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Vehicle in a Trench

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Vehicle in a Trench

boston public library-vehicle-in-a-trenchNever assume that trench rescue will only be a worker.  Trenches are often dug along roadways and vehicle traffic often drives by unimpeded.  Below are a few pictures from a training scenario that involved an occupant trapped in their vehicle in a trench.

trench-rescue-vehicle-extrication-safety

On the Paratech AcmeThread Struts below, notice the Velcro on the collar.  This is a tip that is taught by Ron Zawlocki from the MUSAR Training Foundation.  Learn more about this tip here: Velcro on Trench Strutstrench-rescue-vehicle-extrication-paratech

 

 

Mike Smith, Absolute Rescue's Editor in Chief, is a veteran of the fire/rescue service in Michigan, who also works in the automotive industry as a designer. Have an idea of suggestion for the site? Contact Mike here

Training

Grain Bin Dangers

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Grain Bin Dangers

Farming is full speed ahead as most of the country is firmly into spring time. Many farmers are cleaning out grain silos and bins or sending stored grain to market. The graphic in the below post illustrates four different grain bin dangers.

  • A. Never enter a storage bin while unloading grain because flowing grain can pull you in and bury you within seconds
  • B. Grain kernels may stick together, forming a crust or bridge that isn’t strong enough to support a person’s weight after the grain below it is removed;
  • C. Don’t try to break a grain bridge or blockage loose from inside the bin;
  • D. Try to break up a vertical wall of grain from the top of the bin, not the bottom, because the grain can collapse and bury you.

Grain Bin Rescue

For more information, check out NDSU publication “Caught in the Grain.

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Training

‘Reading’ the Seatbelt Pretensioner

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Vehicle rescue instructors should remind participants in your training classes, especially if they are EMS-oriented responders, about how they can ‘read’ a seatbelt pretensioner system and may be able to get a sort of second opinion about whether their patient was or was not wearing their seatbelt.

Our scenario is that the frontal airbags have deployed. An airbag spiderweb is evident on the passenger’s side of the windshield. As you get closer, we see no spider web on the windshield on the driver’s side; this is a good thing.

Now how can we ‘read’ the seatbelt pretensioner system to see who was or was not wearing their seatbelt? There is some evidence the pretensioner system may reveal that can help us verify what we find when we make patient contact.

A common design of seatbelt pretensioner is integrated into the take-up spool of the seatbelt recoiler.  With the trim removed, we can clearly see the actual pretensioner unit of this specific vehicle at the recoiler mounted to the base of this B-pillar.  Also note the familiar yellow color wiring sheath that is the most common color used by automakers to identify airbag and pretensioner wiring circuits.

As we look at the empty driver’s seat in our scenario, we can confirm that the driver occupant of this vehicle was wearing their seatbelt when the crash occurred. Why do we know this and how can the pretensioner system tell us?

Pretensioners mounted to the recoiler unit typically lock the recoiler so it will not retract after the pretensioner deploys. The slack in the belt as shown here, once it is unbuckled, is your clue that it deployed while being worn by the occupant. It will not retract due to the take-up recoiler locking so it had all kinds of slack in it when the driver took it off.

On the passenger side however, since this seatbelt was not bucked at the moment of the crash, you would see that it is now drawn tight along the inside of the B-pillar. Either no occupant was here or if there was a passenger, this occupant was unbelted at the time of the collision.

‘Reading’ a seatbelt pretensioner system might just be a good “second opinion” for you to note when you are assessing mechanism of injury for your patients.  My experience has been that the intoxicated patients tell you they were always wearing their seatbelt.  With pretensioners, you’ve got something else to help you assess if they are telling you the truth or stretching their law-abiding status a bit.

Courtesy of Rob Moore from University of Extrication

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Heavy Rescue

18-wheeler falls off overpass crushes car below

Often many extrication instructors setup some outside of the normal training scenarios where the students usually comment “that would never happen”.  One of those happened in Texas. A tractor and trailer fell off overpass in Sugar Land, Texas and crushed the car below. The driver of the car was able to climb out of her vehicle with a little help from some bystanders.

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Outside the Box

Often many extrication instructors setup some outside of the normal training scenarios where the students usually comment “that would never happen”.  One of those happened in Texas. A tractor and trailer fell off overpass in Sugar Land, Texas and crushed the car below. The driver of the car was able to climb out of her vehicle with a little help from some bystanders.

From a training perspective, what would be your plan if the vehicle had occupants trapped? Do you know what heavy wrecker resources are available in your response area? Do you have the equipment to stabilize, lift, and/or remove the vehicle from under the trailer?  Take some time to run a scenario thru your mind about what you would do.

 

 

Twitter exploded with rubberneckers posting pictures.

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