1. #1
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    Question Car vs Petrol Tanker....

    Alright young grasshoppers. You asked for another "What would you do?", so enter the temple of the rescue monks and lets learn from each other, again! (The pix below are of an actual accident we attended, the scenario I have set is not what occurred....)


    Arrive on scene to find a car vs petrol tanker. The car with 3 occupants has hit the tanker in the belly, exactly where the release valves are. They have been damaged. As a result, the tanker (36,000 litres) is leaking petrol at an approximate rate of 250 litres every minute. The front passenger of the car is deceased and trapped by the dashboard. The driver is critical and trapped by the dashboard and sterring wheel assembly. The rear passenger is sitting in the car and appears to have only minor injuries, but the doors can not be opened.

    What would you do?
    Think about fire, extrication, environmental concerns, etc.


    A bit more food for thought- over here, unless absolutely necessary, the deceased should never be removed from a vehicle unless Police have finsihed investigating. They investigate to try and charge the driver if the have committed an offence. They do not want scenes disturbed except to preserve life where possible.)
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    Last edited by lutan1; 04-26-2002 at 08:12 PM.
    Luke

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    Question The temple of the rescue monks....

    Another photo....
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    Luke

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    Default Fire in the hole...

    Ok, for the record, I admit that my usual suggestion of using small explosives to separate the vehicle and the tanker might not work. Further to that, it would take at least two probies to do it, and since the last "accident" I have been a little short on probies..

    I am working on a response, you should have it shortly..
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Well, of most immediate concern to me is the gasoline leaking. Letís get a recovery company on the way, and try to contact the owner of the truck to see if they can send an empty to transfer the fuel over. Waiting on it to leak out will take 16 2/3 days, so we can scratch THAT.

    Foam, foam, foam, foam! Cover the whole area under the truck, car and anywhere else with foam.

    Iím not a hazmat guy, but the gasoline running on the ground is going to have to be contained. Better get some sand trucks headed in, and make sure youíve got plenty of shovels.

    Lets try to do this without and sparks, okay? Lets disconnect the batteries on the car. Take the rear passenger out first. Pop the glass, put them in a KED and take them out the window.

    Next, letís lift the dash. Keep a charged line, heck letís keep two, manned on the car while we do this.

    Leave the fatality until the gasoline leak is stopped or the fuel is removed.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Call for back up and lots of it. Need lots of manpower.

    Lay a blanket of foam around the truck and car and surrounding areas.
    (That's one appliance and crew.)

    Whilst this is happening, under a fog spray pattern, I'd dosconnect the car battery then the truck battery. (That's another appliance and crew.)

    Keep charged lines on standby for entire extrication at the car. (I don't want fire extinguishers as I want to knock a fire down immediately. Also, dry chemical powder extinguishers will damage the foam blanket by destroying it...) (Same crew as above could do this.)

    Have spare personnel fill sandbags and block all road drains. If there is a low area on the road that the fuel seems to run to, sandbag around it and try to form a dam. Coat the dam in foam and have foam on standby to keep applying cover as required. (One appliance and crew for the foam application and another crew/s for sandbagging.)

    Agree with Silver City 4- pop back window and remove rear seat casualty via window. (Need to ensure that all personnel working around the car know how to operate in a foam blanket so as they don't destroy it.)

    This would have to be a hand tools extrication instead of powered hydraulics. Hand operated hydraulics tend to be a bit slow. Use a pedal cutter or bolt cutters to remove the spokes of the steering wheel to give us some room on the drivers side. Try to slide seat back to give more room again. If required, in with the hi lift jack and do a dash roll. To ensure spinal immobilisation, lay the seat back and slide casualty up onto spine board and out through the back window.

    Once investigation is complete, perhaps the hi lift jack again to release the pinning on the passenger side....

    Also have a hazmat decontamination shower on standby to wash down petrol soaked turnout gear as it is being removed to prevent a spark from static electricity. (ALL services that were around the car would have to go through this.)
    Luke

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    first step is to say "oh sh** !"

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    I think everyone is in going in the right direction with the ďfoam the hell out of the areaĒ idea, so I will stick with that. Have a handful of hand lines out and ready, manned and standing by. Have the engine hooked to a hydrant and ready to push as much water as possible.. Also, like Lutan has pointed out, get as much of everything rolling as possible.

    Of course, eliminating all sources of ignition is a HUGE priority. Vehicle battery and everything on the Tanker itself. Call JJM highways maintenance and have them rolling to help contain the spillÖ meanwhile, with the price of gas I would send a few probies to fill up some jerry cans ;-)

    I agree with taking the rear window and taking the rear seat passenger, may as remove him from the equation as soon as possible.

