Thread: Semi accident

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    Default Semi accident

    We had a semi accident on a two lane highway this weekend. He was traveling north when we are thinking a combination of wind and wet roads caused him to lose control, the axles on the trailer were left on the road, but the rig and trailer spun 180 degrees into a ditch and ended up on its drivers side. Initial and onscene reports were that his legs were pinned, upon arrival the cab was well intact. And his legs were not pinned, he just could not move, so we decided to take the windshield first and work from there. I took an axe and cut about six inches on the bottom of the windshield and then we grabbed the seal and pulled the seal out which in turn popped the windshield out. does anyone else do this, or has any one heard of this. Does this technique work on cars as well? we typically just take an axe and cut around the windshield and take it our that way.
    Pulling the seal like that worked really well, considering we couldnt cover him up to protect him from flying glass. any other tips on truck extrication would be great, also, semi's have airbags correct?? what do i need to watch for with those in semi's. thanks for all your help.

    Ryan

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    Over my years I have the opportunity to remove the windshields (front and back) with an axe on automobiles, however never on a semi or large vehicle. I just take an axe and remove the molding around the windshield and then pull out the entire windshield. The advantage as you said is to limit the amount of flying glass. Another advantage is that you can do this where hazardous conditions might prevent other methods.

    One major disadvantage is that it can take a little bit of time. This is does help if EMS is calling for a rapid take down.

    If it works for you and your department, keep doing it. I was recently on a major wreck on the PA Turnpike that had a driver trapped in a semi for more that 7 hours. The problem with all new vehicles (including big trucks) is that everything is plastic and fiberglass. You will basically have to cut and then step back to see where things go. Also, remember your hydraulic tools are not always the best tools. Do not be afraid to use sawzalls and come-alongs. Again it depends to how bad the wreck is. (If you want to see pictures go to www.csfc33.com)

    Be safe

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    My department ran a bad semi wreck a couple of weeks ago. Didn't have to worry about the windshield as the cab was smashed by about 35 tons of flat steel. Took the brothers over an hour to extricate the driver. He was flown out and is still hospitalized but is expected to live.

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    In the great majority of heavy trucks the windshields are mounted within a rubber gasket seal. Generally they are easy to remove with minimal effort. Also, you will find the same mounting method is buses, school, transit, and coach.

    Removing the winshield from the gasket provides a neat edge, void of shap glass fragments.
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    In my opinion 7 hrs is an excessive time span to be working on a single element.If my crews were not making SUBSTANTIAL progress in a 15 min window on any incident particularly a TT I would be calling for additional resources.Not being from your area,I'm not passing judgement just offering another view.Up here I have a substantial wealth of talent and equipment to draw from,so I may have higher expectations on a problem.But the object of ANY extrication is to deliver your patient to a medical care facility(surgeon)within 60 min. Can we always do this?No,but it is the "standard"to which we must always strive to achieve.I'm happy to read that you find hyd tools are not the sole answer in vehicle rescue,this is so true and other resources can be brought into play.Some may be closer than you think.Outside training on the concepts and practices is available at nominal cost,I strongly urge anyone who has traffic passing thru their response area to take advantage of EVERY training opportunity that you can.Get together with other Depts in your area,sponsor a BRR course,walk away with a whole new understanding of "Yes,I can"...
    Last edited by Rescue101; 03-14-2004 at 08:24 AM.

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    I agree with you that 7 hours was very excessive, but due to nature of the wreck (14 vehicles with multiple extrications and fire) it just took that long to get to the driver and his passenger out of the TT. We actually had plenty of manpower plus a surgeon who got caught in the back log. They did in fact bring a trauma team from a local hospital. To see pictures go to our website www.CSFC33.com. The pictures on the site can give you a better idea of what we dealt with that night. We all used rescue struts and airbags to assist with the extrication.

