Firefighters rescue driver trapped in rolled-over car

See why it took the crew 20 minutes to pull the crash victim from his crumpled car …

Eastbound NE Airport Way is closed to traffic, while firefighter/paramedics work to free a crash victim from the car. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

By David F. Ashton

It remains a mystery just why a shiny red Chevrolet Impala LT happened to run into the median on NE Airport Way near 128th Avenue with such force as to roll over into the traffic lanes – on a clear and sunny afternoon, Sunday, January 18.

But the result of the smashup was clear to the Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crew from Parkrose Station 2, who rolled out the scene in outer East Portland a little after 4:00 p.m. that afternoon: The male driver couldn’t wriggle out of his upturned vehicle.

With a support system put in place, crews begin to stabilize the victim and prepare to move him to safety. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Using the portlable high-power Holmatro Rescue Tools, a firefighter cuts the door off the smashed car. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

“Crews made contact with the patient, who was unable to self extricate,” said PF&R spokesman Lieutenant Tommy Schroeder later that afternoon.

“The call was upgraded to a ‘Pin-in Response’, which added an additional engine company to assist with safety and manpower,” Schroeder explained.

With the car’s doors removed, the driver is extracted, and transported for medical care. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Firefighters installed a system of portable struts to stabilize the vehicle while crews removed the patient. “This system eliminates the risk of the vehicle collapsing or shifting dangerously,” Schroeder said. “The extrication took approximately 20 minutes.”
The patient, a man in his 30’s, was transported with non-life threatening injuries, Schroeder added.

> On our Front Page – Photo by Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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