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Working with Heavy Wreckers

Wed, 2 Nov 2011|

Battalion Chief Todd Taylor of the Wayne Twp. (IN) Fire Department and Kurt Konect of Zore's Inc. review how firefighters can work together with members of the towing and recovering industry and incidents involving large vehicles.



[BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Welcome to training minutes. My name is Steve White with the Fishers Fire Department. In this segment we're going to be going over working with heavy wreckers. I'm going to bring in battalion chief Todd Taylor with the Wayne Township fire department of Indianapolis. And Kurt connect with Zores Incorporated. >> What's happening Kurt. >> Today, we're gonna talk about working with our partners in the towing and recovery industry. In the past we have not necessarily worked with our partners or respected our partners in the towing recovery industry as we have now. The towing and recovery industry has changed in the past several years. We actually have professionals working in that business now who are trained as master recovery operators and have worked with the rescue industry to make us, or allow us, to understand how we're able to work together. In this case we've got a rear underride situation where the vehicle has driven up underneath the rear ICC bar. Most of the time, we would have to do several different operations in order to make a successful rescue without the help of our partners in the towing industry. What we have to remember is that we have to train with these people on a regular basis. They are the most knowledgable people when it comes to heavy loads, chains, and the vehicle itself. We may go to one or two a year, these guys are going to them every day. They're on the street dealing with these things on a regular basis. As we look at this situation, we need to understand what they know about loads. By training with them in the field prior to the emergency, we're able to understand and they're able to help us. Not only are they able to help us, but we're able to help them. With an inexperienced operator that's not trained with the fire rescue business when we have a seriously injured victim, they may not understand how to actually operate with us. In the rear under ride situation that we have, if you look at the wrecker, the wrecker is just like the ladder truck. The ladder truck gets the front of the building. In this case, the wrecker's going to get the front of the accident. The wrecker has a 16- to 18-foot footprint. If we do not allow enough room for them, they will not able to appropriately help us or be able to pick up the load. In the position that he's in now, he's able to lift about 75 tons. The farther away from the incident that he is, that dramatically reduces. At 37 foot, which is full extension on this particular boom, that drops from 75 tons to 12,000 pounds. As we work on this incident and we set him up and stage him, we have several different options that we can use. He may not always be able to actually lift that vehicle but he's definitely going to be able to tell us what the load is [UNKNOWN] and how that accident has happened and how it can be rectified. A couple of different things we can do. As he makes this lift, we could actually bring a roll back wrecker in. That roll back wrecker can pull that vehicle out from underneath there depending on the seriousness of the patient. Or we could stabilize the vehicle in place prior to doing the lift, which is what we're going to do now. A rescuer is going to come in. They're going to [UNKNOWN] the vehicle, stabilize the vehicle, pull the tires and then we're going to do our lift. [BLANK_AUDIO] [SOUND]. [NOISE] And you see the tow and recovery operator has already made his hook with his chains. The chains are an integral part of this thing. Allowing the wrecker recovery operator to use the chains. Instead of us using the chains is how that rescue is made more efficient. We're not as adept at using the chains as the towing recovery operators are. As he mates these chains, you can see that the chains are not around the ICC bar. There's no load carrying capacity with the ICC bar. It's actually hooked around the frame, made a loop around there, and connected back. With the boom connected now, he's going to tighten up the chains. As he tightens those chains up, he's going to make continual inspections with the chains. That is important for us to realize that an experienced [UNKNOWN] recovery operator is going to do that so that he does not lose the load and further injure our patient. As he makes final preparations to make the lift, he's inspected the load, he's inspected the trailer to see if there was any other damage to the trailer, he has a remote control that he's operating with, and as he walks back he's going to meet with the rescue officer. Having the tow recovery operator and the rescue officer in the same spot makes this a perfect situation. In this case Kurt has a remote control. He's able to get away from the wrecker and work directly with the rescue officer. Tone recovery operator is going to tell the rescue officer what he can do and how he can maximize the rescue. The rescue officer's going to talk to the tow recovery operator to ensure that the rescue it's self is going where it needs to be. The rescue officer is not only looking at the patient. And looking at where that, that vehicle is being lifted from. But also looking at the patient vehicle to ensure that the stability of that vehicle is ensured. As you can see, this lift is only made to a point to where we can safely work in and around the vehicle. With the load lifted, it is secured with our 75-ton wrecker at this point. However, we still need to stabilize the left to right movement. You can imagine a semi coming down the road. Blowing this thing left to right. In this case, we would have to use tension buttresses rated for the weight of the load that we would have to stabilize. Once those tension buttresses are in place, the left to right movement would be taken out of the equation, and this rescue would be complete. >> As we bring this segment to a close, it's important to remember. Doing pre-incident training with our heavy wrecker professionals. When we call for the heavy wrecker from the scene, it's very important that we specify exactly what we want, from a heavy wrecker, a rotating wrecker. You certainly don't want the wrong type of wrecker to show up on your scene. Thank you for watching this segment of Training Minutes and thank you Homacho for sponsoring it.

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