This past weekend, Wabasca Fire Department held a vehicle extrication training session. We started the day off in the classroom, reviewing scene safety and some basic vehicle extrication techniques. We then moved onto practical training. We started with different techniques of stabilizing a vehicle. We made cribs, a chain basket, and used Rescue 42 struts.
This crib basket is not totally secure, as the slope in the trunk could cause the chain to slip.
Demonstration of the Rescue 42 struts
We then moved onto use of hand tools. We practiced breaking glass, puncturing tires, and cutting windshields out. We used a sawzall to cut apart a vehicle, showing we don’t necessarily have to use the larger, heavier tools to be able to perform an extrication.
The sawzall blade can get quite hot, spraying it with water helps cool it and any sparks down
We then got to my favourite part, using the cutters and spreaders. We worked on popping door hinges, cutting the various posts, removing roofs, pushing the dash, and removing trunk doors. Spreaders, or “The Jaws of Life”, have enough strength to pop door hinges and nader pins
Cutters are another useful tool
These are the same spreaders with different tips. We used these tips to perform a dash push, which is where the dash gets moved away from the patient to make more room to pull them out.
All in all it was a fun and educational day! Lots of folks popped in to see what we were doing.