Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
matt@expaz

Don't think the Sheriff's Dept should have said that

Recommended Posts

A repost from my FB page:

 

http://www.kgun9.com/news/local/Woman-catches-fire-prompts-rescue-Chiva-falls.html

 

Above is a follow up to the sad story of a woman who got seriously injured while offroading at Chiva Falls.

 

call911_zpsb06009ed.jpg

 

Above is the part of the article I thought stupid/strange: The Sheriff's Department said that if your vehicle breaks down, don't try to fix it yourself, call 9-1-1 and have a tow truck respond. These are the things I found strange/wrong with that:

1. Does the Sheriff’s Department really want everyone who breaks down to call 9-1-1? Is breaking down while offroading now considered an emergency? What about a flat tire? People get hurt changing flat tires all the time.

2. I wonder what they are going to say when you call 9-1-1. Maybe something like this:

“Hello, what’s your emergency?”

“My truck’s broken down.”

“Anyone hurt? Is there a fire?”

“No. I think my distributor came loose.”

“Anyone in danger?”

“No. But I was told I shouldn’t try to fix it myself and call 9-1-1.”

“This is for emergencies only sir.”

“Can you call a tow truck for me?”

“You’re an idiot.”

3. Does the Sheriff’s department realize that many times when you’re offroading that there is NO cell phone service? It’s like when you’re having trouble with your internet and they tell you to go to their website and look for the FAQ to fix your internet problems.

4. I know there are companies/people who will go offroad to tow a vehicle back to town, but you just can’t call Joe Blow Tow Truck’s and say, “Yeah, ummm, I’m 15 miles from BFE and the only reason I made it here was because I have a $50k rock buggy, but could you drive a tow truck here because I can’t change my flat?”

5. “Hello, AAA?” Well, you know where this one's going...

 

I don't know maybe it's just me, but I think we are just so risk adverse nowadays. Accidents happen. People get hurt. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a lawsuit or a new law like, "No more offroading with carbureted vehicles due to inherent fire danger” or “Individuals are not allowed to work on their own vehicle while offroading without proper training.”

 

I know of this company that a friend works for that they are not allowed to use fire extinguishers in case of emergency (even though they are all around their building). Only “trained users” or fireman are allowed to use them. If your computer catches fire, you’re not allowed to grab the nearest fire extinguisher and put it out. Let it and possibly something (or someone else) burn while you exit the building. I wonder how much that lawsuit will be if someone dies because another person didn’t put out a small fire (which led to a large fire) because they weren’t allowed to use a fire extinguisher.

 

I know, it's probably just me. It's been a stressful week at work. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 100%, sh%* happens! A tow truck really can't go far off the asphalt. I do think though, if you go offroading, you at least need to know how to change a tire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, I agree with you. You have to admit though, from the clip you posted, that KGUN's news team seem like a few pretty low budget backwoods reporters. I was not impressed with their news delivery; reminded me of news I've seen while visiting much smaller towns. I would've thought the Tucson market would afford much more professionalism.

 

That critique aside, yes it is completely absurd to think that the masses should call 911 when they experience vehicular failure. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 - i feel very bad for the lady, sounds like they weren't doing anything beyond what many others might try and it was a fairly freak accident.

 

2 - this is a reminder to us all to carry fire extinguishers, and mount them in easy to access places. we usually just think of these as items to save our rigs, but obviously there are cases where they might save a life so they are important even if you have a "don't care" attitude for your beater.

 

3 - i can tell you from multiple experiences with AAA and tow truck drivers that they don't even like going on gravel roads if it's they aren't freshly graded and 4 lanes wide. i can't blame them, they aren't getting paid any more to risk damage to their rig (off-road recovery services exist, but they aren't cheap). also AAA operators are completely incapable of finding you based on directions of how you got to where you are or with GPS coordinates. they expect cross streets and a city, or a mile marker on an interstate and a nearest city. that's all they are trained to deal with because that's all their computers are programmed to do. i highly suggest that if you ever need a buddy to pull you off the trail, don't let him stop at the first gravel road, get him to tow you to the intersection of 2 paved roads with street signs on them, only then call AAA!