    Hand tools make sense as well, but with a super blanket of foam and the rate of the leak would not necessarily rule out the hydraulics if the remaining viable PT where to crash. Using the hand tools to pop the door and jack the dash and grab the other PT. Using just hand tools would slow the job down over hydraulics, but, better to be as safe as possible.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Default More stuff to think about

    Looks good so far some small things to think about. On our department we have rubber mats on our pumps to cover manholes and drains sence sand can be leached through and it is also needs to be disposed of after. We also need to ground and bound the tanker the tools for doing this should be on the hazmat if not the tanker will have them. I would also want to get a sucker truck to pick up all the run off from the H2O we used sence we blocked all the drains it needs to go someware. And how much went down befor we got on seen do we need to divert the flow down the drain block it with sand and suck it up or put a ton of foam down the drain to keep from blowing manholes off in a secondary explosion witch could lead back to the tanker. (I have had manhole covers fly 30 to 40 feet in the air during a training op gone bad it is not fun) So what do you think, any more.


    I forgot do you have all the class B foam you need for this sence class A won't work?

    "Leave your work at work"

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    We carry several empty 5 gallon foam pails on the truck. They come in handy for minor mop ups at grass fires. In any case, a leak at 1.5 liters per minute would take 12 minutes to reach the top of the bucket. Put your foam down, but collect the leaking fuel in the buckets. No more hazardous than letting the fuel spill on the ground and flow wherever gravity will take it.

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    Catching the leaking fuel in five gallon buckets is a good idea, but gasoline will eventually eat away plastic. Better use metal.

    I still would apply liberal amounts of foam as a spark suppressor. We canít afford a mistake with that much fuel around.

    With the fuel only leaking a 1.5 liters a minute, weíre probably only looking at a pre-arrival spill amount of 6-12 liters. Not much compared to the total, but plenty to spread on the ground.

    Call me naive, but Iíd use the hydraulics.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Somebody better help me out here but I've been using plastic catch buckets for years and haven't had one melt yet.Did lose a styrofoam cooler to gas once though.A metal can is not someting I would use around a gasoline incident,and I personally would think long and hard before I disconnected any power sources unless there was an obvious arcing hazard.Almost any modern vehicles electric system is under constant load(for computer/air bag module keep alive power),if you disconnect the battery you WILL get a spark.Not good in a vapor rich enviornment. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 04-26-2002 at 09:55 AM.

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    I thought soft plastic would weaken when saturated with gasoline? Obviously, there are plastic containers made specfically to hold gasoline--we carry them on every truck. Guess a couple of my synapses weren't functioning.

    The other thing that I was thinking about on the way to work today was my statement about using hydraulics. Using the hydraulic tools themselves may not be such a problem with enough foam, but what about the power unit? I'm changing tactics and opting for hand tools as well.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Talking THE SCENARIO HAS CHANGED!

    HAVE A LOOK AT THE ORIGINAL POST- I'VE CHANGED THE RATE OF THE LEAK FROM 1.5 LTIRES TO 250 LITRES PER MINUTE.....


    Let's see if this changes any of the ways in which this scenario will be handled.
    Luke

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    This is something I've heard about but never had a chance to take a look at. I don't remember where I read this, but someone in the fire service once suggested filling a gasoline tanker that's leaking from the bottom with water. Then the gasoline will supposedly float on the top and you'll just have a water leak. Of course that depends on how much fuel is in the tank and how much water you can supply (helps if you have a hydrant nearby, but if not, it may be hard to get a tanker shuttle going for a fuel leak). Diking is still important and hazmat should be on the way as soon as Dispatch knows there is a dangerous goods spill. Hazmat around here has the tools and ability to plug almost any leak, so once they get on scene I'd feel safe that the leak is going to stop fairly quickly. Also most fuel delivery companies around here have an emergency response team which includes equipment to offload product from damaged tankers.

    Anyway, after mitigating the leak and removing ignition sources, stabilize the car, pop the rear windows and insert the medic thru the rear window. Stabilize and extricate the rear seat passenger either thru the rear window or preferably by taking out a rear door. Having done that, we can now take out the driver's door. Actually if you open the rear left passenger door to extricate that patient, then you can take out the entire B post and have tons of room to work on the driver. The dash and/or steering column will have to be lifted of course. Depending on if the A posts are visible I may take the roof off too. Instead of our regular practice of a cordless saw, though, I'd probably use hydraulic cutters, less chance of sparks.

    If the entire side of the car on the driver's side is removed, we can try to lower the driver's seat to flatten it out (minding C-spine and such of course) since we're ultimately going to lay him down in order to put him on the spineboard.

    And one last thing that's on my mind - is using a metal container to catch leaking fuel safer than a plastic one? Make sure it's grounded and stays grounded... notice all those warning stickers on pickup trucks these days and at gas stations?
    --jay.

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    The only draw back I see to pumping water into the tanker Jay911, is that you will force vapor and fumes OUT of it also. This will add to your fire and explosion hazards....

