Wednesday, January 28, 2009
There are angels all around us.
My truck is back together and so are the other two. I'm tired, I have a laceration to the top of my head and my back hurts like a son of a bitch... but he will live.
As we arrived on scene I saw 4 semi's jack-knifed and about 8 cars piled into them. The snow was pouring down and my partner had a concerned look on his face that I rarely see.
The police approached us and said there was one trapped in the wreckage of a semi. Every one else was just fine. We set off toward this huge pile of twisted metal that looked like a scrap yard and I peered inside the window. I could see the top half of a body in there and my stomach fell. The wreckage was one of the worst I have seen in 15 years and I was just about positive no one could have survived.
There was still a side window intact and I thought I could make entry there, so after we did a quick check for safety hazards I removed the window and started to crawl inside. I heard "Hello, hello... I'm stuck!" By God he was alive... I asked him his name and told him mine and we went to work trying to get him our of the carnage.
Both of his legs were crushed under the engine compartment and the steering wheel was pressed into his belly but he was A&O x 3 hanging upside down by his seat belt.
Within the next few minutes we had a couple firetrucks join us in the extrication and 2 more of my units as well. We took turns holding him up to keep the pressure of his body away from the steering wheel and seat belt. I didn't want to cut the belt yet since it was the only thing holding his upper half in place. If I released the seat belt all of his weight would strain against his lower extremities and I was positive they were in some nasty shape.
Gave him O2 and covered as much of him as we could with blankets. About 30 minutes into it we started placing hot packs in axial areas to keep his temp up. He remained awake and talking most of the time. At one point I told him he was not allowed to pass out without my permission. He laughed a little but I knew he was in some serious pain.
We all took turns holding him up and talking to him. When we were not squished into the cab with him we were outside running the jaws or the sawsall cutting away at the truck and the engine compartment trying to free his legs. He was in there very tight and from what I could see of his legs he was going to need a trauma center.
I called to request a bird, but they were not flying due to the weather, so I called the ER and told them the story and to have a MICU ready to take him to a trauma center after he was stabilized. Our little hospital is damn good, but this guy was going to need a specialist, of this I was sure.
I asked about his family and told him about mine. He has 6 kids.. I said "Buddy, how do you have time to make six babies when you drive truck?" He replied to me "That's all I got time to do man". We laughed about that a little but I could see that it was getting harder and harder to keep him awake. I kept reminding him he did not have my permission to pass out. He would say ok man, ok.
Almost 90 minutes into the extrication we were able to free his legs and pull him out onto a long board. We did the standard immobilization and got him into one of the units. As we were pulling him out his legs were hurting so much he almost passed out. I yelled his name and he promptly replied "I know, I don't have your permission." He then started thanking us. I told him there was still much to do and for him to be strong we would walk this road together.
In the squad we gave him a through once over and controlled the bleeding from his legs. He was in pretty bad shape but there were two legs there and we intended to deliver him to the ER with a good BP and perfusion to those legs.
Started an IV and gave him some morphine for the pain. Worked to realign and get pulses back to those feet with pretty decent results.
On arrival to the ER their trauma team was ready to stabilize and the mobile life was there ready to transport to a level 1 trauma center just as soon as the local guys could get everything under control.
Looking back on it I have to say: Today an angel was riding shotgun with that guy, I have never in 15 years seen an accident that bad have such a positive outcome. This guy will need surgery sure..probably lots of it, but he's alive and doing well when everything there said he should be dead.
Posted by Zer0 at 11:58 AM