More than 30 first responders from the McPherson, Kansas Fire Department and surrounding areas donned their rescue gear recently for a hands-on demonstration of the latest techniques in emergency vehicle extrication, preparing them to provide the best response for car accident victims, all thanks to Dacus Auto Body & Collison Repair, American Family, HURST Jaws of Life and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.) program.
Today’s vehicles are equipped with numerous airbags, advanced technology and innovative safety systems that keep drivers safer in case of an accident. But these same safety advantages make it harder for first responders to rescue those drivers and passengers. Add to that the potential challenge presented by electric and hybrid engines, and first responders need a whole new arsenal of rescue tools and procedures.
The NABC F.R.E.E. program helps prepare local first responder teams to rescue accident victims from these late-model vehicles. The program provides education and live demonstrations on working with high-strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems, onboard technology and safety around alternative fuel vehicles. Since it was founded, it has provided education for more than 5,000 first responders.
“Dacus Auto Body partnered with the National Auto Body Council to host a free emergency extrication training for our county’s first responders,” said Kena Dacus, owner of Dacus Auto Body & Collison Repair. “We had a full class of 31 first responders for training, with attendance from six of the 10 fire districts in McPherson County. What made this event unique for the first responders was that they had the opportunity to work on late-model vehicles, which were donated by American Family Insurance. The ability to train inside with AC and on a flat surface were bonuses as well. We had so much interest, we are hoping to schedule a second class for the fall for those who weren’t able to get into this one. It was great to watch our first responders practice saving lives and get to play a very small part in that.”
American Family Insurance provided the vehicles, and HURST Jaws of Life supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration.
For more information on the NABC F.R.E.E. program, click here.