 

4 - i'm guessing the reporter mangled the LEO's words a bit, the department probably was just going with the standard line of "never take matters into your own hands in an emergency situation, always call for help". let's face it though, a lot of the mass public is just plain stupid and needs to hear that. several times i've encountered inexperienced people with stock vehicles in WAY over their head simply because their new truck had a 4wd button. i've given water, directions, mechanical help, and "turn around now" advice to some of these people. whether saving these folks is messing up evolution or not is a different debate ;)

 

obviously cell phones don't work in most off-road situations, and as responsible recreators, we need to be prepared. we owe it to ourselves and the other taxpayers to be as self reliant as possible. we should carry fire extinguishers, first aid kits, survival supplies, tools, and know how to fix basic problems with our rigs. wait... i better cover my own a$$, so nevermind on all that, i meant to say "always call 911 in an emergency situation".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats too bad.:( My hopes for the best, she has a long road ahead of her.

 

I dont know if this is what happened, but This story reminds me of a friend I had in high school. He saw an old mustang in someone's yard and went and asked if the person wanted to sell it. The owner did want to sell it so they were trying to get it to start. During the process my friend decided to prime the carb with a little gas, at this same time the owner was sitting behind the wheel and (wanting to help) he hit the key. Well the car backfired spraying all that gas all over my friend and catching him on fire. it burned his head, face both hands and if I remember correctly his right arm and right side of his upper body.

 

It goes without saying. If you (or anyone else) has their face, hand, arm or anything else inside the engine compartment keep everyone else away from the ignition switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I am always in places that would really be bad if my truck broke down I have tried to come up with a plan for that and so far it has eluded me. Cell phone service is spotty and if I see one or two people in a day that's really a big deal. Once there was a Chevy that had broken down on Bloody Basin Road just inside the Tonto. It was a pretty nice truck, had out of state plates, and it sat there for weeks before it finally disappeared.

 

I wondered what my Insurance company would do. They obviously would have an interest in recovering a broken down vehicle otherwise they would have to pay out for total loss. Anyone ever try going that route for vehicle recovery? Or have an offroad recovery service haul your rig out and then send the Insurance company the bill?

 

Until I come up with a plan, I'll just keep my fingers crossed. :eek:

 

Oh yeah last year I was working on 44 (I may have told this before) and a couple came by in their Jeep. I was using a power tool and let it idle while I was talking. I explained to them that sometimes it was hard to (or would not) restart so that's why I left it running. They told me they had the same problem and the look on my face must have been priceless. They told me that sometimes when they shut the vehicle off, it would not restart (this was a very new rig!). Of course my first thought was WTF are you out HERE? It gets even better. They weren't leaving on 44; they were going down to explore Bishop Creek. How exactly they were going to do that I did not ask.... Did they let their Jeep idle while they went poking around? About three hours later they came back and waved at me as they passed on by. I know if my truck even burped in town, I would have someone working on it before I took a trip 75 miles out to the middle of nowhere.

 

Maybe we could start a thread about the stupid things you have seen people do while four wheeling. I don't mean bad driving or showing off for the Darwin Awards. I mean things like taking the back road to CK with no spare tire. Oh boy I know two really good stories there! Or being out at Tip Top in the summer with water pouring our of the radiator ("It always does that!") etc.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It goes without saying. If you (or anyone else) has their face, hand, arm or anything else inside the engine compartment keep everyone else away from the ignition switch.

 

good advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're right, I agree with you. You have to admit though, from the clip you posted, that KGUN's news team seem like a few pretty low budget backwoods reporters. I was not impressed with their news delivery; reminded me of news I've seen while visiting much smaller towns. I would've thought the Tucson market would afford much more professionalism.

