TOWNSEND — A motor vehicle accident that occurred on Monday, June 19, might have taken a long time to extricate the victim, according to Townsend Ambulance Department operations manager Wanda Goodwin.
Despite the claims made by some critics, however, the ambulance was on the scene quickly and standard procedures were followed.
The call for the accident came in at 8:04 a.m., the ambulance rolled at 8:09 and arrived on scene at 8:15, according to the run sheet. The accident occurred on Warren and Pierce roads, according to Goodwin. The vehicle was badly damaged and the victim had to be extracted using the “Jaws of Life” tool.
“It was a long extrication process,” Goodwin said.
“Depending on where a vehicle is located after the accident and its damage depends on the time it takes to extricate. This vehicle was in the woods and had a lot of damage,” Goodwin said.
Medical care was administered to the victim the entire time she was trapped in her car, Goodwin said, and there were no life-threatening injuries.
Police Lt. David Profit sent a memo at the request of the Board of Selectmen with details pertaining to the response times by Townsend Ambulance.
“There were no life-threatening injuries, and no urgency involved,” Profit reported. “The entire process took about 45 minutes, start to finish. I saw everything and all times involved as appropriate.”
Profit also noted the long time frame, 45 minutes, was due to the complicated nature of the extraction.
“The fire and ambulance personnel knew the safest way to do the extrication,” Profit noted. “The Jaws of Life were used, and again, the person did not have life-threatening injuries.”
Goodwin said the Jaws of Life are run on hydraulics, and you don’t just plug them in and begin cutting.
“When an extrication is done, there is set-up time, and you have to be well-aware of the person inside,” she said. “You can’t just start cutting metal. It’s a long process and it has to be done right. The long duration (of the extraction) had to do with the cutting away of car parts to get the person out.”
Goodwin said there is only so much medical treatment that can be done to the person trapped in the vehicle.
“We were able to provide the care she needed while still in the vehicle, then once she was taken out she was transported,” Goodwin said,
Both Profit and Goodwin agree the response was handled well.
“The officers that were on scene said the ambulance got there quickly, as well as the Fire Department. Everything was handled appropriately,” Profit said.
Goodwin said the Townsend fire and ambulance were there in short order, and handled the situation professionally and as expeditiously as possible.