The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced that more than 60 first responders from Houston, Dallas and San Antonio gathered on Nov. 17 at the BASF Automotive Competence Center for a demonstration of the latest techniques in emergency vehicle extrication, preparing them to provide the best response for car accident victims in the region, all thanks to its First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE) program and BASF.
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, pry and extricate can make the difference in saving precious minutes and lives as well as the safety of the first responders. Keeping first responders up to date on the latest new technology in vehicles is a challenge for every local fire department. The NABC 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 FREE 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.
State Farm provided the vehicles for the FREE event, and Hurst Jaws of Life and MES instructors supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration. Other partners included Insurance Auto Auctions, BAM Towing and Enterprise Rental Car.