Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fools Rush In: Saving Two Lives

I started another Blog, 'Snippets Of My Life', here is a sample.  If you like it go to this link and follow that Blog also.  Also please leave comments.

We were living in Vienna Va. and I was working at the American Red Cross Blood Research Laboratories at the NIH campus. The director of industrial design for the Am Red Cross was the regional director of the Industrial Design Group. They arranged a trip to the Amish area of Pennsylvania to tour the John Deer design facility. We had great tour of the design facilities and saw some of the first 3-D CAD systems in the world. We then all had dinner at a family style Amish restaurant. And we left to drive the two and a half hour drive back to DC at about 8 P.M.

We started driving on route 83 from Pennsylvania toward Baltimore. There was a detour and we had to leave the highway and go on a small two lane road that went through a very mountainous area near Hereford MD. Margie was driving and I was sleeping in the passenger seat. All of a sudden Margie stopped short thrusting me against the seat belt. I quickly awoke and looking out the windshield I saw in front of the car before us a tractor trailer laying on its side having rolled over between 120 and 150 degrees, about halfway between being on it's side and being on it's top. There was fuel spilling out of the tank onto the road. I rushed out of the car to the tractor and climbed up to the drivers window.

I climbed up the twelve feet to the window on the drivers side and looked in. I could see the driver trapped by the steering wheel and climbed through the window. He groaned "my brother". All I could see was a massive amount of chains in the back seat of the cab. I quickly realized that his brother was under all those chains. I quickly started to dig out the brother from under out. He had been sleeping in the back seat. Fortunately, I was able to get his head exposed. Neither of them were conscious at this time. It took almost 17 minutes for the local volunteer fire department to arrive. During that time I was keeping the neck stable on the brother in the back seat (I suspected a severe neck injury from having hundreds of pounds of chains fall on him (they were in the compartment under the matress he was sleeping on). Also he was unrestrained and likely to have injured his neck. While I was doing this the driver, his brother vomited. When the Hereford volunteer fire Dept arrived I refused to leave until someone with at least comparable training to myself arrived. I had worked seven years with the FAST team of western NY, was an EMT, had three years of surgical residency behind me. I explained I was already in the best position to render aid and the best skilled at the scene. They explained it was a highly dangerous situation because of the hundreds of gallons of fuel that had spilled. I told them you take care of the fuel and hand me two cervical collars and IV catheters and bags. I started an I.V on each. BTW there was not enough room for anyone else to come into the cab. I was doing this all upside down.I placed an cervical collar on each of the men. Several times I had to clear their months from vomit. I was given the Menaris France Award For Valiant Service in Emergency Medicine at their annual dinner in January 1984.

The Go team from Baltimore Shock Trauma Center was just recently organized and had not flown a mission yet. This rescue was their maiden rescue. The unique aspect of the team was that they had a surgeon, anesthesiologist, trauma nurses and carried O-negative blood for field transfusion. They could set up a full field surgical unit. They arrived about 45 minutes after the fire department and I allowed them to take over from me. I slowly backed out of the cab and was helped down by several of the firemen. It took them nearly 2 hours to get the men extracted. They had to get a crane to lift the cab. They first got a twenty ton crane and it was not enough finally they got a 45 ton crane and were able to get the men out of the tractor cab. We were finally ablee to get on our way about 2:30 in the morning. I took thee next day off from work and slept in. I was given the Citizen Award by the Baltimore County Fire Department. The two men both survived after weeks in critical care and months of rehab.

This Blog Snippets of my life, is going to be a daily blog for at least one year. I will tell stories about me that I hope you find interesting. If you like them please do two things: click to become a follower; and post on your Facebook page or twitter them. I hope to have 10,000 followers by years end. Some stories will be very personal. I will try to remember the correct names of those involved, however, I have a terrible memory for names and some names will be completely fictitious. The stories however are completely truthful as far as I can remember. Hope you enjoy. Some of these blogs may seem mundane. However, they

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