 

That critique aside, yes it is completely absurd to think that the masses should call 911 when they experience vehicular failure. :rolleyes:

 

For good and bad, Tucson is still a small town in many ways. Every once in a while we try to put on some big boy pants and we usually wet ourselves. But from my point of view, that's okay. I don't want to be another Phoenix or LA.

 

I wonder if the reported knew that the engine he was using as an example didn't have a carburetor?

 

1 - i feel very bad for the lady, sounds like they weren't doing anything beyond what many others might try and it was a fairly freak accident.

 

2 - this is a reminder to us all to carry fire extinguishers, and mount them in easy to access places. we usually just think of these as items to save our rigs, but obviously there are cases where they might save a life so they are important even if you have a "don't care" attitude for your beater.

 

3 - i can tell you from multiple experiences with AAA and tow truck drivers that they don't even like going on gravel roads if it's they aren't freshly graded and 4 lanes wide. i can't blame them, they aren't getting paid any more to risk damage to their rig (off-road recovery services exist, but they aren't cheap). also AAA operators are completely incapable of finding you based on directions of how you got to where you are or with GPS coordinates. they expect cross streets and a city, or a mile marker on an interstate and a nearest city. that's all they are trained to deal with because that's all their computers are programmed to do. i highly suggest that if you ever need a buddy to pull you off the trail, don't let him stop at the first gravel road, get him to tow you to the intersection of 2 paved roads with street signs on them, only then call AAA!

 

4 - i'm guessing the reporter mangled the LEO's words a bit, the department probably was just going with the standard line of "never take matters into your own hands in an emergency situation, always call for help". let's face it though, a lot of the mass public is just plain stupid and needs to hear that. several times i've encountered inexperienced people with stock vehicles in WAY over their head simply because their new truck had a 4wd button. i've given water, directions, mechanical help, and "turn around now" advice to some of these people. whether saving these folks is messing up evolution or not is a different debate ;)

 

obviously cell phones don't work in most off-road situations, and as responsible recreators, we need to be prepared. we owe it to ourselves and the other taxpayers to be as self reliant as possible. we should carry fire extinguishers, first aid kits, survival supplies, tools, and know how to fix basic problems with our rigs. wait... i better cover my own a$$, so nevermind on all that, i meant to say "always call 911 in an emergency situation".

 

Agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, my prayers out to this lady and her family.

 

I agree with some of the things on here. Being out in back country is nice, but don't do it alone if you are new to the game or don't have much mechanical experience (I can't tell someone they should give up off-roading because they can't overhaul an engine or adjust their muffler bearings ;) but they should definitely be prepared with the essentials, and know how to change a tire). Knowing some basics about how your rig operates is important though.

 

I have been broken down myself or with others, and have never had to call 911. I understand that the situation warrants the call or not. There was something on Dateline the other night where a couple went snow wheeling on a road to a lake in Cali that they had been to several times and were familiar with, they got their XJ stuck and a 3 or 4 day blizzard moved in. It was a pretty bad deal.

 

You should always let someone know where you are going, and if you end up going somewhere else, notify someone of your change of plans. This is important if you are in a small group, but especially if you are alone.

 

I have been a professional wrecker driver since '95. A rollback doesn't have off-road, much less off pavement capabilities. However quite a few wrecker company's do have some type of 4x4 sling/boom/wheellift truck. These are still pretty limited to rough trails. By that I mean trails that most of our rigs could do in 4-hi. There are some companies with purpose built off-road recovery trucks, but those wont be covered by AAA or your insurance towing provider.

 

I cringe when I see these people with snatch ropes trying to yank people out of mud or off a large rock. Especially those who back up and get a running start using chains. Not only is can that do serious damage to both vehicles and is extremely dangerous, it can also be very lethal.

