During this year’s Ag Progress Days, one of the many safety demonstrations put on for those in attendance was a simulated rescue of an accident victim from a minivan. Two volunteer rescue companies, Millheim and Miles Twp., along with PSU EMS, outlined the steps and procedures needed to extract a victim safely and without causing further injury.
“A minivan is an extremely tough vehicle,” explained Dr. Dennis Murphy, Penn State Extension Safety Specialist. “They can be built very well. After making sure the blocks under the vehicle are tight before beginning the rescue so that it won’t move when we get in, the next step is to make a large enough hole so the victim can be removed without causing further injury to his neck and back. This requires removing the front and back doors and the doorframe. Fortunately, this victim was wearing his seat belt.”
On-the-road accidents involving slow moving farm vehicles and non-farm vehicles happen – sometimes more than they should. As an operator, with farm equipment on the road or when driving a buggy, always be sure that you have all the state-mandated lights turned on and reflective markings applied. Passenger vehicles need to drive carefully and defensively throughout the season, but particularly during planting and harvesting times. A lot of these accidents could be prevented.
“Near the beginning of the rescue,” Murphy added, “the ambulance crew probably already spoke with the fire rescue crew and they would be on the phone talking to the Emergency Room. With paramedics, the ambulance is like an ER on wheels. Paramedics can stabilize a victim in 10-15 minutes. This victim would probably be taken directly to a Trauma Unit.”
Some of these tools weigh 40 to 60 pounds. “The hydraulic extractor is fairly new,” continued Murphy. “It’s being used to get the door out of the way. It’s a very strong tool and it’s working very hard. Different people on the rescue team have different jobs.”