By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — A driver who went off the road on Washington Street Road Saturday morning was airlifted to a Boston hospital after Gloucester firefighters and rescue crews extricated him from a car that was perched against a tree that kept it from rolling down a slope toward the water.
According to a report from Deputy Fire Chief Miles Schlichte, Gloucester police notified the Fire Department at 1:35 a.m. Saturday about a crash along Washington Streeet near Barberry Road.
Upon arrival from the Bay View station, which was open and operating Capt. Tom LoGrande reported a car off the road on its side up against a small tree which was preventing the car from rolling further down the slope towards the water. With that, Schlichte write, LoGrande called for the ladder truck to assist in stabilizing the vehicle, and in extricating the driver and sole, trapped occupant who was pinned between the car and the ground.
Firefighter and paramedic Linda Henry, who had responded with LoGrande from Bay View, started patient care which was subsequently turned over to the Rescue One crew upon its arrival from Central Station. And when Ladder One and Schlichte arrived, Schlichte took over as incident commander while LoGrande supervised the stabilization of the vehicle and extrication of the patient.
Both the Bay View engine and the ladder truck were used as anchors from which several stabilization straps were run to the vehicle to prevent it from sliding further down the slope or tipping over. These straps also slowly tipped the vehicle off the driver’s pinned arm, which then allowed crews to extricate the driver from the car through the windshield.
Tally’s was also on scene and had been positioned to assist in lifting the vehicle but they were not needed for the extrication of the patient. Tally’s later removed the vehicle. In addition to strapping and cribbing the vehicle so patient extrication could begin, a large boulder that was teetering on the edge of the roadway was also tied back to a fire truck acting as an anchor to prevent he boulder from falling against the vehicle.
Med Flight was called and was on the ground at the O’Maley Middle School landing zone shortly before the patient was extricated from the car, with Fire Capt. Barry Aptt supervising the landing area. The patient was transported to O’Maley, then flown to a Boston hospital. There was no word on the driver’s condition as of Sunday.
Schlichte praised all of those involved with the difficult response and extrication.
“All involved parties should be recognized for the successful extrication and transport of the patient from an extremely precarious and difficult location,” Schlichte said. “This incident had great potential to further injure the patient and injure the rescuers if it was not handled properly.”