North Carolina Crews Respond to Car Accident

On August 23, at 9:54 p.m. a car accident with injuries was reported on Carrolls Road, in Warsaw, NC. This accident was a single vehicle accident, with the vehicle striking a tree. The accident was reported to have 3 victims, 2 of which were reportedly pinned inside the vehicle. Warsaw Fire Department, Magnolia Fire Department, and Duplin County EMS were initially dispatched. On arrival, the units from Warsaw Fire Department and Duplin County EMS found the vehicle to be overturned, against a tree, with the driver and front seat passenger pinned inside, between the tree, the dash, and the floor. The third patient, a rear-seat passenger, had extricated herself and was quickly transported to Duplin General Hospital.

Air Ambulance from AirCare and Eastcare were dispatched to transport the other victims directly to the trauma center at Pitt Memorial Hospital. Focus was immediately turned towards the two persons pinned inside the car. Both victims were conscious, and quickly cared for by Duplin County EMS paramedics, after the vehicle was stabilized by Warsaw Fire Department. Warsaw and Magnolia Fire Departments set up a landing zone in an adjacent field, while the extrication began. The vehicle had literally wrapped itself around the large pine tree, pinning both patients from the waist down. Due to the position of the car and the damage to the vehicle, neither patient's pelvis or lower extremities were accessible or even visible. Warsaw Fire Department personnel quickly stabilized the vehicle and made the decision to remove the floor board, as the only safe access to the patients. Taylors Bridge Fire Department, from the neighboring county, was contacted to provide additional heavy rescue equipment and personnel due to what was determined to be a complicated and extended extrication.

The floor was removed using pneumatic tools, hand tools, hydraulic tools, and electric reciprocating saws to cut through the different structures and safely free the patients. Due to the position of the patients, only one patient could be removed at a time, further complicating and delaying the extrication. The extrication was completed for both patients in 64 minutes from the time of the first arriving unit. During the extrication, advanced life support was provided to the patients, and both patients were immediately transported to the trauma center after their extrication. All patients are still being treated, but listed in stable condition.

Brian Pearce, Emergency Services Director for Duplin County, praised the rescue effort saying "All emergency personnel showed great cooperation, working as a team to provide excellent care and rescue for the patients. During the extended extrication, no injuries were sustained by rescuers, and no equipment was damaged. The quick response and alternative extrication methods used by these volunteer fire departments, coupled with the advanced life support, helped to save these patients lives during a very dangerous and difficult situation".

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