News & Media

Sunday drive turns into a nightmare

By: Blair Dellemijn

Category: Incidents - Vehicle / Rescue / Hazmat, Incidents - Other

  6.21 PM 2 April, 2013

Location: District 14 News

Views: 4935

At 4:20pm on Sunday (31st March), Sunbury and Diggers Rest Fire Brigades, along with Sunbury SES, were paged to a reported car accident with entrapment.

Initial callers stated that a car had run off the road and collided with a house in Riddell Road in Sunbury.

On arrival Station Officer Whitford on Sunbury Pumper found a driver trapped in his car, that was sitting precariously on a parked utility, and a domestic gas meter, as well as punching a rather large hole in the side of a house, making it, and the chimney extremely unstable.

Once crews donned breathing apparatus, and a Safety Officer was enacted to watch for any building collapse, crews were sent in to assess the patient.

“One of our volunteers is a MICA paramedic, so it was handy to have him in BA to assess the patient and assist in extrication,” explains SO Whitford. The patient was found to be not trapped, although the car was in a very dangerous area. A quick snatch-and-grab was performed to remove the patient, due to the amounts of gas in the air from the broken gas meter, and the chimney lurching overhead. The patient was then transported to hospital in a non-life threatening condition.

With the distraught owner of the house arriving home some time later, it was mentioned that there was still a dog inside the premises. With two members donning BA once again, a quick search found a dog cowering in the corner of one room. “The dog ran nearly vertical up the walls when we tried to get near it,” explains firefighter Adam Prictor. With the dog finally rescued, it was taken outside to it’s owners, with the two firefighters then being treated for minor bites to their fingers. All in a day’s work.

But that was not the end of the incident. The gas and electricity companies were required to attend to isolate services, a very painstaking task for the gas company, not knowing exactly where the shut-off was in the street. With a backhoe requested, a hole was dug to locate the gas line to isolate it to the house.

With it becoming ever increasingly dark, SES were requested to stay onscene to provide lighting, as well as assist in removing the damaged car and chimney.

After nearly four hours, the last CFA appliance returned to station.

Appliances onscene were;

Sunbury – Pumper, Pumper-Tanker, Tanker 1, Ute, BA Support.

Diggers Rest – Tanker 2.

SES – Multiple rescue units.

Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police.

The Officer in Charge of this incident was Station Officer Adam Whitford, with Station Officer Jessica Walsh taking over during the nightshift.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by Victoria Police, but early indications are that the driver may have lapsed into a diabetic state before driving off the road.

A bit of an historical tidbit from First Lieutenant Russel Baird from Sunbury Fire Brigade, this incident occurred at the former Region 14 Headquarters when it was located in Sunbury. Present day DCO John Haynes and OO Arthur Haynes spent a number of years growing up here.

Pictures by Blair Dellemijn – CFA Photographer.

Last Updated: 02 April 2013