1. #1
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    rmoore's Avatar
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    Default Water Extrication PPE??

    Interesting question from an Indiana firefighter that I thought I'd throw out for all to think about.

    Question:
    "We respond to cars into the water from time to time. Some are submerged; some are partially submerged. On cars that are partially submerged and require extrication of the patient, where do the rules of PPE begin when dealing with water? We are told not to wear our turnout gear in water but yet we need the protection when working with tools. We have cold water suits. I would love to drill on this type of event with our rescuers. Any ideas?"

    My Reply:
    My gut feeling is that water rescue protocols would take priority over extrication PPE concerns. The way I look at it, you can't open a jammed door if you've sunk to the bottom.

    I'd go with PFDs and doff the structural turnout gear. Water rescue helmets would be accepatble for extrication in this case. Gloves and safety glasses would also be necessary and not much different that that used at dry rescue scenes.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    We have a fast moving river running right through our little village, and river related incidents are commonplace for us. We have a clear SOG for these (they are treated as a water rescue first), but as we have yet to need vehicle dissassembly on one of these incidents you bring up a good point that will certainly become an issue at some point in the future.

    Normally, anyone working within the 15ft "Trip Zone" of the bank is in a PDF without turnouts. If they are entering the water, they are in full swiftwater gear (dry/wet suits, helmets with glasses/goggles, etc.). We do not have any extrication gloves, so the guys just wear the neoprene thermal gloves from the SW kit or standard FF'ing gloves.

    We don't have full extrication equipment on our dept. Serious extrication out here is done by a neighbouring dept. We have yet to have to use that local extrication team in a water related accident, but since they don't have any swiftwater training, I doubt we would let them work the vehicle. Out SRT's would have to do what they could with the limited equipment that they have been trained on.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Arrow Don't Miss this Opportunity

    TeamXtreme/BIG RIG RESCUE is planning to offer a water based vehicle extrication program later this year. No dates or location have been set just yet, however details will be forthcoming. It will involve safe and effective approachs to the topic of vehicles in water and extrication with hands-on! If you're interested, send me a direct email to indicate your interest, resqman@asheboro.com

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    Here is an article that deals with vehicle extrication while in the water. I thought I would pass it along for those intrested.

    http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Artic...ION_NUM=1&p=25

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    You have to handle it like a water call with an extrication. PPE is vital, a partly submerged auto will be leaking oil and gas not to mention most water at liest has biological hazards. (Most often the car ends up in a drain ditch or retention pond)
    You may have to use some flotation on the tool to help you in the water. SCUBA would be needed also if the car is more then a few feet in the water. As for using the tool, all hydraulic tools will work in/under the water. They will have to be professionally broken down after to prevent corrosion. Technique is also important as the tool can't be muscled under water. The tool will go where it wants and you won't be able to stop it. Use a spring loaded center punch or pry against the glass with a tool. If under the water you can't break the glass by hitting it.

    Practice, and set up the equipment prior to that call.
    In many areas of the country the Police do the diving. Drill with them and teach them how to work with us, again before the call.

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    Also no wetsuit, no swim trunks with a tee shirt. Use a dry suit. Viking or Hunter it can't be a neoprene dry suit or you will be throwing it out after the call.

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