1. #1
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    rmoore's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Plano, Texas

    Default The "Controlled Rollover" Technique?

    Oh Boy! Hang on for this one!! What do you think? Let's hear your comments. NASCAR rescuers... you have to do this on the track now, I know. But what about Real-World?

    Here's the question:

    I have a question about a technique that the chief of our local EMS squad wanted to do and wants to do in the future at crashes with extrication rollovers vehicle on the side etc. He calls it a controlled rollover where persons actually put a car on its side back on its wheels with a patient in the vehicle.

    Our local county fire academy teaches awareness, operations , technician and a 2 or 3 specialty classes(trucks buses etc). The "Contolled Rollover" was not taught or mentioned in any class. The fire department is now doing extrication all the extrication because ems is lacking the manpower to staff ambulances and their rescue truck. I personally have not heard of this and have never seen it done.

    Some of his the EMS Squad members have said that this technique is something that they have never heard of and that the EMS chief has dreamed it up on his own.

    My questions are, does this technique exist ? if so what manual is it in?

    Should it actually be done with a patient in a vehicle? What ever happened to victim stabilization. I am trying to find an answer so that we can nip this thing in the butt before a responder or a patient is hurt or worse, killed.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  2. #2
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    Apr 2002
    Central Mississippi


    The only time I have ever seen it is (1) NASCAR and (2) heavy truck/ big rig uprighting. It is not something I would ever want to do. Definetly a last resort option.


    I can't find a better pic but you take a cable and run it to the far side of the vehicle and when it rolls back over, that cable catches it and slowly lowers the vehicle down so it will not freefall and slam to the ground, as you are rolling the vehicle away from you.

    check out the Recovery Techniques section on www.tow411.net

    Last edited by One2tameflame; 07-05-2007 at 08:24 AM.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2005


    FYI Ron,

    This subject has been under discussion for over a week. Do you read to forum?
    Why start a something new???


    Controlled Roll ?????


    Looking for some help. I'm sure I already know the answer but my chief gave me the assignment to put this question out on the forum. Has anyone ever heard of a " controlled roll" during extrication ? What I am talking about is a vehicle on its side with patient in it and rescuers putting the vehicle back on all 4 tires by "controlled rolling" of the vehicle using just brute manpower. Here is the background behind this question. My FD took over extrication about 1 year ago from the local ambulance squad, at a recent MVA call the EMS chief wanted us to do a "controlled roll" , we refused. Later he was present at one of our extrication drills and he tried to convince us again that this was ok to do ! Problem is he has been in the EMS business for 20+ years and teaches at our county academy. Before we have a sit down to settle this once and for all I was asked to put this question out to the forum. We are also checking with all the standard extrication textbooks for info.

  4. #4
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    nmfire's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Maryland (DC Suburb)


    First let state my definition of a 'controlled roll' as it pertains to extrication: Putting the car back on it's wheels (or what is left of them anyway) in a slow, gentle manner that does not excessively jolt the passenger cabin or people therein and does not place the rescuers inside or outside the car at undo risk.

    A bunch of firefighters pushing and pulling at a car that is on it's side can not and will not accomplish that. There is nothing controlled about standing under a 3000lb car and trying to lower it down onto its wheels. Between the weight and the possibility of it kicking out on the other side, this is just a really really really bad idea.

    The only way this is going to be CONTROLLED is with the appropriate heavy equipment that comes with a wrecker. And even then, an extrication can be safely completed in a vehicle that is on its side long before a wrecker even shows up, let alone gets positioned and rigged to right the vehicle. The exception being if the car is wedged in something that prevents access, in which case it no longer has anything to with "controlled rolls"
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2006
    Someplace you're not :)

  6. #6
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    Jun 2001
    Bridgton,Me USA


    NM,as I brought to your attention in the other thread,in this case you are WRONG.This can be done,BY HAND,with the proper rigging.The by hand indicates NOT UNDER POWER:IE not a tow truck winch or the like,not physically manhandling the vehicle.In reference to Ron's comment on legality or practicality my response is it probably would NOT be allowed in some jurisdictions but may very well be in others.Here,if it will increase patient survivability or SAFELY shorten extrication time,it would be allowed.Like ANY evolution it has to be practiced to be effective.As I said somewhere along the line,it's not for everyone but it DOES work,it is viable,and CAN safely save you some time if you practice the technique. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-05-2007 at 01:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    mdcook's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Finger Lakes Region, NY

    Post Contolled Rollover on the street, NOT

    Having trained at the nearby International Speedway in the "NASCAR Roll", I have recommended that this procedure NOT be done on the street. Since using the two cables of a tow truck to do the rolling requires a skilled and trained operator to do this with out causing lots of problems and you don't always get the same tow company at every MVA like we do on the track.
    Also, I have never seen a normal POV have a drivers seat even close in construction to what the NASCAR drivers sit in, therefore, I think that rolling a car on to it's wheel with a patient inside on the street should be one of the last options in our bag of tricks. There are just too many things that can go wrong involving both ours and the patients safety.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

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