On November 19, Nanuet Collision Centers of Monsey, New
York, a member of the National Auto Body Council (NABC), will deliver the
latest in vehicle emergency occupant extrication training to first responders,
ultimately helping to save lives.
There are more than 5.8 million vehicle collisions a year. In
crashes where minutes can spell the difference between life and death, first
responders to the accident scene need proper training so they can act quickly.
The First Responders Emergency Extrication (FREE) program
is a four-hour course that incorporates classroom and hands-on instruction,
including demonstrations of vehicle cutting techniques.
"First responders such as firemen require the most
current vehicle information to be effective," states FREE Chairman Mike
Quinn of 911 Collision Centers. "FREE helps keep them up to date, which is
more important than ever given the rapid onslaught of advancements in vehicle
design such as high-strength steels, advanced restraint systems and multiple
air bags. The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid vehicles also makes
this class a necessity."
Late model vehicles, scheduled to be donated by State
Farm, will be available for participants to practice on, a great aspect of the
program since most fire departments have no access to such vehicles.
"As its name implies, the FREE program is delivered
at no cost," says NABC Executive Director Chuck Sulkala. "This is a
great opportunity for the collision repair industry which has access to some
of the most current information on vehicle design and construction to pass it
on to those needing it most."
Holmatro, an international rescue equipment manufacturer,
will display key products used to increase the speed at which occupants can be
removed safely from damaged vehicles at the program.
FREE is a community awareness project whereby members of
the NABC repair and donate total loss vehicles for first responder
organizations in need throughout the United States. It promotes efficient motor
vehicle rescue procedures for emergency personnel at the scene of an accident
and is provided to participants free of charge.