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Old 11-26-2019, 11:11 PM   #61
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


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Our daughter carries a fire extinguisher in her car but is not a trained first responder. I have cautioned her to use only to save a life, and not to risk her life trying to save property. And always approach a burning vehicle from the side. There are too many things that are explosive or pressurized, not to mention toxic chemicals released by combustion.

That is what they told us in the Army.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:45 PM   #62
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
Our daughter carries a fire extinguisher in her car but is not a trained first responder. I have cautioned her to use only to save a life, and not to risk her life trying to save property. And always approach a burning vehicle from the side. There are too many things that are explosive or pressurized, not to mention toxic chemicals released by combustion.
That's smart. I've actually got even more stuff in my car, but somehow my edit didn't take.

But to your point, equipment is worthless unless you know how to use it. How many people have actually USED a fire extinguisher? Not many. A good thing to do is see if you have any older or almost expired ones that need replacing. Find a safe place to discharge it and try it out. (Ummm... assuming it's a typical ABC extinguisher, just don't do this anyplace you care about... e.g., the chemicals might kill some grass, stain a recently sealed driveway or whatever.)

Also to your point, more importantly than from the side, is from upwind. Without firefighting SCBA gear, as you point out, a lot of burning stuff is toxic. And for that matter, if it's an electric car and the battery is somehow actually on fire, very little is going to make a dent in putting that out. You also won't be cooling down any handles; that is, if the goal is to get someone out of a car and the side is burning, the handle may be super hot. So you need something to help try to open it or try another door or bust a window.

I suppose my main point is, unless you have proper gear, there's no reason to not just let a car burn unless you're trying to pull someone out.

By the way, while we're on the topic, if a car is an accident or on fire and the airbags haven't deployed, that's another risk to stay aware of if one attempts a rescue. Even with cut battery cables, it's possible some capacitor somewhere has enough charge to blow one. When we extricate from vehicles, we'll cut the battery cables, (if we can - some batteries are in the car, not under hood), then posts being careful to avoid bags, and even then we assume something could blow.

Anyway, I know you started this comment based on the fire extinguisher, but the real thing is know how to use the gear you carry, whatever it is.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:25 PM   #63
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


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That's smart. I've actually got even more stuff in my car, but somehow my edit didn't take.

But to your point, equipment is worthless unless you know how to use it. How many people have actually USED a fire extinguisher? Not many. A good thing to do is see if you have any older or almost expired ones that need replacing. Find a safe place to discharge it and try it out. (Ummm... assuming it's a typical ABC extinguisher, just don't do this anyplace you care about... e.g., the chemicals might kill some grass, stain a recently sealed driveway or whatever.)

Also to your point, more importantly than from the side, is from upwind. Without firefighting SCBA gear, as you point out, a lot of burning stuff is toxic. And for that matter, if it's an electric car and the battery is somehow actually on fire, very little is going to make a dent in putting that out. You also won't be cooling down any handles; that is, if the goal is to get someone out of a car and the side is burning, the handle may be super hot. So you need something to help try to open it or try another door or bust a window.

I suppose my main point is, unless you have proper gear, there's no reason to not just let a car burn unless you're trying to pull someone out.

By the way, while we're on the topic, if a car is an accident or on fire and the airbags haven't deployed, that's another risk to stay aware of if one attempts a rescue. Even with cut battery cables, it's possible some capacitor somewhere has enough charge to blow one. When we extricate from vehicles, we'll cut the battery cables, (if we can - some batteries are in the car, not under hood), then posts being careful to avoid bags, and even then we assume something could blow.

Anyway, I know you started this comment based on the fire extinguisher, but the real thing is know how to use the gear you carry, whatever it is.
What do you carry in your car?
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:54 PM   #64
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


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Originally Posted by Scottg View Post
That's smart. I've actually got even more stuff in my car, but somehow my edit didn't take.

But to your point, equipment is worthless unless you know how to use it. How many people have actually USED a fire extinguisher? Not many. A good thing to do is see if you have any older or almost expired ones that need replacing. Find a safe place to discharge it and try it out. (Ummm... assuming it's a typical ABC extinguisher, just don't do this anyplace you care about... e.g., the chemicals might kill some grass, stain a recently sealed driveway or whatever.)

