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#148847 - 09/14/08 12:54 PM Re: Train Wreck [Re: Stu]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4833
Talk about being in the right place at an unfortunate time, most people could not have held it together and done that. You did good.

As for where to sit, the rear cars will almost always be the safest. Even if hit by an overtaking train from the rear, the velocity delta isn't even close to that of a head on collision.

While there's a good chance that Metrolink is correct in their, "We want to be honest in our appraisal," and be "open with the community", it also seems highly likely that at least part of their intent is getting out front of the lawsuit(s). (what if, when they pull all the cellphone records, they find he wasn't texting at the time of the incident? )

In the end the NTSB report is the only one that will matter regarding blame. If it's anything like an aircraft accident investigation, they'll know how much sleep he had, when he had his last drink if he drinks and if he was upset with his wife if he was married. If he was texting they'll find that cellphone and all the service provider records. They'll also know if all the mechanical systems worked or if something failed. There will be no rush to judgment in the report that matters.

#148848 - 09/14/08 12:55 PM Re: Train Wreck [Re: Art_in_FL]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"...a great many of a few basic types and sizes of bandaging materials..."

4x4's, lots and lots of 4x4's, and a way to make them stay on...

#148849 - 09/14/08 12:57 PM Re: Train Wreck [Re: JIM]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
The US Air Force went to rearward facing seats on many (most/all?) of its transports years ago, for that very reason...

#148859 - 09/14/08 03:15 PM Re: Train Wreck [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA

Thank you for your help Chris, I'm sure the many people hurt are very grateful you were there.

Chris can I ask: from your car first aid kit, for this mass casualty situation, what would you wish you had more of to treat the wounded?

I maintain mass casualty treatment bags besides my FAK in my home, car and office, hopefully never to be used but they're there - lots of 4x4s, Kerlix, Coban wrap, tape, tape, gloves, shears, markers, ABD pads, a number of triangle bandages; a couple OLAES bandages because I had them, a SOF-T tourniquet on the off chance, and an Asherman's chest seal because its smallish and an EMT may know how and when to apply tourn or chest seal (I am at best marginally trained for them and until I am would trust in the 'apply pressure' maxim for the duration). 25 cheap rain ponchos, a couple AMK bivvy sacks to provide warmth to the immobile. Also a 24" pry bar to help with minor extractions (jammed doors). It mostly fills an Eddie Bauer carry on bag but is organized enough to find what I need. I could open this up most likely after an earthquake for a building collapse (falling ceilings, crush injuries) when we would be on our own for a while before responders could arrive, although a train derailment is only a mile away. No meds, no poviodine, very little that expires, I can replenish in bulk from supplies as needed. It represents alot of blood stopping and immobilization (most of my current training), the FAK is for treating everyday issues.

#148866 - 09/14/08 04:35 PM Re: Train Wreck [Re: Lono]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
The latest information is one of the switch tracks was not closed, apparently forced out of position by the train.There are a series of 3 seperate lights and the system is also being checked. I am just updating what I hear, as a local story is often condensed elsewhere.

One passenger in the third car, from my town walked away without a scratch. He was sitting rearward, adding he was fatigued and actually slumped down. He said rear facing passengers were also flung around.

This could have been much worse. Had it occurred earlier, nearby houses would have been impacted ( as it was, nearby residents rushed over with towels, water etc and helped.)A little farther on and it could have been inside the tunnel.

The nearby High School made a excellent command and triage center.I think within minutes we had the first of nearly 500 emergency personel from various departments on scene. So my early efforts were quickly superfluous. It was a CHiP I know told me to clear out, which I of course did.

When the engines hit, both sent towering black plumes of smoke and there was a brief fire. That probably hastened the natural reaction for those who were mobile or even seriously injured to escape the cars. In retrospect, I wonder if the rule ' do no harm' was violated moving some of the injured.

My kit is ( was- this stuff goes fast!) real 'bread and butter' and nothing like some of the kits members have shared. I go with 4x4s and big bandages. Part of this is simple economics, and part having horses. You learn the KISS principle early on and not to have a lot of 'stuff' a DVM or MD has to clean up just to see the injury. My salves are mostly saline solution. I know lots of my bulk kit was quickly tossed to medics. A big battle dressing or unopend 500 pack of 4x4s isn't going to be scrutinised by a EMT like a controlled pharamaceutical.

One thing I've observed with mass disasters is the need to COMMUNICATE. People are crying for help and you need to address multiple needs. I think a simple ' We're here, hold on just a few minutes' Is the best first aid of all. Many passengers 'linked' with civilian helpers who stayed with just one victim, comforted them, called family members and brought them water.

One of the deceased, a 19 y/o girl on her last ride taken for a design class was one of the last accounted for. her poor sister was waiting in Moorpark the last stop and knew something was wrong. She had to stay all night and into the day at the High School waiting for word. That's when community really needs to respond.

Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (09/14/08 04:43 PM)

#148878 - 09/14/08 06:46 PM Re: Train Wreck [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
The RR crews that I haul around say that the RRs always blame the engineer first. He/she tends to be seen as guilty before any real facts are discovered. And it's easier when they're dead.

When that freight derailed in Portland a few months ago, my crews were shocked that the engineer wasn't blamed immediately. But, since the train derailed somewhere in the middle, the first assumption was a bad rail.


#149104 - 09/16/08 05:32 AM Re: Train Wreck [Re: Susan]
JohnE Offline

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Southern Cal
Latest news.

The "spokesperson" for the MTA who was so quick to blame the engineer has now either resigned from or been fired by the MTA, depending on who's story you believe.

Services for the police officer killed on the train are scheduled for Thursday in downtown Los Angeles.

The first of what are bound to be many claims against the MTA has already been filed as a precursor to a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of one of the victims.

The investigation continues...

John E

"and all the lousy little poets
comin round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson"

The Future/Leonard Cohen

#149121 - 09/16/08 11:27 AM Re: Train Wreck [Re: JohnE]
CJK Offline

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 532
Loc: FL, USA
Thanks Chris...for both the report and more importantly the fine work....

About the 'first do no harm' rule....Safety always comes first.....if we see a 'plume' from the engine....I know that I am not waiting around to see if 'something' happens. Yes we always try to do no harm....but even that gets 'moved' to second place sometimes......ATLS/PHTLS/BTLS/ITLS or whatever they are calling it now....still stresses safety first.....granted they say to use the 'rapid extrication' technique to move a patient if safety is a concern.....but they also understand there are exceptions.....I had one......MVA overturn into a canal and the driver was being 'pulled' out of his car...cardiac arrest. C-spine precautions....there were none.....he was in a canal 9 feet deep with a 70 degree embankment....yes we could have 'packaged' him....but as my instructors use to say....Nicely packaged corpse....

Sometimes the rules get suspended.....

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