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Big Tree VFC - Hazardous Materials Extrication

The possibility of having to extricate a patient from a vehicle involved in a crash can be challenging. Add to this a toxic chemical release or fire, and it's downright difficult. To better prepare for this eventuality, Big Tree firefighters performed an extrication evolution that required rescuers to wear SCBA throughout the entire extrication process. A drill conducted on Monday January 28, 2002 simulated a rolled over vehicle and a release of Gallium, a non-explosive but toxic chemical. Upon arrival at the crash scene, rescuers sized-up the scene and quickly determined the hazards present. They then made a decision to extricate the patient using standard techniques while breathing air from their SCBA. Even with a complicated scenario like this, it took the crew only 21 minutes to perform the extrication. Firefighters noted that the presence of SCBA hindered communications, increased work effort and body temperature and limited mobility. Additionally, as air supplies ran low, fresh crews needed to be rotated into the "hot zone". Finally, it's important to note that an event such as this requires the deployment of a hazardous materials team and decontamination of firefighters.
Assistant Chief Jeff Roth consults the "Emergency Response Guidebook" for information on the hazardous material released.
 
Accountability Officer Carol Covert tracks firefighters as the enter and exit the "hot zone".
The inverted vehicle is first stabilized. Box cribbing is placed under the rear of the vehicle to provide stabilization.
 
Extrication technicians work in SCBA and turnout gear to remove the door from the vehicle.
Rescue workers remove the simulated patient from the vehicle. Due to the position of the patient in the vehicle it was necessary to remove the patient on his anterior side and subsequently log roll the patient onto his back.
 
Rescue workers quickly immobilize the patient before moving him out of the "hot zone".
Paramedics and EMTs load the patient into a waiting ambulance.
 
 
 
2017 Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company
Hamburg, NY

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