Also to your point, more importantly than from the side, is from upwind. Without firefighting SCBA gear, as you point out, a lot of burning stuff is toxic. And for that matter, if it's an electric car and the battery is somehow actually on fire, very little is going to make a dent in putting that out. You also won't be cooling down any handles; that is, if the goal is to get someone out of a car and the side is burning, the handle may be super hot. So you need something to help try to open it or try another door or bust a window.

I suppose my main point is, unless you have proper gear, there's no reason to not just let a car burn unless you're trying to pull someone out.

By the way, while we're on the topic, if a car is an accident or on fire and the airbags haven't deployed, that's another risk to stay aware of if one attempts a rescue. Even with cut battery cables, it's possible some capacitor somewhere has enough charge to blow one. When we extricate from vehicles, we'll cut the battery cables, (if we can - some batteries are in the car, not under hood), then posts being careful to avoid bags, and even then we assume something could blow.

Anyway, I know you started this comment based on the fire extinguisher, but the real thing is know how to use the gear you carry, whatever it is.

Good points all. She actually is trained to use an extinguisher as well as CPR/FA (she's a civilian military employee).
It seems there are two types of motorists these days: the majority who will drive by (perhaps slow to take a picture to post) and the minority who will stop. It is incumbent on those who do stop to remain safe. The last thing an emergency situation needs is to be made worse, even by good intentions.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:33 PM   #65
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


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What do you carry in your car?
Everything I listed in my above post, plus...

* breakdown snow shovel.
* mini air compressor.
* multitool.

Some other odds and ends. My kit isn't out of paranoia, so much as many years doing volunteer EMS. And - while not as necessary for me now - years where I had occasion to be driving places that were somewhat off the beaten path. Not crazy off road or anything, but a lot of in between places. If you have a wreck and you're really badly injured, maybe you're just all the way screwed. Oh well, bad luck. But there's plenty of lesser situations where proper kit and knowing how to use it is the difference between boring some folks with your harrowing story one day while they politely nod vs. actually being the sad news story. The one where the police or rescue experts all say something like, "If only he had... or knew how to..." etc. etc.

Oh, and if you have kids? Then it's your job to be thinking be prepared for crap; even if low probability.
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Last edited by Scottg; 11-27-2019 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:40 PM   #66
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


There was one Medical Center in LA that taught their new employees to use a fire extinguishers & start at the base of the fire. Can't remember if it was UCLA or LBM.

I was reminded of the hazards of helping out with an accident. An older woman hit something & two of us stopped to see if she needed help. She was very confused & was searching in her car seat for a sandwich. I think it was obvious she had hit her head - maybe an abrasion on her forehead.

The Good Samaritan wanted to put a cervical collar on her. He had one but little experience. I knew she would just yank it off. Besides, it has to be a certain size for each person.

He was mad that I didn't think it would work. I didn't forbid him, I didn't have that right, just told him she was too confused, I thought. We also didn't have the right to restrain her from taking it off. People often want to do whatever they can think of to help someone & it's not always appropriate.. Same in the hospital.

Now I realize she probably was Diabetic & had low blood sugar. At least she was able to remember the sandwich but nothing else. The ambulance came & took her.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:30 PM   #67
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


I have my Girlfriends number.....

my wife would never pick me up
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:00 PM   #68
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


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In California, the major roads aren't usually a problem. Many people stop to help. Rural areas, too. It's the mountainous, isolated areas that seem to be a problem.

I'd really recommend that women stay in their locked cars after surveying the problem, at least in California, on roads with some traffic.

People stopping along the highway is a great way to get killed. The highway patrol officers that die in the line of duty are usually killed when someone plows into the back of their patrol car. This has been a problem in the past before we had idiots texting while driving. When I have a flat I get off the highway even if I destroy the tire and the wheel.

My most important item is a small 6" Crescent wrench. Several times I have been able to remove the battery cable when the wiring was starting to burn and prevented an all out fire in the engine compartment.

