Serious collision with two trapped persons

Category: International Firefighting Team of the Year

Fire department: 15. Deutsche Feuerwehrkompanie „Máximo Humbser“, Chile

Chile CL Chile

On first of January at lunch time a pickup truck and a bus crashed with great force. The emergency call was an accident with five injured and two trapped people. All together the rescuers dispatched with three firefighting vehicles, two ambulances and one tank pumper.

When they arrived at the accident the emergency call was confirmed. After all firebrigades and paramedics have reached the place of accident they formed groups for different tasks. First of all the area surrounding the crash was blocked and the accident vehicles were secured. The batteries were disconnected, the water supply was prepared and residual energies were eliminated. The paramedics have built up an area for the victims (triage area) and subsequently took care of them. Meanwhile the firebrigade got an overview on the situation. Due to the severe impact of the crash the vehicles were wedged.

Two persons in the pickup were trapped with their lower extremities by the plate of the truck. The complex situation required a high technical operations level. To free the third person in the truck from the back seat the side wall of the vehicle was removed. At the same time the attempt to free the trapped people was going on. To save the victims the wedged vehicles had to be separated. This was achieved by using a spreader. After the successful separation the rescue could proceed. Due to the serious collision the front passenger seat was deformed. The result of that was a extremely limited space to rescue the victims. So an unconventional method had to be used: The seat was cutted. Afterward the victims could be rescued. The bus passengers meanwhile have been medically treated. Two of them had to be immobilized and carried out of the bus.

At the end of the mission there was a debriefing between the firefighters and the paramedics. The actions were analyzed and improvements have been suggested. All in all the incident was handled very well and due tot he good coordination and teamwork the trapped victims could be rescued within 15 minutes.