to drivers side rear passenger. The drivers seat was then lowered all the way back and then a ram was used to open up the footwell and push the steering wheel/dashboard (all one unit at this point due to collision) up as far as possible. We then slid the drivers body out towards the rear. I have no clue ho we would have been able to get him out if he were still alive. It took us almost an hour to open up enough where we could literally pull him out.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

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    Thanks for the stories guys. Leroy, how did you guys rig up your chains for this job? Sounds like you used the ladder truck as as an anchor. How did you attach the chains to the patient's car and did you try to pull the entire vehicle away at once or just move a portion instead ie. the rear or the front of the car?

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    Kbud, we used the chains that come with the Hurst tool, each length has a "free" end and a large hook on the other. We did use the rig as one anchor point, and put the shackles onto the tips of the jaws. We hooked one chain and hook around one of the under-bumper tow hooks on the rig, and the other chain-hook went somewhere near the front suspension of the car. I'm not sure, as I was in the car, which was a Honda Accord coupe. Excessive speed was a factor here, as well, by the way. We then opened the jaws as far as they would go, hooked the shackles onto the chains, and closed the jaws, dragging the front of the car far enough away to push the door out with the ram. Hope this clears it up for you.
    Leroy140 Fairfield, CT Local 1426

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    Due to our compulsory seatbelt laws Australia wide, we get a lot of cars into trees and poles with entrapments. (ie: There is no chance of someone being thrown clear. They're in the seat, no matter what happens)

    Has anyone attempted to spread between the car and pole using spreaders? It works well. If you can open it up enough, you can then put in either powered or porta-power rams to open up further. Beware of this if there is heavy entrapment on the feet and legs as movement on the firewall can be a problem. (Remember, the aim of rescue is to bring the car back into its original shape before the accident...)

    Furher thought- don't forget to get rid of the steering wheel early if its a problem. Cut the spokes or the rim, not the main shaft.

    Also, don't firget, if they're time critical, don't worry about the roof removal. Also, our cars over here may be different, but if the roof is removed, because it is an integral part of the structure, the car can sag once it is removed. If there is heavy entrapment on the legs/feet area, the sagging movement may cause problems. With a roof on, it may actually assist in cross ramming as there is a bit of resistance on the doors. There may be less chance of them coming back in on the casualty once you have finished ramming....
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    Luke

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    Another photo, a different accident....
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    Luke

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    With this one, the car had struck the tree on the drivers side and came to rest in this drain. The driver was pinned by the dash and the side of the car. The car is actually on about a 45 degree slope, diagonally. (Bit hard to see and appreciate in the photo!)

    He was time critical, so we only cross rammed from the base of the passenger B pillar, accross to the middle of the drivers B piller. Pushed it out approx 12 inches (This photo was taken after the pushing and the casualty had been removed).

    Removed the ram andmanually handled the casualty out of the car once we could move the seat and lay it back a bit....
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