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Another Injury

2dogs

2dogs

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Two Fridays ago we suffered another injury to a sawyer. Once again it was a Cal Fire Captain.

At 11:30 I had just moved my truck down the hill and locked a gate behind me and was pulling up to the crew bus (this was a inmate hand crew, 13 (IIRC) inmates plus a Captain) when an inmate ran in front of me and yelled "Bill the Captain is down". I parked and grabbed me first aid kit, which got stuck on the driver's seat and took a minute to unhook, and headed up the hill. Another inmate ran down the hill to the bus to fetch the backboard. When I got to the scene I did a quick assessment. Breathing, conscious, alert, not able to move.
The Captain and swamper (Swamper is the head inmate and carries a radio), had coordinated a call for help to dispatch. We are only a few miles from the nearest Cal Fire station with a BLS engine.

The Captain was cutting and old blowdown madrone out of the crotch of another madrone. On his last cut he misjudged the forces and an 8'-10' 18" diameter log rotated backwards out of the crotch where it was resting and came back and hit him hard on the helmet and left shoulder blade. He said he felt driven into the ground.

He hit the ground in a position of comfort with his right arm curled under his head breaking his fall. I left him in the position. (I was the only first aid trained person on the scene for 15 minutes). The engine crew arrived, then a State Parks Ranger. I would guess the paramedic ambulance to 30 minutes. Stanford Life Flight arrived soon after. State Parks left the scene to secure the nearest parking area to land the helicopter. Other Cal Fire units arrived with specialized recue gear.
 
2dogs

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Maybe 30 minutes went by before the Captain was bundled up for transport. I don't know how the three flight nurses got from the helicopter to the scene. Hitch hiked? In all there were 7 Cal Fire units, two paramedic rigs, state Parks, and a helicopter.

The following Monday a safety stand down was ordered statewide to review the incident and reinforce safety standards regarding tree hazards. The Captain went through a battery of tests and released. He was to go on scheduled vacation when he returned to duty. Captains were told to review all trees before allowing any work to take place. Things are pretty muchly back to normal.

What I noticed;
1. The inmates were very concerned about their Captain, they did the right things like keeping themselves together and accounted for when there was no supervision on scene, The Swamper's directions and orders were vital.
2. Cal Fire estimates this incident will cost between 100,000-200,000 dollars! The helicopter ride will be a significant part of the cost.
3. Cal Fire chooses not to train the inmates in first aid do to the cost and time spent.
4. Running uphill while recovering from the flu really sucks. Try to ask medical related questions while coughing uncontrollably sucks even worse.
5. I am the only person who knows what the tree and the entire scene looked like before the accident. I am also the only truly qualified person regarding trees and tree work but the investigator did not ask me any questions.
6. California guys only (Erik) don't expect a green sheet or a blue sheet. I hope I'm wrong.
7. BUY HELICOPTER INSURANCE! It is cheap and may save your house.
 
Drptrch

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Maybe 30 minutes went by before the Captain was bundled up for transport. I don't know how the three flight nurses got from the helicopter to the scene. Hitch hiked? In all there were 7 Cal Fire units, two paramedic rigs, state Parks, and a helicopter.

The following Monday a safety stand down was ordered statewide to review the incident and reinforce safety standards regarding tree hazards. The Captain went through a battery of tests and released. He was to go on scheduled vacation when he returned to duty. Captains were told to review all trees before allowing any work to take place. Things are pretty muchly back to normal.

What I noticed;
1. The inmates were very concerned about their Captain, they did the right things like keeping themselves together and accounted for when there was no supervision on scene, The Swamper's directions and orders were vital.
2. Cal Fire estimates this incident will cost between 100,000-200,000 dollars! The helicopter ride will be a significant part of the cost.
3. Cal Fire chooses not to train the inmates in first aid do to the cost and time spent.
4. Running uphill while recovering from the flu really sucks. Try to ask medical related questions while coughing uncontrollably sucks even worse.
5. I am the only person who knows what the tree and the entire scene looked like before the accident. I am also the only truly qualified person regarding trees and tree work but the investigator did not ask me any questions.
6. California guys only (Erik) don't expect a green sheet or a blue sheet. I hope I'm wrong.
7. BUY HELICOPTER INSURANCE! It is cheap and may save your house.
Nice work !!! I bet they do, or a training bulletin.
Big Sur area ??


