On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the National Auto Body Council (NABC) First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE) program hosted an event at Tuck’s Collision and Restoration in Pulaski, Va., to demonstrate how first responders should extricate people from today’s advanced vehicles.
In crashes where minutes can spell the difference between life and death, first responders to the accident scene need up-to-date information so they can act quickly and safely. Knowing specifically where and how to efficiently cut and extricate can make the difference in saving precious minutes and lives as well as the safety of the first responders.
Keeping firefighters up to date on the latest new technology in vehicles is a challenge for every local fire department. The NABC FREE program keeps first responders abreast of the rapid changes in vehicle design. High-strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems, onboard technology and safety around alternative fuel vehicles are all covered in the program.
The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety concerns surrounding these vehicles make this program a necessity. Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at the scene of an accident. Electric cars, hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that pose dangers for first responders if the need arises to “cut” the vehicle for rescue.