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Extrication "Quick Tip" #38 (ALT. STEERING WHEEL LIFT)

First off, look at this method as just another tool in your extrication tool box. I have found that this method comes in handy in limited access situations. Think of the steering wheel displacements you have been shown in the past…come-a-long to the front bumper, spreaders on the hood, high lift jack on the hood, etc. What do all of these methods have in common? They all use the front of the vehicle as a contact point to support the lift. What happens when you are confronted with a tractor trailer rear under-ride and don’t have access to the front of the vehicle? This method works extremely well because the only tools necessary are spreaders, chain, and a 48’’ 4x4.  Remember if the patient is heavily pinned by the dash, then a full dash displacement will obviously be the better option. Also remember that the lift is very easily accomplished due to the steering assembly being compressed trapping the patient. The photos shown are hyperextending the assembly to show the movement, however, in the real world it shouldn’t take much displacement to allow you to free the patient or de-ring the steering wheel if necessary. Shown below is another option where the A post is used for a directional pull. I have done this method hundreds and hundreds of time with no safety issues. So let’s look at the setup….

Place the 48’’ 4x4 over the steering wheel

Loop a section of chain around the steering wheel and back over the 4x4

Make the chain connection low so the hook won’t make contact with the 4x4

Leave enough room to allow the chain to sit on the spreader tip


As with any method I show, it is just an option. Train on it and see when and if it will work for you.

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 FDIC instructor, Fire Engineering Contributor, Fire Officer II, FL Paramedic, Special Operations Officer, Florida State Instructor, FLUSAR Tech, Diver, and FL Hazmat Tech.


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