The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced it recently held a First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE) event in Loomis, Calif., to teach more than 20 first responders from the Higgins Fire Department the latest techniques in emergency vehicle extrication, all thanks to Collision Pros, Farmers Insurance and HURST Jaws of Life.
Collision Pros hosted the program at their facility to help ensure Loomis drivers have the best prepared response in case of an accident.
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 challenges presented by electric and hybrid
engines, and first responders need a whole new arsenal of rescue tools and procedures.
“It was great to get the opportunity to work with newer tools and high-strength steel,” said Jack Schaefer, firefighter with the Higgins Fire Department. “The new metals react very differently. You have to know how to leverage your cuts to be most efficient. It also just takes more time, and I wasn’t aware how strong they were.”
The NABC FREE 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.
“This was a very worthy event,” said Christee Sena, director of accounting and human resources for Collision Pros. “Watching the first responder’s enthusiasm with new tools and learning life-saving knowledge gave me an even greater respect for the challenges they face every day.”
Farmers Insurance provided the vehicles, and HURST Jaws of Life supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration.
For more information on the NABC FREE program, click here.