Friday, June 14, 2013

After the MVA (motor vehicle accident)

Consider, for a moment, this nightmare scenario. You've been in a car accident. You're alive, but your car is mangled. You're pretty sure your body is too. Your leg is pinned under the dash, and you cannot move.

Someone calls 911 and the police and fire department arrive. But what then?

Rather than remove you from the car, I've learned, the fire department gets out their oversized can-openers and removes the car from you. They cut out the windows, slice up the roof, roll the front of the car forward, take off the doors -- whatever's needed to safely get you on a backboard and out of the vehicle.

Hubs and the guys he works with at our local fire district used last night's drill to practice their car dismantling and patient extrication skills. (I have to remind myself to call it "extrication" and not "extraction." The latter would save a syllable, but turn it into a job for a dentist or oral surgeon). The training officer had picked up some junkyard cars for this purpose. How many instructors have such an interesting shopping list? A month or two ago they burned several such cars to a crisp while practicing how to respond to a car fire.

Here's what one car looked like after they were done with the extrication drill. If it wasn't totalled before, it is now.



Vesta Duvall said...

It's not everyday that you see how rescuers would dismantle a car in order to take the victim out of it. I thank you for sharing this knowledge with us. Anyway, it's as you said, getting into a car accident is a nightmare. Just imagine how it could change your life forever. But however grave the accident might be, know that there are people around you who would help you recover and continue on with your life.

The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C.

Maggie Malone said...

It is definitely the safer route to take, provided that the person isn’t too close to the chassis they’re ripping out. As most people in those situations are badly hurt, moving them may cause additional injuries or aggravate their current ones. It’s great that they take the time to actually practice doing it properly. Do they use crash dummies to simulate the person, or do one of them get inside the vehicle?