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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knock at the Door

At about 1900 hours on Saturday we were cleaning up after a large dinner when we received an excited knock on the front door. The person at the door informed us that there was a nasty crash up the highway (once again I have no idea why people don't use 911). As we got into our turnouts, our fire marshal (5202 during radio traffic) ran ahead in his vehicle to provide us a scene size up. As we are rolling up the highway we hear "5202 on scene" with San Bernardino dispatch. At this point I am still skeptical about how good (or bad, depends on your perspective) this call is going to be. We then hear 5202 come over the radio again, "San Bernardino, 5202, we have a two vehicle TC (traffic collision) with one occupant needing extrication. San Bernardino, please start the state engine. Medic Engine 461 (that's us!) starting triage will advise." Now I know that it's going to be a good call. At this point we ask San Bernardino for an ETA on Mercy (Mercy Air is our local helicopter transport) and get an ETA of about 25 minutes. At this point 5202 comes back on the radio, "Medic Engine 461 from 5202, we have two patients, one immediate and one delayed. Pull up to the white pick up for extrication."

As we pull up we see that the entire front driver side of the Ford Ranger is destroyed and that our patient is sitting there with a deformed left arm dangling out the window. At this point we ask for Mercy to start for our location since we were anticipating a long extrication time. A rapid assessment shows that he is alert and oriented and inebriated. His only complaint is his left arm and swears that he can climb out of the vehicles. We convince the driver (I'm not saying how) that it is in his best interest to sit there and to let us do our thing. He states that he was wearing his seatbelt (that and his airbag saved his life) and that he did not lose consciousness. He also states that he has no medical problems, no allergies and takes no medications. After 10 minutes we had him out of the truck and strapped to the backboard. Once out of the vehicle a good secondary assessment showed that he had a left femur fracture. He wasn't going to be crawling anywhere. As I was sticking him with a 14g IV (about the size of a stir stick) the ambulance showed up. Since we already had him ready to go we canceled the helicopter and let MBA take him to the trauma center. I gave them a quick report and sent them on their way.

Afterwards we cleaned up and took a couple of pictures of the wreck. Hopefully I can get a copy and post it. The other patient signed out AMA with only some shoulder pain from the seatbelt.
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