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Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue (SSFR) was dispatched to US Highway 40 Mile Marker 141 on Rabbit Ears Pass for the report of a semi rolled over on its roof with one party trapped in the vehicle.
SSFR responded with 10 personnel staffing the on-duty engine, both ambulances, and a command vehicle due to the critical need for manpower in vehicle extrications. Routt County Communications Center (RCCC) passed on bystander reports that the cab of the semi was on its roof, with severe damage to the vehicle. Given this information, Classic Air Medical was put on airborne standby.
The first arriving ambulance was able to make verbal contact with the patient; however, they were unable to reach the patient due to the damage to semi-tractor. Upon arrival of the fire engine, a request was made for an on-duty chief to respond with a second set of extrication tools in case of breakdown or damage to any of the primary equipment during an extensive extrication. With continued contact with the patient, and the patient being alert, oriented and without complaints of critical injuries, Classic Air Medical was cancelled.
SSFR first stabilized the tractor trailer to keep it from sliding/moving and potentially injuring any responders at the scene. A request was made by Captain Wilkinson through RCCC for two heavy wreckers to come to the scene to assist in stabilization if necessary. Rocky Mountain towing provided wrecker and personnel at the scene. During extrication of the patient, multiple items had to removed/cut off the tractor using extrication equipment (aka Jaws of Life).
Due to the patient being pinned between the dash and the steering column, SSFR tunneled into the patient compartment by cutting off the doors, cutting out the steering column, removing both seats and then lifting the dash off of the patient’s legs. The patient was then packaged and transported to UC Health at YVMC with minor injuries.
SSFR would like to thank the following for their assistance: Rocky Mountain Towing, Routt County Sherriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, and RCCC.
ContactMel Stewart, Fire Chief, 970.879.7170, or email Travis Wilkinson, Captain, 970.879.7170 or emailChristian Keller, PIO/FF/Paramedic, 970.879.7170 or email