car upside down and submerged, patient drowning...

RIT, Hazmat, Auto-Ex, High Angle and Ropes, Ice/ Water, Confined Spaces, Search & Rescue
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car upside down and submerged, patient drowning...

Postby fire_cracka » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:25 am

I recently did the third call of my career where we stood and watched a person drown when their car went into the water. What are your SOP's in these situations? Obviously scenario specific but generally.

I would have liked to see a winch cable attached to any portion of the vehicle and then dragged onto the shore. Its risky but if the firefighters can stay safe then the only risk is to the patient (and is justified). Just stay downstream so you dont get sucked into the vehicle and stay out of the path of the cable?

Is there anything out there to speed these calls up? I can honestly say that 2 of these three calls would have definitely saved a life if something could have been done quicker (they were still alive when fire and EMS were on scene)

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Postby PNEFD » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:34 am

Risk a lot to save a lot, and all that fun stuff...

If there is a way to secure the vehicle without excess risk to you or your crew, there's no reason not to try.

Like everything, it depends on resources and the situation... distance from the road or access point, position of the vehicle, actual access to the water (gradual slope, or shoreline to work from vs. steep hill or cliff), still water vs. swift moving water, a vehicle on scene capable of winching, etc...
Any opinions expressed are my own, and in no way reflect those of any agency, or person, other than myself.

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Postby fire_cracka » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:42 am

does anyone use a winch or use their rig to pull vehicles? we have had cops break winch cables in emergencies when fire isnt on scene yet. Its definitely not a favourite of mine to do (when im on ambulance)

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Vehicle in Water

Postby LTPVFD » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:25 am

Lots of things to consider here:

1. depth of water

2. contamination in water

3. distance from shore

4. skill of rescuers

5. level of risk to the rescuers

6. available equipment

Couple of things I would look at:

1. do you carry chains on the apparatus ?? are the chains long enough to reach the vehicle ?? can a rescuer safely attach the chains to the vehicle for the apparatus to pull the vehicle out ??

2. perhaps work out a dispatch protocol with your local towing companies so that they are automatically called out for a scenario such as this. By having the tow truck there right away, and some trained rescuers to access the vehicle and attach the tow cable to the vehicle precious time can be saved, and at the same time chances for patient survival are greatly increased.

What this may come down to is the willingness of your department, or the authority having jurisdiction, to allow your department to undertake this type of rescue work. I personally would hate to stand by and watch people die if I felt that I safely could make a rescue attempt.

Stay safe !!

Safety First - EVERYONE Goes Home !!

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Postby KootenayKid » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:18 am

Our rural SAR team had 3 similar calls this summer alone - cars in rivers and the timing was such that there was little liklihood of a positive outcome. One response was with a volunteer fire dept but all of us tasked with making decisions were hesitant. A couple years ago a SAR volunteer in BC died on a task while attaching cables to a vehicle in a river. It can be a very technical evolution and needs to be thought out with contingency plans in place for the responders. Even hooking a chain or cable may require properly trained swiftwater personnel. I`ve seen FF in turnout gear wading into water - its a risk benefit decision and the departments policies and training need to reflect what you hope to do.

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Postby fire_cracka » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:28 pm

update to thread...

I didnt know that a course for this existed (not submerged but still applicable). I have no affiliation with raven rescue, but thought Id put this here so if anyone ever searched in the future they could find this in this thread ... s-in-water

Rescue from Vehicles in Water
Specialized training.

The course explores the advanced swiftwater and technical rope rescue techniques necessary when responding to incidents involving vehicles in moving water. The curriculum includes vehicle behaviour, vehicle stabilization, and risk mitigation, as well as access techniques and casualty extrication. It features a secure in-water training vehicle in a controlled river environment for a realistic learning experience. Meets and exceeds NFPA 1670 and 1006 requirements as well as Canadian WCB and OHS standards.
This advanced course is specially-designed for those already certified to the Swiftwater Rescue Technician level (current certification required). It was developed by Rescue 3 International and offered for the first time in Canada in September 2012.

- See more at: ... vg7DI.dpuf

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