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Extrication "Quick Tip" #39 (Dash Butterfly)

It’s 4AM and your company is dispatched to an MVC with entrapment. You arrive and find one vehicle against a large tree with the passenger heavily trapped by the dash. Due to the damage, the vehicle cannot be moved from the tree and passenger side access is limited. In turn, we need a full side-to-side dash displacement from the driver’s side of the car. How are we going to do that?  The picture above is a great visual example of what I call a dash butterflying. The picture shows that to complete a full side-to-side dash displacement we will have to cut the dash strapping. In this picture, the strapping is still in place and the actual dash displacement could only be completed when lifted from the side requiring the extrication. Critical displacement is then wasted for the opposite side when the dash support bends and causes the dash to “butterfly”.  Many times a telescopic ram allows for hyperextension of the lifting side to allow for enough displacement on the opposing side. If you look back to Extrication “Quick Tip” #7 (Dash Strapping), it refers the “strapping” if you are unfamiliar. So the easiest way to get a side-to-side lift is 

  1. Complete deep A post sever
  2. Clear plastic in the lower dash/radio area
  3. Cut dash strapping
  4. Proceed to lift the dash (Many times a telescopic ram allows for hyperextension of the lifting side to allow for enough displacement on the opposing side)

The lift below was completed to show the "one sided" displacement when the strapping was left in place. The method doesn't have to always be used, however when access is limited on the side with a trapped patient, this move can save valuable time to free trapped patients.

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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