Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Extrication Tips: October 2010

Randy Schmitz   

Features Extrication Training

When we started this year-long big-rig project in January, I promised an exam to test your knowledge. I hope you’ve learned from the last three Extrication Tips columns and that you will be able to apply those lessons if necessary.

When we started this year-long big-rig project in January, I promised an exam to test your knowledge. I hope you’ve learned from the last three Extrication Tips columns and that you will be able to apply those lessons if necessary.



As I mentioned in January, this four-installment big-rig package came out of a two-day big-rig rescue symposium in Nisku, Alta., in September. The other two lead instructors were Billy Leach Jr. from North Carolina and George Klemm from Vancouver Island. The first morning was devoted to theory and discussions of large-vehicle anatomy and construction, challenges for rescuers, correct cribbing applications and load-bearing equipment. The remaining day and a half was spent working with simulated, large-truck accidents involving passenger vehicles. Students rotated through scenarios and spent three to four hours learning the proper ways to approach, stabilize, lift, then extricate patients from crushed wrecks. First, the students dealt with the situation as though the incident had happened on a rural highway outside of a city and they had responded with their own departmental resources; then, they played out the scenario with the assistance of a heavy wrecker tow truck that had arrived on scene after a certain length of time. 

In January, April and July we looked at the program content and what students learned, including large-vehicle classifications, anatomy, construction, arrival hazard control, stabilization, disentanglement and patient removal from the crushed passenger vehicle and the cab of the truck. Now it’s time for the exam. You can find the answers at the bottom of page 18.

1. How many fatal accidents in North America involve large trucks per year?
A. 500
B. 5,000
C. 3,500
D. 10,000


2. Which of the following is not a main category of large trucks?
A. Straight trucks
B. Tractor-trailer combination trucks
C. Panel trucks
D. Specialty trucks

3. A standard tractor weighs about _____ pounds.
A. 140,000
B. 18,000 to 22,000
C. 2,500
D. None of the above

4. Tractor units running without a trailer are referred to as _____.
A. Cattail units
B. Large trucks
C. Specialty trucks
D. Bobtail units

5. The two types of cabs found on most trucks are _____ and _____.
A. Conventional, cab-over
B. Conventional, non-conventional
C. Bobtail, special
D. Forward, cab-over

6. Cab-over units are designed so that the cab will tilt forward for service on the engine.
A. True
B. False

7. Windshields on big trucks are made of ______ glass.
A. Tempered
B. Laminated tempered
C. Laminated safety
D. None of the above

8. The roof of a large truck can be made of steel, sheet metal, aluminum, fibreglass, or ______.
A. Fibreboard
B. Wood
C. Metton
D. Plastic

9. On large trucks, the electrical system is supplied by multiple batteries, what are common voltage requirements?
A. 12 and 24 volt
B. 72 volt
C. 120 volt
D. 60 volt

10. Saddle tanks on big trucks are always located on the driver’s side.
A. True
B. False

11. The trailer air-brake system is designed to automatically engage the emergency brake system when the trailer is disconnected from the air source.
A. True
B. False

12. When dispatched to an incident involving a large cargo vehicle, it is important to identify the _____ as soon as possible.
A. Type of cab
B. Driver
C. Registration
D. Type of load

Personnel should be protected with a charged hose line or fire
extinguisher during circle surveys?
A. True
B. False

14. The only way to determine the type of load on a large cargo truck is by the lading or manifest.
A. True
B. False

15. Refrigerated trailers may have separate fuel tanks that will most commonly use _____.
A. Diesel
B. Natural gas, gasoline
C. Propane
D. None of the above

16. Large trucks can have one or two diesel fuel tanks with as much as _____ gallons of fuel.
A. 300
B. 50 to 150
C. 1,000
D. 200

17. The batteries of a large truck should never be disconnected with the engine running.
A. True
B. False

18. When a large truck is on its side, it is essential to _____ all voids where the load may settle.
A. Identify
B. Mark
C. Crib
D. Ignore

19. A two-by-two box crib configuration using six-inch timbers has a capacity of 60,000 pounds.
A. True
B. False

20. Which of the following is not a common hazard found in the cab of a large truck involved in a severe wreck?
A. Exposed wiring
B. Loaded guns
C. Battery fumes
D. Fuel tanks

21. The most common problem found when forcing large truck doors is _____.
A. The hinges
B. The latch
C. Making purchase points for the tools
D. Windows

With the truck in the upright position consider _____ of the roof rather than making a roof flap.
A. Stabilizing part
B. Cutting away a section
C. Pushing out part
D. None of the above

23. In cases where the front of the cab is pushed down onto the driver, additional space can be gained by _____.
A. Cutting into the sleeper
B. Performing a dash lift manoeuvre
C. Stabilizing the front end
D. Pulling the driver out of his seat

The preferred method to lower a pneumatic seat is to turn off the engine.
A. True
B. False

25. We should re-assess the patient once the patient is out of the vehicle.
A. True
B. False

Big-rig rescue test – answer key
1.    B          2.    C          3.    B       4.    D       5.    A
6.    A          7.    C          8.    C       9.    A       10.    B
11.    A       12.    D       13.    A       14.    B       15.    A
16.    B       17.    A       18.    C       19.    A       20.    D
21.    C       22.    B       23.    B       24.    B       25.    A

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