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NABC Rolling Out Vehicle Extrication Program for First Responders

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The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced it will debut its latest community service project, the First Responders Emergency Extrication (FREE) training course, on the NACE show floor on Friday at 11 a.m.

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It’s important for first responders to accident scenes to understand advancements in vehicle design – including high strength steels, passenger restraint systems, multiple airbags and the growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid vehicles – to safely rescue victims, NABC says.

The 90-minute FREE course incorporates classroom and hands0on instruction, including demonstrations in vehicle cutting techniques. Vehicle donations for the NACE debut are being provided by CSAA Insurance and Hertz, which will provide a hybrid vehicle. Las Vegas first responders will actively participate in the event.

“It’s wonderful to have the entire industry working together to deliver this program,” said FREE’s lead instructor Toby Chess. “The collision repair industry possesses the know-how to save more lives, and this is a good opportunity to put that expertise to use.”

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Chess and his sponsor, repair products supplier Kent Automotive, have donated time and resources in the past to deliver this information to first responders and say the program will continue into the future.

“There is a pressing need in every community for this kind of training,” Chess said.

NABC says it’s putting together a package that will allow body shops across the U.S. to present the FREE program in their communities.

“We’re working with Holmatro Rescue Equipment to create a turnkey program template that quickly can be put into place,” said 2010 FREE Chairman Michael Quinn of 911 Collision Centers. “Holmatro has 40 years of experience helping rescue and emergency services personnel around the world with their technology, which makes their participation really exciting.”

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