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Vehicle Recovery

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by grasstrimmer, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. ChainSaw0069

    ChainSaw0069 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Salisbury Maryland
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    Our fire department will unlock a vehicle that is locked and running or has a child in it. We let the commercial companies any other lockouts.
     
  2. ArcticDiver

    ArcticDiver Solo Diver

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    No doubt about it; use the Parking Brake. But, don't forget to TEST the parking brake before leaving the vehicle! Put the brake on; put the transmission in Neutral and lift your foot off the service brake, but keep the pedal covered so you can stop the vehicle from rolling into the water until you add some more notches to the parking brake.

    Most folks don't use the parking brake and are suprised how much pressure it takes.
     
  3. Chuck Tribolet

    Chuck Tribolet Loggerhead Turtle Rest in Peace

    2,910
    109
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    Esp. backwards. Drum brakes are designed to work better forwards than in reverse,
    so the parking break doesn't work worth a darn in reverse.

    BTW, if you have a stick shift, leave it in 1st gear on the ramp. If it starts rolling,
    that half second may save your truck. And there's no chance you will
    forget to put it in 1st before you pull out.
     
  4. dittrimd

    dittrimd Force Fin Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Coventry, CT
    223
    8
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    With no immediate threat to life, us fire guys treat it as a HAZMAT incident and work to mitigate the environmental impact without putting our guys at significant risk.

    Mark D.
     
  5. mr.rongilbert

    mr.rongilbert Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Baytown, Texas
    56
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    Our policy is that we do not do "salvage ops" however - if a waterway is comprimised or if it will cause damage to boats etc we will hook it up - and of course if it is a crime scene etc.... I do like the idea of ID'ing the vehicle and notifying the orig agency/owners... We tried to go through the EPA to support removal but mostly find that no one wants them once recovered.

    Our Dept stopped opening cars about 10 years ago - we also don't tow boats because someone sued because of a broken cleat!
     
  6. STEVE SALACH

    STEVE SALACH Angel Fish

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    GARY

    I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT YOUR LAW SUIT. IT HAS BEEN HELD UP MANY TIMES IN OUR STATE AND MANY OTHERS THAT EVERY VEHICLE IN THE WATERWAYS ARE ELEMENTS OF A CRIME, ALL BE IT ALOT OF THEM MAY BE ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES. VEHICLES THAT HAVE BEEN STOLEN ARE DEFINNETLY "EVIDENCE". eVERY VEHICLE THAT IS PULLED FROM THE WATER, ONCE IDENTIFIED SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AS A CRIME... YOU MAY BE SURPRISED THAT MANY OF THEM ARE INSURANCE FRAUD, THAT IS A LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNCTION.OK YOU WILL PROBABLY SAY DETECTIVES ARE TOO BUSY, WE PULLED 178 LAST YEAR AND OVER 150 SO FAR THIS YEAR. SOME ARE BEING INVESTIGATED BY OUR DEPARTMENT AND SOME BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. LAST YEAR IN ONE DAY WE PULLED 31 CARS, 28 WERE PROSECUTED AS INCURANCE FRAUD, MANY OF THE OWNERS CONFESSED ONCE DETECTIVES INTERVIEWED THEM THERE ARE EVEN GRANTS AVAILABLE TO LE DEPARTMENTS TO PULL CARS OUT OF THE WATER. GETTING VEHICLES OUT OF CANALS AND LAKE DEFFINATELY HAVE BENEFITS.
     
  7. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
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    A suit would more than likely be in favor of the governmental agency but what will it cost to defend it. What is even harder to recover from is the taxpayers having a negative view of something. And spending tax payer money in a fashion they don’t approve of is very negative.

    Ours was a high dollar Tort Claim which is a precursor to an actual law suit. By us stopping the practice it never went to court and we got a more favorable view in the tax payer’s eyes.

    Not all vehicles in the water are the result of a crime and are just a simple accident. If they are the result of a crime or suspected of being part of a crime we tow it. If it is a navigational hazard we tow it. If it is creating an environmental hazard we tow it which eliminates a large majority of newer vehicles which have tightly sealed systems.

    Here if it involves a motor vehicle accident we do our own investigation and they don’t go to the dicks. We have separate insurance fraud investigators for the fraud aspect but we don’t need the vehicle to get a conviction.

    South Florida is in another world from Northern Idaho. Just a guess but it sounds like over 90% of your vehicles are from thefts, Insurance fraud or other crimes. Ours are maybe 10% from crimes other than DUI and 90% from HUA driving, Suicide and stupid parking to get a little.

    We do different things in different worlds to fit our needs and please the public.

    Gary D.
     
  8. Slugrusher

    Slugrusher Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    29
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    :coffee:

    If I'm not mistaken I helped out with this. Was this the canal on Lox Road?

    At least send a diver to determine there is nobody inside at a minimum, then make the call about pulling it out at night. Imagine this: J. Smith says he was alone when the car got pulled into the waters of the boat ramp, but it may turn out his wife was buckled in. J. Smith disappears by the next morning when the tow driver yanks it out and discovers Mrs. Smith. Now you got paperwork.
     
  9. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
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    We send divers in to check the vehicle and the surrounding area. The only question is do we or do we not hook it up? It ends up being a 50 50 deal anyway.

    Gary D.
     
  10. b934firefighter

    b934firefighter Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Rocky Mount, North Carolina
    5
    0
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    Hey Gary, my PSD team is considering implementing a policy to attach a flat fee to the wreckers invoice when requested to assist with a vehicle removal. We are about the only diving entity around and usually get the call to help when we have a vehicle in the water. I am interested to know the details of the law suit you are talking about. Maybe this will prevent us from getting into any unwanted situations.
     

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