    Drkblram- I don't necessarily agree that the area is going to be too rich to burn because its a big volume leak. Remember that it is outdoors and the conditions are uncontrollable. Also, don't forget that tankers are generally made up of smaller compartments of around 6000 litres each. Each compartment may carry a different fuel. The flashpoints and volatility of fuels will go out the door when fuels mix with each other.
    Luke

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    You guys in the States must have some funny fuel- over here, there is no chance of fuel mixing with water, no mater how much you add, how fast, turbulence or no amount of agitation will ever allow it to mix.


    Another side issue about fuels, we've had problems with unscrupulous operators adding thinners and other products to the fuel to dilute it and to get more for their dollar. By doing this, you change the flashpoint and volatility quite dramatically.
    Luke

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    Default Tanker v car (tanker wins)

    To my friend the Probie, I am not too far from a probie myself (5 years service) but you have to remember that the range of flammability varies in an open system. i.e. wind changes will cause sections to enter the range of flammability. Diffusion flames can occur at the boundry of any fuel rich environment so I would err on the side of safety.
    Re hydraulic tools. I see no harm in using hydraulic tools as long as the above is considered. Maybe water powered ppv fans could be used? not sure on the static angle!!
    but in a snatch and grab risks are there we are simply trying to reduce the risk to our firies and the punters. If not, rule # 1 applies naver become a victim.

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    with the flow of fuel increasing, would it be prudent to try to stop the leak instead of diverting?

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    Drkblram- DON'T shutup! That's what these forums are all about!

    I want to learn from you guys, and I hope you guys learn from me, also....

    I like the ideas put forward even if you guys drive on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car and race your cars at speedway around the wrong direction!!!!
    Luke

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    Nicely done! Lutan, you guys have a plethora of super-wrecks to deal with.

    First- all of the commotion about the flammable range... Yes, it might be too rich to burn up close, but somewhere, somehow, as the vapor leaves the area, it will find an ignition source. That is, if you haven't foamed the daylights out of it. I'd call for extra foam early and consider ARFF if you've got an airport nearby. Make sure you're foaming as crews are working- if you break the foam barrier, it can result in a nasty flash fire. Hydraulics can be used, which we have done in a similar circumstance, but again, we foamed anything that moved and keep the gasoline powered tools to a minimum. I, however, would consider the use of lift bags and chains if you had to move the steering column. Call also for teams to dam and dike low spots, sewers, etc, unless you've got mats or plugs to block them OR you can create a diversion pond and dig a small trench to a controlled area. Sometimes it's better to corral it in one location rather than letting it get away from you.

    In regard to the material hitting the highway, by the time someone gets out to you to pump it off with a flow of 250 gpm (that was what you said, wasn't it?) it won't be long before you've got a total mess on your hands. I'll have to think some more about that valve problem you've got there.

    Some civilian will probably drive into the middle of it (smoking a cigarette) before you get there and the whole problem will be eliminated anyway.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
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    I went back and took a look at some of the other issues. 1) Plastic buckets are fine. They won't melt- we've used them plenty of times. Just be aware, they CAN develop static electricity, so again, use plenty of foam. 2) And while we're talking about static electricity, get your mop-n-glo boys to run a ground field. 3) If the leak is coming from a valve break, if you have access to the break, cut a tarp and wrap it around the break and duct tape it in place. If it is a bad valve and the material is coming out of the discharge or the intake coupling, put the truck's hose on the coupling and elevate it higher than the level of the fuel. You may get some leaking around the coupling, but that'll slow things down a little. Regardless, this is a good reason for the extrication guys to be training with the HM Tech boys (which in our department, we're both anyway).

    Keep it safe.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

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    Hopefully it'll wait a couple years

    My state (Connecticut) is currently out-to-bid on 4 600gallon 1% AFFF foam trailers, with hopefully another 4 to be funded in FY2003-2004. At that point you'd have one trailer in each county. Once all eight are in place, you could get the first to most of highways most of the time in 20 to 30 minutes, and another 2 in 45 minutes. Won't help everyone in the first few minutes, but will give the state the capacity to lay some serious foam down if needed.

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    Default Australian slang

    Sorry drkblram a punter is a member of the public and a firie as you guessed is a FF.
    I agree with stopping the flow if you can but we have an oil industry sponsered response group available to us for just such an eventuality but at demonstrations by them I have never seen them be especially successful at containing a major breach. So I guess it boils down to foam, foam and more foam. Mav

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    Default Water powered PPV fans

    Sorry missed the next paragraph. Yes all our pumpers carry water powered PPV fans and our B.A. support vehicle carries petrol powered units.
    They operate using 38mm hose @ 1700kpa that is 1.5inch hose @250 psi I think that my conversions are correct.
    We use our fans on recirculate mostly so that the waste water is circulated back to the pump (Darley SEH 100). Or alternatively you can let the waste water run into the gutter. Mav

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    Dal,I just gotta go here.Do you know how much foam 600 gal @1% is?You could foam half of Conn, with two of the trailers(Hehe).Be a nice tool when you get them.Mick how was the conference in Albany? T.C.

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