IN EXTRICATION, NEVER SAY NEVER
This morning while working on the 50th installment of the "Quick Tip" series, I must say that I am impressed by the changes vehicle extrication has encountered over the years. On the street, new methods are being tested and put through the paces by firefighters daily. The vehicles, equipment, methods and even the patients injuries are constantly changing. In all reality the only consistency in this career is change, so get used to it.
While teaching I often run into the student that says “I was told never to do that”. However, when asked why they were very seldom told. Never is word that you won’t hear me say in Vehicle Extrication. Each scene is different than the last with a whole array of hazards and conditions. One of the most common NEVERS I hear nationally is in relation to vehicle movement. I will cover that in more detail in an upcoming article that covers the movement of vehicles to facilitate extrication. However, for now just ask yourself, are the skills and techniques your department currently uses constantly evaluated for efficiency? You must remember, someone attempting something new and different at that time discovered most of the techniques used today.For approximately seven years, our squad companies had a unique opportunity to evaluate and hone our methods of extrication. With our departments support, a local junkyard provided us with a location and a handful of high-end cars every week in support our goal. Every Wednesday we would spend hours on end trying new techniques and evaluating current methods all while gaining invaluable knowledge. One of the major benefits of this training was the degree of damage and difficulty encountered with many of the cars. Cutting non compromised vehicles holds little relation to the real world extrication scene. The combination of heavily damaged vehicles and high strength steels made this training as close to real world as imaginable. During this time, we reevaluated all of our techniques as they relate to vehicle extrication. We tested everything, and got away from the NEVERS and ALWAYS.
I urge you to try different techniques and see what works best for YOUR DEPARTMENT. Techniques my company uses on Interstate 95 may not be fitting for your particular area.
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