Advanced Vehicle Extrication
With ever-changing technology in motor vehicles, it is critical that fire departments stay abreast of current trends in the auto industry. Challenges posed by electric plug-in type vehicles and extrication involving vehicles with advanced steels require special equipment and training to overcome. Adding to the challenge is another rising trend of distracted driving. U.S. drivers are more distracted than ever. According to the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey on Driver Electronics Use, at any given daylight moment in 2011, an estimated 660,000 drivers were using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving (http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/).
In recent years, the Marietta Fire Department has ramped up its effort to equip and train its crews in advanced extrication techniques. We regularly train on vehicles on their roof or side, school bus accidents with victim entrapment, overturned cement trucks and semi-tractor trailers, as well as many other high impact motor vehicle crashes. A number of personnel have attended regional extrication schools and have returned to share their knowledge of lifting operations, large truck tactics, and other unique extrication situations.
Marietta Firefighters train with recovery crews from Marietta Wrecker since they often work together on emergency scenes.
MFD Instructors set up a scenario for a training.
Firefighters train at local and regional Advanced Extrication Schools and then return to share their knowledge with their Marietta co-workers.
Responding on Marietta's numerous highways, MFD firefighters frequently encounter serious motor vehicle accidents.
MFD's Squad, E55, and Cobb E19 responded to this accident on Interstate 285 where they found a man trapped in the cab. Firefighters used airbags and cribbing to lift the rear of the truck so they could pull the patient out of the rear window. The driver suffered only minor injuries.
Crashes like this one on I-75 often result in massive traffic slowdowns in both directions. Fire units, police and the Department of Transportation work closely to open lanes as soon and safely as possible. Drivers can reduce the danger they pose to rescue workers by reducing the speed of their vehicle as they pass by accident scenes.