The following are some vehicle wrecks my coworkers and I have encountered that make you go “Hmmmmm…..”.
“That’s not good.”
“How are we going to get this done?”
“How the hell did they manage that?”
“We are going to be pushing the limits of this person’s golden hour.”
“How are they even alive?”
This vehicle was a good 500 feet off the interstate, down an embankment, into the woods, in the middle of the night, while it is pouring down rain. See the reflecting stripes of turnout coats? Not really, I know, but they are in there.
It got called in as a trapped driver in a burning vehicle. Luckily for this kid a good samaritan pulled him out of his truck before he burned up. And of course he couldn’t walk out thanks to a very broken femur. But, he lived.
This extrication was several years ago when I was a Captain on an engine company. And this picture was taken AFTER the guy was in route to the hospital.
At some point in the middle of the night, this poor fella drove off the free way Dukes of Hazard style and landed upside down in a retaining pond. Of course this retaining pond was next to a deadend road that led to a manufacturing business area. So no one saw him until the next morning.
He was upside down just feet away from drowning. We have no idea how long because he was unconscious when we cut him out. I have no idea if he lived.
Then there was this guy. Not quite sure what he was thinking or if he even was. For some reason he took a sharp right turn where the was no right turn. Fortunately only a rock wall sustained some injury. The driver was able to climb down the ladder with no problem.
On a somber note, this extrication turned into a body recovery. For some reason this couple decided to take a short cut through the college campus. They chose to take the stairs… literally.
Unfortunately the bounce at the bottom flipped them and crushed the un-seatbelted driver. The passenger walked away unscathed.
And finally, one of the people who keeps us safe on the roads got hit while he was parked on the side of the interstate. The box truck that hit him landed on it’s side and the DOT truck went for a ride down into a ravine. It took a minute for people calling 911 to realized the DOT truck was the one who had someone trapped in it.
He was one of my buddies. Someone who I’ve worked with for 5 years. Someone who is always looking out for us. I am so thankful that he lived. Although his status for returning to work is unknown.
We never know what we are going to find when we pull up to any scene. Working on the fly and adapting and overcoming is imperative. I am fortunate to work with men and women who can do that.