Yesterday we were paged out for a 10-50 PI with possible entrapment. Enroute we received details that the car snapped a utility pole, so we had possible lines down to contend with. Our unit arrived on scene a few minutes behind the ambulance. I went up to help the medics while the rest of our truck surveyed the vehicle to see if there was any extrication needed.
The car was a small sedan that was travelling down the country road way to fast. It lost control on a curve and the car slide 180 degrees and hit a utility pole in the center of the truck and snapped the pole in two. The lines were still connected on the top half. The pole left an instrusion in the truck in excess of 24 inches.
There were two people in the vehicle. The driver was wearing his seat belt and had left shoulder pain. The passenger was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown into the back seat. He was lucky he wasn't thrown through the back window. There was a strong smell of ETOH.
First responders were already on scene when units arrived and had C-spine initialized on the patients. If they weren't there it was obvious that the two would have tried to get up and move around.
Access was gained to the passenger and he was gently loaded onto a backboard and collared and taken to the back of the ambulance. The driver had to have his door popped open and was then also collared and loaded onto a backboard and into a back of the ambulance.
A landing zone was set up in the bean field that the car landed in while IV's were established and a primary survey done on the two. Because of the alledged ETOH, the two were not totally coherent and exact details of what happened and what their chief complaint is wasn't easy.
By the time the helicoptors got there both were stabilized and wounds dressed. They were flown out to a trauma center. Word received later that evening was that one had a C2 fracture and the flight crew praised the spinal control and gentle extrication that was done.
While we like to take credit for good patient care, this all started with the initial first responders who took control of the situation until LEO, fire & police arrived. They initiated c-spine control and kept the patients still and immobilized.
It is easy to shove the first responders aside once we arrive and then forget about the role they played in the emergency. I made sure to thank them after the incident and let them know how much we appreciated them. It is scenes like this that helps illustrate the importance of good team play. From first responders to LEO to Fire to EMS to Flight Crew to Utility company we all had to work together and around each other to do our jobs.
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