On many extended extrications access to the patient is obviously very limited. One often-overlooked method is using the seatback to facilitate much needed access to the patient. This technique is completed via the seat controls-electric/manual or by cutting the seatback frame. If the seat controls are electric, attempt to complete needed movement prior to controlling the vehicles power. If cutting is the only option, protect the patients back with hard protection and watch the cutters very closely in relation to the patient. We have found that it is easiest to cut a couple of inches above the seat frame "joint". Watch for cutter torque! This is one cut point that is the demise of many cutter blades.
This is a common and successful method for my department. It's also a go to "move" for semi under-rides due to the limited access and longer extrication times. This method opens up occupant space and allows for cervical stabilization, IV access, advanced airway procedures, and allows lifesaving treatment to trapped patient. The quicker we can gain access to the trapped patient for medical treatment while crews are extricating, the better.
ISAAC FRAZIER is a Special Operations Lieutenant with St. Johns County Florida’s Heavy Rescue “Squad 4”. First due to the deadliest stretch of roadway in the nation, Frazier teaches from personal street experience providing tried and true tactics. Frazier is the owner of Tactical Advantage Training and creator of the course Tactical Extrication. Frazier travels nationally sharing his passion teaching fire and extrication courses. Frazier is a Fire Officer II, FL Paramedic, Special Operations Officer, Florida State Instructor, FLUSAR Tech, Diver, and FL Hazmat Tech. www.TrainTacticalAdvantage.com