The National Auto Body Council (NABC), along with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Caliber Collision, will host a First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE) event on Thursday, Sept. 20 at the IIHS facility in Ruckersville, Va.
The FREE program helps first responders stay 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 makes 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 or pry the vehicle for rescue.
Roughly 60 first responders representing 20 fire stations from throughout the Ruckersville area will be present at the Sept. 20 event. The event will ensure that drivers from throughout the region have the best-prepared response in case of an accident. Seven vehicles donated by State Farm will be used for the demonstration. Hertz and Hurst Jaws of Life is providing the classroom instruction and extrication demonstration.
A meet-and-greet continental breakfast will be provided by Panera Bread, and lunch will be served by Mission BBQ, Maddio’s Pizza and Fire House Subs. Beverages throughout the event will be provided by Hertz Corporation.
The schedule for the event is as follows:
- 9 a.m. – meet & Greet sponsored by Panera Bread
- 9:30 a.m. – classroom sessions
- 10:30 a.m. – tour of the Vehicle Research Center
- 11:30 a.m. – live crash test demo
- 12 p.m. – lunch
- 1 p.m. – hands-on extrication
- 3:30 p.m. – wrap-up training