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Canada Firefighters reunite with man they painstakingly freed following spectacular crash

23:55  14 february  2020
23:55  14 february  2020 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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a group of people posing for the camera: Firefighters reunite with Conrad Williams, who survived an 'extremely complex extrication' from a wrecked car last week.© Ottawa Fire Services handout Firefighters reunite with Conrad Williams, who survived an 'extremely complex extrication' from a wrecked car last week.

For more than an hour, 22-year-old Conrad Williams had to keep calm as firefighters freed him from his crumpled car which landed on its side and wrapped around a concrete pole that pinned him at the hip.

“I went through a checklist in my head,” he said from the hospital bed where he was awaiting surgery to put a plate in his arm, which was broken in two places during the two-car collision at Woodroffe Avenue and Baseline Road Feb. 6.

Could he move his feet? Was he breathing? What was broken?

Vehicle ends up wrapped around lamp post in crash at Baseline and Woodroffe

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Amid the wind, snow and sirens, “I knew that if I panicked, I would hyperventilate and then it was just going to cause a whole other mess of problems,” Williams said. “I sang songs in my head to kind of pass the time – I did anything I could to keep calm.”
One of the melodies that came to mind was from Queen’s Under Pressure, aptly enough.

A typical extrication to free a trapped motorist involves firefighters cutting through the vehicle to access a victim in 10 to 20 minutes, but a veteran firefighter said that this one was likely the most complex he’s ever had to command.After the Ottawa Fire Services crew under the command of District Chief Mike Holmes first sliced off the roof, they called in a second heavy rescue team because they needed more people and tools.

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The Bangkok Fire Department was called to the scene when teachers efforts to coax the boy back in were unsuccessful. Authorities were running out of ideas on how to rescue the boy when Firefighter Sonchai Yoosabai overhead the boy's mother mention his love of superheroes.

The city’s firefighters were first to arrive on the scene, where they parked their fire trucks in a way to block oncoming traffic and protect those at the crash site. When CHP officers reached the scene, however, they began ordering the firefighters to move their trucks out of the traffic lanes or face arrest.

They had to stabilize the vehicle and make the “rare call” to tow the vehicle about 18 inches away from the pole. Because Williams’ arm was also trapped, they had to use small tools to perform the “intricate” work of cutting the metal away from his limb.

It began at 6:23 p.m. and Williams was finally free at 7:25 p.m.

He escaped with “shockingly minor injuries” – though he’ll have to restart HVAC studies at Algonquin College – and was able to thank the firefighters for the heroic effort in person Friday when they visited his bedside and told him he’d been brave indeed.

“I don’t know if I’d be here right now if they hadn’t done what they did,” Williams said.

“They’ll always have my gratitude. I’m glad that they were there to keep me calm and get me out.”

Ottawa Fire Services’ public information officer Jen McNeely said Friday’s meeting was a good news story for both Williams and firefighters, who don’t often get the chance to see the positive outcome of a call.

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Some firefighters follow the shift system where they work in 12 hours shifts for a few days and then take a day off. In either case, a firefighter usually works 240 hours in a month and usually doesn’t take their work home. They can, however, expect to have a scheduled duty on any day of the week.

“It was really special,” she said.

The Ottawa Police Service said the driver of the second vehicle involved in the collision was charged with careless driving.

a group of people standing in a parking lot:  Firefighters perform an extremely complex extrication of a man from a wrecked vehicle near Woodroffe and Baseline.© Scott Stilborn photo Firefighters perform an extremely complex extrication of a man from a wrecked vehicle near Woodroffe and Baseline.

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