911 Collision Centers, Kent Automotive, Hertz Local Edition and Nationwide Insurance delivered emergency extrication training on modern vehicles to more than 150 emergency service personnel in Tucson and Scottsdale, Ariz., the week of December 15.
With advancements in vehicle design, multiple air bags and passenger restraint systems, first responders need additional training to be more effective at accident scenes, according to 911 Collision. Budget cuts have forced many departments to eliminate extrication practice or to purchase only older vehicles to cut apart, so the companies joined together to provide newer vehicles and training for several fire departments.
“The need is here we feel it important to sponsor these events,” Kent Automotive western regional sales manger Craig Olivera said. “Nationwide Insurance stepped up and donated several vehicles for this training, and 911 Collision purchased the other two cars so we could cut them apart.”
Mesa Fire Department engineer John Montgomery said the event was extremely helpful.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to cut apart late model cars,” he said. “I also learn a lot from other departments. Time spent talking to my counterparts and exchanging ideas is invaluable.”
First responders are also seeing more hybrid vehciles at accident scenes and need additional training on the high-voltage vehicles. Hertz Local Edition displayed two Hybrids at each training event.
During training, first responders also learned the importance of being careful when working around undeployed air bags, especially undeployed side curtain bags.
Patrick O’Neill, 911 Collision Centers chief operating officer, said the event was a way to serve the community.
“We as repairers need to facilitate these types of training classes,” he said. “There’s a great need out there for this training that can help save lives right here in our neighborhoods. We’re committed to hosting these classes in the communities we serve on an annual basis. I challenge other repairers to get involved and host a class in their community.”
For more information, visit www.911Collision.com or call (520) 791-9119.