Irmo, SC (Paul Kirby) On Monday, February 12, firefighters from the Irmo Fire District were able to call on training they had recently reinforced in a training scenario to care for a person trapped in an overturned vehicle.
The actual call for service came in after a car careened out of control in the 100 block of Harbison Blvd. in the area where Irmo and the city of Columbia come together. Callers reported that a single car accident had resulted in a rollover, trapping the car’s occupant.
Responding units from the IFD included Tower 17, Engine 171, the district’s assistant and battalion chiefs, as well as Battalion Chief #5, an engine company, and Rescue Company # 2 from the City of Columbia FD.
When the first due companies arrived, they found the car was on its side and nearly against a tree. The driver was trapped in the car with unknown injuries.
As in any case like this, the full extent of the injuries cannot be totally accessed until the vehicle is stabilized and firefighters gain access. Many traumatic injuries do not immediately present symptoms so every precaution to protect the patient from being injured any further is taken by the rescuers.
The patient in the vehicle was accessed by removing the windshield and the sunroof from the car. The patient was physically protected from the sharp metal edges and glass while Irmo fire crews, with the assistance of Columbia firefighters, removed the roof of the car. This enabled the rescuers to access the patient freely and to remove the patient from the vehicle without moving the patient drastically, further injuring the individual.
Once the patient was removed, that person was transported by ambulance to a local medical facility with non-life threatening injuries.
Although accidents like this don’t happen every day; when they do, it stresses the importance of all types of training that firefighters participate in. In the case of the Irmo Fire District, they often train in vehicle extrication drills. Ironically, they had completed training in just such training the week prior to this wreck.
Thanks to the experience, training, and hard work of the personnel of both of these departments, the patient was expertly removed, treated, and transported from the scene.