Big Truck Extrication - Part 3: The Extrication
David Pease, Carolina Fire/Rescue/EMS Journal
Low pressure bags may also be an option. Your large towing and recovery services also have the capability to lift with their boom wreckers and some also carry large lift bags. Do not hesitate to utilize these resources.
I think one of the most important things to remember is that you have to think outside the box. You are taught a wide variety of techniques for extrication and you must decide how they will best work for you in a given situation. I had the Apex Fire Chief tell me awhile back that they responded to a vehicle verses truck collision where the truck came to rest down an embankment on top of the smaller vehicle. When they attempted to lift the delivery truck, they realized the tow hooks were caught in the smaller vehicle.
They used a near by track backhoe with a set of heavy lift chains, lifted the truck and cut away the hooks with a reciprocating saw. The Chief complimented the driver of the track hoe on an excellent job. Most of these operators could take the hat off your head with their equipment and never leave a scratch. I commend the department for thinking outside the box and getting the job done.
Big truck extrications usually do not happen as often as our smaller vehicle crashes do. We also have better access to smaller vehicles for training, so our training on big trucks is most of the time less substantial than our regular vehicle training. If possible, get in a large truck extrication class or try to schedule one for your department. Contact your local towing and recovery service and get familiar with their capabilities.
There is no substitute for good training. Always apply good stabilization techniques, and be careful of shifting loads and possible hazards that accompany large trucks. Do not be afraid to think outside the box. “We are only as good as we let ourselves be.” Until next time, “stay safe, train to your best, and remember knowledge can be a wonderful thing.”
Read the other parts of this column:
- Big Truck Extrication – Part 1: Anatamy 101
- Big Truck Extrication – Part 2: Assessment and Stabilization