My second most prized item is a small 20g tube of Alumaseal radiator stop leak powder. I had a big rig toss up a stone and put a hole in my radiator that was large enough that I was adding water at every exit. Bought the Alumaseal at a gas station and put it into the radiator and the leak was plugged. Put another 100,000 plus miles on the truck and never had to do anything to the radiator.

Jumper cables and a fire extinguisher and road flares have all been useful for me in the past. Expecially the road flares so I can alert other motorists when some fool pulls off by the side of the highway to change a tire.

For first aid the critical item is a wound bandage in a 4x4 size as these will have a blood coagulant compound (hemostatic) to stop the bleeding. In a pinch I have used duct tape and it does work well with a wound to stop the bleeding.

On two occasions I have gotten a car that was involved in a fender bender off the roadway by using a crowbar. The sheet metal was pushed into the tires and the crowbar worked well enough to get the tires free to turn.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:59 PM   #69
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


don't ever use duct tape, EVER,

Also I'd also never use anything with any kind of medication, I can't think of any of the top of my head, but there could be people who are allergic to the compounds.

IF you are a trained EMS, you may get away with it, but I don't know an EMS who'd recommend duct tape.

A clean sterile if available Gauss, a tee shirt, shirt rag, hanky, but if were talking about emergency kit's your going to have a 1st aid kit in your car.

I trained as a 1st aider, we asked similar questions, and the most common answer was, don't administer ANYTHING to anyone, unless advised by the 911 operator, otherwise follow your training, CPR, bandages, noting issues and communicating and getting help.

I suppose if your in the middle of nowhere things maybe different, but I'd expect you or somone should have a 1st aid kit anyway.

It may sound harsh and I don't mean to be, but I've heard stories of "well meaning ""UNTRAINED" people" who made matters worse, followed old wives tales and other such nuggets.

at a pinch a sanitary towel the ones with a sticky back works wonders on wounds and is a lot better !I believe the soldiers carried them in Vietnam, unless that was an urban myth.

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For first aid the critical item is a wound bandage in a 4x4 size as these will have a blood coagulant compound (hemostatic) to stop the bleeding. In a pinch I have used duct tape and it does work well with a wound to stop the bleeding.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:00 PM   #70
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


I remember as a teen, that my mother, an RN, was called by a wife, in the neighborhood, to help stop her husband's arterial bleed in the groin, which had begun to bleed after they got home from his procedure. Probably femoral.


She had a hard time stopping the bleed & so just sat on him until the ambulance came. She was a small woman. He did fine.


There are bleeds that will not stop. Rare, but possible. That's when clotting goes awry.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:28 PM   #71
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


True that people should have a first aid kit, but without and faced with a serious bleed I would resort to Duct, Tuck, Scotch, audio tape if I had to.


It's point of debate, but first responders are often hit because of distraction and/or the 'moth effect' of the warning lights. Most disabled and abandoned cars can sit on the side or the highway for days unscathed. But agree that high speed highways are a dangerous place. I am always astonished when I see people in a live lane staring at their fender-bender or with the 4-ways on and hood up. Rarely does a vehicle die immediately. I tell the wife and daughter that if they have to pull over, try to aim for the end of or even tucked behind a line of guiderail. If it's a blowout, the tire's probably toast already anyway.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:02 AM   #72
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


don't use duct tape on skin, it makes a real mess and not easy to remove, you can damage skin and tissue and make matters much worse.

yes I do agree it depends on the scenario,

short term, pressure (hand) and bandage (cloth/shirt etc)
mid term, cloth shirt, tourniquet
long term, use what you have

if your in the middle of a dessert and fubard'd gotta go with the best you can.
on the side of a highway, with EMS an hour or so away, dont, please just dont

not meaning to ruffle anyones feathers, or come off as a jerk or knowitall
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:56 PM   #73
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


You can just put the fabric/bandage/clotting pad on the wound and fabric around the arm/leg and use the tape just on the fabric to compress and hold the fabric/bandage in place.

BTW, Gorilla Tape for the win. Can I get an amen?
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:36 AM   #74
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Re: Do You Have A Car Emergency Kit?


......

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