I just got home from dinner when my pager went off for a car accident with entrapment on the exact highway I was just on moments earlier. When we pulled up on scene, I yelled to the back to my guys "Stabilize that car. Cut the battery and secure the wheels." I saw a bunch of EMS standing around the car while a few of my guys went to pop the hood.
As my guys searched for the car battery, I went around to the driver-side where I took a look into the car and saw the driver pinned between his seat and the steering-wheel, with blood all over the dashboard. They had already thrown a blanket over him as the cutting began.
I called for a hoseline to be brought from my Engine and posted one of our newer members to stay with it throughout the extrication once it was charged with water.
As I saw the Captain of Truck/Rescue company begin cutting the A-post of the car (the post that runs vertically in front of the driver on both sides) I looked down and was pretty surprised. The car, which had slammed into the car in front of him, had somehow slid all the way to the divider on the driver-side and came to a stop about 4 inches from the concrete barrier. In that 4 inches of space, the driver managed to open his door and get his bare foot (no shoes?) wedged between the bottom sill of the car and the door itself. Then I realized the more people were leaning on the car to make the cuts, the more pressure was being exerted on the door and his foot.
I called for 2 guys to pull the door away from his foot and hold it like that, and although the barrier didn't give them any room to do so, they held it so no one put any more pressure on the door. I then straddled the back hood and cut the back windshield out with a hand saw so the Rescue company could complete the post-cuts to remove the entire roof of the car.
At this point, to my surprise, someone finally yelled "Battery's Cut!" I learned later that this car, a brand new Mercedes, had the battery in the trunk, under some panels, and it took our guys about 10 minutes to locate and secure it.
I then walked around to the chief and the Captain of the Rescue company and said "I know this sounds nuts, but if we can just somehow move the car away from this divider, our lives would be a lot easier." No sooner than I said that did another member of the Rescue company take the spreaders and place them between a tire and the divider, which slid the car about 6 inches away, enough for me to take my helmet off and get my body in the gap, reach his foot and pull it back up and out of the way of the door opening.
I rested his foot on the small tray on bottom of the door people usually stash tissues in, and we replaced his foot with some wooden cribbing to prop the door open - it worked great.
When a few more EMS members got into the car, we pulled the seat back enough to allow room to lift the victim out. On the count of 3, we were able to slide his body up and out of the car, with the victim screaming the entire time. Of course his head, neck and back were secured to a board, but I think it was mostly pain in his legs that caused him to scream like that.
As we were putting all of our tools back, a member of OEM got into a fight with a firefighter from another town that was there taking pictures of the accident. A yelling match ensued, and once I heard "get your guys and your toys and get the F**k out of here" I grabbed my guys and left. I'd like to see that guy get a victim out of a car without our "guys and toys". Whatever, probably just a power-trip.
Right before we left, the wife of the victim ran onto the scene and was screaming at the top of her lungs as a police officer got between her and the ambulance to hold her back. There's a lot of pain and blood I can tolerate, but family members' reactions always kill me.