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northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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#3 is moronic.
meh, inmate crews don't exactly repeat day to day, inmates in general are an unreliable bunch, hence why they are inmates.

granted it would be beneficial to all involved if everyone had some basic first aid skills, but I can see CAL/FIRE's stand on this in that training 400 people in first aid, in prison... would be problematic at best
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

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Don't get me wrong, the work crews have to mind their manners to even get on a work crew, but at the same time, I have my suspicions as to whether those crew rosters repeat day to day, or even week to week
 
thomasinvancouver

thomasinvancouver

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Cal Fire inmate wild land crews are trained to the same level as any other wild land hand crews. Low level offenders working with no armed supervision using many tools that would handily double as weapons. No first aid is purely a cost cutting measure implemented by a bankrupt state. First aid training is beneficial to society as a whole.
 
Drptrch

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So can you clarify who is responsible for the cost of life flight? He was working right? I don’t know all the facts, but doesn’t his employer bear that cost?
CalFire. Worker’s compensation
Cost will be for incident and everything affecting it until (and if) able to return to duty

Lifeflight Ins is a good thing if partaking in risky or haz events on a personal level,
Less than a $100 year in Calif


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2dogs

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CalFire. Worker’s compensation
Cost will be for incident and everything affecting it until (and if) able to return to duty

Lifeflight Ins is a good thing if partaking in risky or haz events on a personal level,
Less than a $100 year in Calif


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Correct on all points.
 
Oliver Durand

Oliver Durand

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Thank you Drptrch and 2dogs.
I suspected that was the case but it seemed a little confusing. If you’re gonna need help like that, it’s nice to have someone there to help pay!!!!
6 years ago I had a heart attack. I was still working, at almost 69 years old, but the trouble happened at home. I headed for work, but I didn’t feel right, so I turned around. My wife took me to our local clinic, where they called the rescue squad as soon as the Doctor saw the ekg. In the ER, I went into full arrest. After they revived me, I got a flight to Albany, NY med real quick. The bill for the life flight Was just over $32,000. Medicare and TriCare paid most of it, but I still paid $1250+. I thank them all every night because I’m still here.
 
Drptrch

Drptrch

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Thank you Drptrch and 2dogs.
I suspected that was the case but it seemed a little confusing. If you’re gonna need help like that, it’s nice to have someone there to help pay!!!!
6 years ago I had a heart attack. I was still working, at almost 69 years old, but the trouble happened at home. I headed for work, but I didn’t feel right, so I turned around. My wife took me to our local clinic, where they called the rescue squad as soon as the Doctor saw the ekg. In the ER, I went into full arrest. After they revived me, I got a flight to Albany, NY med real quick. The bill for the life flight Was just over $32,000. Medicare and TriCare paid most of it, but I still paid $1250+. I thank them all every night because I’m still here.
Good to hear. Enjoy to the fullest !!


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2dogs

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Not related to this incident, but accident analysis


https://www.wildfirelessons.net/Hig...cf6-2ee6-a9f9-e49d-284de8857272&forceDialog=1


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Drip I read this report a few days ago and I was impressed with the red box statistics. In our case we are dealing with many "dead, dying, diseased" tanoaks. These trees especially the larger specimens are an accident just waiting to happen. The rotten tanoaks commonly loose their tops while falling and throw them down on the faller. Sometimes there is visible rot but often there is no evidence. If there is even one brown leaf on a tanoak I see a big potential hazard. I have taken to scraping soil around the butt to look at the roots too.

When a crew comes in from out of the area you can find me preaching about "local conditions" in the way someone from Warshington might preach about alders. This especially true for crews (and Captains) who deal mostly with Douglass fir, a relatively stable tree. Then I start hustling the crews way away from the falling area. I finish with "Did you see where that top landed? Right where you were standing."
 
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