    Any way, not to get into a argument, I agree your point of view of how the evolution should be kept within "the golden hour" while there are always incidents that take longer (unfortunately). My company strives to maintain this "standards." Usually we have our extrications complete within 15 to 30 minutes of arrival. In my opinion, to rely on just hyd. tools, is a disaster waiting to happen. I have always tried to think out of the box when doing extrications even in drill. I appreciate the idea of the training course. I will bring it back to my officers and go from there.

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    Umm ya, after looking at the pictures I'd venture a guess that it would take most departments longer than the "golden hour" to get this accident squared away

    I hope that we never have to deal with something like that.

    Good job though

    Shane

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    I did preview the pics previous to my post,and I certainly don't envy the position that "cluster"put your dept. in.And again I'm not trying to find fault,having driven many miles thru that area of PA I know the caliber of the crews that work there.What I was trying to suggest appears to have already taken root;What could we have done better? Multi vehicle MVAs are ALWAYS challenging,particularly when multiple TTs are involved.These incidents will test your personnel and resources.The fact that it took 7 hrs to extricate the driver indicates a couple things;one you had an incident of unusual proportions and two perhaps you didn't have all the resources you needed.Again,as it wasn't in my district,of the two I know one.You had an unusually large incident.But I'll have to wonder on the other unless you guys care to enlighten me.Personally,it would appear that a heavy tow truck or two might have been helpful but I can't break the pictures down enough to see where the beginning/end of this pile of iron is.In my neck of the woods I'd be calling early and often,that looks like a 6-10 town job to me.Fortunately it's my assumption that the driver wasn't a critical patient and you were able to take the time to get the job done.It's difficult to work when you have that much metal piled up in one place.T.C.

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    I apologize for misreading your previous post. At the incident critique we discovered that there was a miscommunication between the turnpike commission, EOC, and members on seen as to acquiring a crane. Apparently, at one point both the turnpike and the EOC were contacted to obtain the crane. It then became the situation 'well, I thought they were going to do it" The crane was cancelled. It was thought that 2 cranes were requested, but talking there was actually only 1 crane(they were talking about the same one.) The crane was cancelled, In the early morning, it was discovered that the crane was sitting at the interchange. Eventually, 2 large heavy wreckers arrived and they moved the carnage. It was not made aware to us that the wreckers were available so soon. In retrospect, it would have been better to have them their sooner. Also, we are now looking into rescue struts for our own company since these really helped shoring the TT. Ideas were discussed about deflating the tires in the TT or lifting the dump truck.

    All told, there were 14 fire companies, 20 ambulances, and 7 helicopters (all on stand-by, but none flew due to the weather). The unfortunate thing is that the driver died shortly after extrication in the back of an ambulance. All of the weight was on his lower extremities and had multiple fractures in his legs.

    Your ideas have been extremely helpful and I will remember them when it comes to any future unusual incidents. Also, from this incident, we determined that we actually need a large heavy rescue over a large squad (rescue/pumper)

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    Like Bigrig said, most trucks have windshields that are easy to remove, just pull out the small rubber strip in the center of the rubber gasket and then pop the WS out.less than a minute to remove and not as messy as cutting the WS.
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    33,I wish you the best of luck in your quest.As far as stabilizing units,while struts work well,never discount the use of tow trucks for stabilization.In over thirty five years of vehicle rescue I never did a job that REQUIRED a crane.The ones law enforcement thought needed one were easily handled by tow trucks.Even relatively long reaches can be done with the cable and a snatch block in the form of a breechers buoy.I'm sorry to hear about the driver but without your efforts he would have had no chance.Communications seems to be the area where big incidents seem to sag and this has been proven across the country.A critique works well to improve performance and it sounds as if you guys found some cures for the next one. Good luck,T.C.

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    I agree with 101, most accidents of this nature can be effectively dealt with using hvy. recovery trucks with experienced operators. Of primary importance is developing that type of resource PRIOR to an incident. Learn what the operator and his eqt. can do, and cannot do. Also, further refine your talents by learning more of what YOU can, and cannot do relating to big rig incidents. Simply, "know when to say when".
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