Rescue 42 DVD: Chapter 2 – Proper Stabilization

Rescue 42 DVD: Chapter 2 – Proper Stabilization


Stabilization is about stoping and preventing unwanted movement A good way to think of this is to us a triangle or pyramid A pyramid with a narrow base is not very stable, and can be tipped over easily A pyramid with a wide footprint is much more stable, in the past it was relatively easy to stabilize vehicles that were not on their wheels Often a couple of wedges pounded under the cars were sufficient The surfaces of these cars were relevantly flat and were made of fairly thick steel This provided a solid surface against the ground when they rolled and provided good resistance so that wedges could be pounded in for stability, we call these cars bricks When you do extraction training in a junk yard, you are almost always training on bricks The cars that are being manufactured today are more like beach balls Sides and roofs are thin steel or plastic which act like springs when they roll and bounce They are very round which causes these vehicles to have a narrow footprint and end up on their sides or roofs Wedges are often absorbed by the dent resistant panels which eliminate their effectiveness The best way to stabilize the “beach ball” cars is with tensioned buttresses A buttress is simply a column tipped over with its top anchored to the car We commonly call these “struts” We then use a tensioning device such as a ratchet strap to pull the base of the strut towards the base of the car This compresses the strut between the car and the ground, applying force against the car in both a sideways and vertical direction The flatter the strut angle the more side force while the more upright strut applies more vertical force Using two or more struts on opposite sides of a car causes these forces to cancel each other out and squeeze the car like a vise This creates a pyramid with a very wide footprint, producing a very stable car so that rescuers can perform their job safely and with minimal risk of having vehicle motion further injure the patient.

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