Hopefully if you are into vehicle extrication, you study vehicle anatomy enough to understand the mechanics behind each procedure you do. Why does a dash lift when you vertically spread the A post? Why on heavy damage/intrusions does the “A-Plan” dash lift not consistently work? As I have said before, just knowing the steps to perform an extrication plan are not enough. What if said you could complete a dash displacement without any relief cuts and leaving the front door still on? How many steps would that alleviate from your plan?
About 11 years ago we ran a semi under-ride in which the A plan dash lift didn’t work (See picture 1). We did everything right, however when we went to lift the dash it went down instead of up. Nothing made sense….we did it just how we were taught. We were never told that basis of a successful dash lift is making sure that the dash support/beam was still connected to the A posts. In our response area, it is not uncommon to see the dash support separate from the A posts. There is a huge difference between the perfect junkyard scenario and realistic damage and intrusion. This is what makes “street” experienced instructors such a hot commodity. Anyone can show how a method works in a junkyard, the challenging part is pulling from experience to provide the needed options when damage and circumstances won’t allow your “plans” to work. Many great things came from that call, one of them being the NO-RELIEF DASH LIFT. I can’t count how many times we have used this lift on calls and in the yard, all I can say is we have been using this lift for some time and it works incredibly well especially on under-rides and inverted vehicles where there is limited to no A post movement available.
Step 1-Clear the rubber and trim from the lower A post.
Step 2-Place step chock under area to spread (at angle of spreader arm).
Step 3-Angle spreaders in a nose forward approach to have flat contact on the dash support.
Step 4-Make sure the lower spreader tip is on the rocker (not floor pan).
Step 5-Run spreader tip up leaving about an inch or two between tip/arm and inner A post area (this allows you to hit the dash support away from the bolts and attachment point).
Step 6-Contact the dash support and lift.
Step 7-If you hyperextend the dash slightly the tool can be removed and dash will remain up and away.
A couple shifts back my squad responded to a vehicle vs. a tree containing a heavily trapped patient. Engine was pushed into the occupant space; patient was critical and heavy entrapment (with impalement) was an understatement. The patient was extricated in under 10 minutes from arrival, using a No-Relief Dash Lift. So, before you comment that this method won’t work…save your breath.
ISAAC FRAZIER is a Special Operations Captain 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 lead HOT instructor, FDIC lecturer, Fire Engineering Contributor, Fire Officer II, FL Paramedic, Special Operations Officer, Florida State Instructor, FLUSAR Tech, Diver, and FL Hazmat Tech. www.TrainTacticalAdvantage.com