TR Footnotes FN_0713 : Page 1

TOWING & RECOVERY The Independent Voice of the Towing Industry July 2013 FOOTN TES ® w y o no hl nt inf 11 mo o ages 9 – p P re See Keeping Industry Pros On Their Tows www.trfootnotes.com towing on facebook Join nearly 3,000 towers on Facebook! Log on to www.facebook.com/TRFootnotes or go to your Facebook page and enter “TRFootnotes” in the “Search” box. The driver is pinned under this wreckage repo on facebook Log on to repossessors’ new Facebook page! Go to www.facebook.com/RepoFoot-notes or go to your Facebook page and enter “RepoFootnotes” in the “Search” box. See you there! in the towing sPotLight In This Issue: Fire & Rescue In august: Safety & Training advertise now! call David abraham 877-219-7734, ext 1 Cab Over, Driver Down BY HOWaRd “SCOOBY” EaGaN Years of cross-training led this team to a successful extraction t’s not often that one can say anything positive about a seri-ous accident, but on one evening last december, the stars aligned for an other-wise unfortunate truck driver who wrecked his tractor-trailer while south-bound on Pennsylvania’s highway 33, just south of i-80 in the Stroudsburg area, and became deeply trapped under the wreckage of his cab. Fortunately for him, two highly ex-perienced men came to the scene who, between them, have saved many lives in the more than 25 years they have Volume 24, Number 3 x $3.95 x ©2013 CAuSey enterPriSeS, LLC. x ALL rightS reSerVed. i worked together: Leon Clapper, a 30-year fire department chief with Blue ridge hook and Ladder Company (www.brhl.org) in Snydersville, PA, and richard guttmann, a wrecker operator for Schlier’s towing in tannersville, PA, with more than 20 years’ experience in towing and recovery. in the last decade, they have often cross-trained together with several other responder agencies in the area. the 911 dispatcher sent the acci-dent call to Blue ridge at around one a.m. Being short on manpower at that See cab over, page 3 P .O. Box 64397 Virginia Beach, VA 23467 Towing & Recovery Footnotes ® PrSt Std u.S. POStAge PAid peoria, il permit no. 315

Cab Over, Driver Down

Howard Eagan

<br /> It’s not often that one can say anything positive about a serious accident, but on one evening last december, the stars aligned for an otherwise unfortunate truck driver who wrecked his tractor-trailer while southbound on Pennsylvania’s highway 33, just south of i-80 in the Stroudsburg area, and became deeply trapped under the wreckage of his cab.<br /> <br /> Fortunately for him, two highly experienced men came to the scene who, between them, have saved many lives in the more than 25 years they have worked together: Leon Clapper, a 30- year fire department chief with Blue ridge hook and Ladder Company (www.brhl.org) in Snydersville, PA, and richard guttmann, a wrecker operator for Schlier’s towing in tannersville, PA, with more than 20 years’ experience in towing and recovery. in the last decade, they have often cross-trained together with several other responder agencies in the area.<br /> <br /> the 911 dispatcher sent the accident call to Blue ridge at around one a.m. Being short on manpower at that moment, Blue ridge requested backup from Pocono township Fire department some seven miles away. At the same time, Schlier’s towing was also dispatched to the scene by the call center, but just for the recovery, not the impending rescue operation.<br /> <br /> Room To Work<br /> Arriving at the scene, the first officer for Blue ridge immediately had his crew begin stabilization of the wreckage as well as trying to gain access to the seriously trapped driver by removing the cab roof. About 15 minutes into the rescue operation, Chief Clapper arrived and assumed command.<br /> <br /> Seeing the magnitude of the job ahead of them, he immediately had safety officer Will Clark call Jim Schlier on his cell to get an ETA for the wrecker. rich guttmann was already on his way with their Miller 75-ton rotator, but Schlier called to tell him that the driver was trapped underneath the wreckage and his wrecker also was needed to lift it off the trapped driver. Jim Schlier also headed to the scene.<br /> <br /> With a new sense of urgency, guttmann immediately called Clark to advise him of his ETA and pass on this message: “i need 20 feet; all i need is to get within 20 feet of it.” Clark told guttmann he would move enough equipment to give him the space he needed.<br /> <br /> Once on-scene, rich guttmann set his rotator up in the highway 33 median parallel to the casualty on the southbound side. guttmann was asked if he wanted to move a nearby Wal-Mart trailer, but he made the important decision to leave it so he could use it as a deadman. the casualty had overturned onto the driver’s side, and trapped the driver underneath the rig’s tractor between the driver’s seat and the door.<br /> <br /> Going vertical<br /> With the cab almost completely ripped off its frame mounts, guttmann had crew members chain-bind the cab securely to the frame as best they could. While they were working on that, he was busy rigging for a vertical lift. All he could see of the driver was his foot sticking through the firewall of the truck.<br /> <br /> rich guttmann had to think through this vertical rigging process. in preparing for the lift, he decided to also rig from the rotator’s drag winch over to the wheels on the Wal-Mart trailer, then back to the lower frame rail on the casualty; this was to prevent the casualty from “walking” sideways.<br /> <br /> With a victim underneath an object, it’s critical to lift vertically, but also attend to the other rigging details carefully to prevent any horizontal movement of the wreckage that would cause it to scrape across the trapped individual.<br /> <br /> this procedure was overseen by Schlier to permit guttmann to handle other tasks, including rigging a line to the passenger side door via a foundry hook in the window opening to help keep the cab on its frame with light line tension.<br /> <br /> a Happy Man!<br /> When rescuers were ready, guttmann vertically lifted the unit perfectly. After only going up about two feet, the rescue team was able to access and free the driver. remarkably, he seemed to be in great condition, able to stand, walk, and talk.<br /> <br /> Once he was free, he immediately gave rich guttmann a big hug, thanking him for saving him, but guttmann said, “don’t thank me, thank him,” pointing at Chief Clapper. “he’s the one who called me.” the grateful driver then gave Chief Clapper a hug as well.<br /> <br /> Leon Clapper and rich guttman shared in the freed drivers’ joy with big, contagious smiles, an indication of their satisfaction in another successful rescue in their lifelong commitment to public service and many efforts over the years to help save helpless victims of fires and accidents.<br /> <br /> Howard “Scooby” eagan is a former rescue squad chief, emt extrication instructor for the new Jersey Dept. of Health, and a more than 27-year veteran of the towing and recovery industry. He is a partner in Btr training and Consulting, which specializes in training geared towards cross-training and the professional rescue and recovery technician.<br /> <br /> While still finding time to work in the recovery field as a heavy-duty wrecker operator for Big red towing in Syracuse, nY, he is also the factory rep and trainer for matjack/Jumbo Safe lift cushions of indianapolis, indiana. eagan can be contacted at bigtruckrescue@ gmail.com. also see www.bigtruckrescue.com

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