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Lifting and Stabilizing: Vehicles on Their Sides

Lifting and Stabilizing: Vehicles on Their Sides

Photo: David Pease

David Pease, Carolina Fire/Rescue/EMS Journal

I have been in Rescue for over 32 years and have taught for over 25 of those. I attended church this past Sunday, which I try to do when I’m not teaching, and came across something in our bulletin that I wanted to pass along to everyone. We were honoring our past and present teachers in the church, and I found these sayings to be quite heartening as well as applying well to the instructing that we do.

“What is a teacher if not a mirror in which we may receive the divine image into the soul? Who is a teacher, if not a sower of seed and a cultivator of young gardens? What is a teacher if not a shaper of souls and a guide who gently shows the right path for the journey? Who is a teacher, if not the most hopeful of all dreamers, who plants and nurtures and sees the bright destiny and harvest of the work, even when the students cannot?

What is a teacher if not a shepherd watching over the flock and leading it to abundant pastures? I wanted to pass this along for all of you Instructors to think about, as there is much truth in this. This was from the bulletin of the First Presbyterian Church of Garner.

We have talked about basic stabilization, the forces and movements we are trying to prevent, different types of stabilization materials and now the use of the buttress system. Always aim for four points of contact to the ground or other stable means when stabilizing a vehicle. Also, remember that a vehicle on its side has a much higher center of gravity than one resting on its wheels or its roof.

Here the buttress system works well, as it becomes much easier to control those higher gravitational forces. For the purpose of this article, we will refer to our stabilization members as struts. We want to place these at least ¾ of the way up on the vehicle. Example would be; a vehicle on its side (see photo) would need to have the struts on the undercarriage placed near the upper uni-body frame.

This would be close to the bottom of the rocker channel. The angle to shoot for is between 50 to 70 degrees. A good rule of thumb is if it were a ladder, would you climb it? If the angle is to steep or too exaggerated the weight will not load correctly on the strut.


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