 

Most tow trucks now have GPS systems in them and can find people relatively easily. But people have to know where they are, and if they are not sure, they must give accurate directions to where how they got there. Tow truck drivers do not automatically know exactly where the customers is, where their address is, etc. The other thing that a lot of people don't take into consideration is, just because you can drive there in your car or jeep or pickup truck, doesn't mean that a tow truck can make it to that place. Tow trucks are taller, wider, and a lot heavier and there are lots of restrictions, especially in residential areas. People need to understand that about tow trucks and the drivers before they start bashing on them. Unfortunately, there ARE a bunch of SCUMBAG tow truck drivers and companies out there. But for the most part, they are just trying to make an honest living, and they are coming out in every type of weather, at every time of the day or night, to help you. And they are not just sitting at the office waiting for your call. They are usually running calls, a lot of times 10-12 hours a day, depending on the city or town they are in.

 

This lady and her guy were just doing what most of us would do, trying to get their rig running. It was an accident. It could have happened to anyone. Yesterday a lady drover her pickup down a 75ft embankment in Tucson. We don't know what caused it. It was an accident. Fortunately she was not hurt. Sometimes you need to call 911, sometimes you don't.

 

Bottom line is, we are doing a sport/hobby that we should know the basics about our rigs and how they operate, as I said earlier. That doesn't mean that we need to be an ASE Master Tech. But changing tires, proper winching/strapping operations, proper safety equipment, and most important, first aid kit, spare water/food and an emergency shelter/blanket should be part of our trips.

 

In a football game, if a player gets knocked down and sprains an ankle, they don't call 911. They take care of it. If a player gets seriously hurt, they do call 911 or have an ambulance on standby.

 

This lady got seriously hurt and needed help. If they had called 911 before that for not being able to get their rig started they could have faced problems or been lectured about calling 911 for a 'non-emergency'.

 

Common sense: Looks like the reporters and the law enforcement in this case need to more clearly define their statements instead of just a general remark.

 

Common sense: we have to do our part as well.

 

3 - i can tell you from multiple experiences with AAA and tow truck drivers that they don't even like going on gravel roads if it's they aren't freshly graded and 4 lanes wide. i can't blame them, they aren't getting paid any more to risk damage to their rig (off-road recovery services exist, but they aren't cheap). also AAA operators are completely incapable of finding you based on directions of how you got to where you are or with GPS coordinates. they expect cross streets and a city, or a mile marker on an interstate and a nearest city. that's all they are trained to deal with because that's all their computers are programmed to do. i highly suggest that if you ever need a buddy to pull you off the trail, don't let him stop at the first gravel road, get him to tow you to the intersection of 2 paved roads with street signs on them, only then call AAA!

 

I am one former tow truck driver who took his truck off-road many, many times, to the point where I would winch someone out, then winch myself out. I don't leave someone stranded. But I know how to get my truck out. We don't try to put our trucks at risk, and we know what we can and can't get out of.

 

But yes, I do like to go off-road :D

 

And as for calling AAA...... well you get what you pay for...:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You make a lot of good points in your post. I think the big problem is there is a inherent sense of (false) security with all the techno baubles people have today. Cell phones are very unreliable in the outback. Even if there IS service, "who you gonna call?" GPS? I have seen so many people blindly following their GPS and going completely in the wrong direction! Or like the Fed Ex dual trailer drivers who tried to follow the "Old Stage Road" along I-17 when the freeway was closed during an accident.

 

"It's on my map!" the driver said as he tried to turn around on a road barely wide enough for a Jeep or standard sized pickup. That "road" was a goat trail; fodder for people like us but hardly suitable for an eighteen wheeler. Yet because it showed up on a driver's GPS, he blindly followed it !!!!

 

The complexity of today's vehicles don't make problematic situations any friendlier. Beyond changing a tire or belt (and even those can be pretty tough), most vehicle repairs are out of the realm of most people.

 

That aside, there is the issue of common sense. It seems to be an unused extra add-on option for most people. Bad drivers on pavement are bad drivers X10000 off road. Charging into a rock face to climb over it, or getting a running start to pull someone out of a mud hole are some of the many recipes for disaster.

 

Going with a group is nice but not always an option. In the end a good set of hiking boots is probably the most important item to carry off road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...