Date: May 26, 2015 Author: Brandon Winters

Factors That Influence Vehicle Extrication Techniques
Photo: Hendrike

Firefighters use vehicle extrication techniques to remove crash victims from wrecked automobiles in an expedient manner. In order to do this, firefighters must know which type of extrication techniques and extrication tools to use for the situation at hand.

In many cases, deciding which extrication techniques and tools to use is based on at least five factors: the position of the vehicle, the make of the vehicle, its number of occupants, the condition of occupants and the presence of hazardous material at the crash site.

Position of the Vehicle

The position of a crashed vehicle has a major impact on how its occupants are removed. For example, if an automobile rests on its roof, it would be impractical and dangerous to attempt to remove occupants by cutting away the roof. By the same token, if the automobile is in an upright position, extricating occupants by cutting away the roof could be the best approach.

Make of the Vehicle
Photo: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Make of the Vehicle

The make of a vehicle also has a major impact on how crash victims are extracted. For example, there can be a big difference between removing crash victims from a passenger bus and extricating them from a compact car. Not only are different tools likely to be used in each situation, but the primary point of extrication may be different as well.

Number of Occupants

The number of occupants in a vehicle also has a bearing on which vehicle extrication techniques are applied. If a passenger vehicle is filled to capacity, firefighters must choose a point of extraction and extraction tools that will not jeopardize the condition of the occupants. In most situations, it is easier to remove a single passenger than it is to remove multiple passengers.

Condition of Occupants

The condition of a wrecked vehicle’s occupants determines how quickly extraction must be performed and which tools are used to perform it. When occupants are alive and in need of medical attention, the extrication procedure must be performed as quickly as possible. When occupants are fatalities, the timeframe within which they are removed may be less pressing.

Presence of Hazardous Material

Some vehicle crash scenes contain hazardous materials, the threat of which should ideally be evaluated by a firefighter that is trained for HAZMAT operations. When hazardous material is present, the primary goals of extrication are to remove crash victims without exposing them to the material, and to prevent the material from harming them while they are still in the vehicle.

Need to Learn About Vehicle Extrication?
Photo: ŠJů

Need to Learn About Vehicle Extrication?

Each year, U.S. firefighters perform thousands of vehicle extrication procedures to remove crash victims from wrecked automobiles. If you need to add vehicle extrication to your resume of firefighting and rescue skills, watch vehicle extrication expert David Dalrymple’s Fire Extrication DVD Series.

Each DVD covers essential techniques for vehicle extrication and rescue, including how to use the right extrication tools in the right situations. To increase your knowledge of emergency vehicle extrication techniques, order this information-packed series of DVDs from Firebooks today!

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