While riding the Squad yesterday, I worked an extrication involving a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser that was struck from behind on I95. The trooper was investigating a MVC that we responded to and cleared about an hour prior. After thinking about the circumstances, I thought there's no better time to cover an important part of roadway safety. It's no secret that the nations roadways are incredibly dangerous places for rescuers to operate. Let me repeat that...THE NATIONS ROADWAYS ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS PLACES FOR RESCUERS TO OPERATE. Whether it's modern distractions/impairments that face drivers, or the lack of attention to "move over laws", the conditions we face on the roadway are far from routine. On various calls ranging from extrications to vehicle fires, parking to protect the scene is as important as it gets. As shown in the picture above, the Squad is taking a lane to protect the scene.
However, this weeks "Quick Tip" is to emphasize the importance of the "Critical Wheel Angle" (Shown above with green arrows) . The Critical Wheel Angle (wheels out approach) consists of turning the wheels away from the working area so a secondary collision will not push the apparatus into the scene. Seems easy doesn't it? Whether I'm on Squad 4 or teaching Tactical Extrication, I always stress the importance of protecting the scene while taking a "wheels out approach". The roadways are dangerous enough, let's do what we can to make the scene safer for our patients and emergency personnel.
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. www.TrainTacticalAdvantage.com