First responders practice extrications on new model cars

By  | 

PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ7) The men and women who would rescue someone from a bad car crash were getting special hands on training, and it could save your life one day.

First responders from three counties spent much of Wednesday evening at Tuck's Collision in Pulaski learning how to cut into and get a person out of new model cars, which they hadn't experienced before.

It was put on by the National Auto Body Council, and supported by local insurance and towing companies who supplied vehicles to practice with.

As cars and trucks come out with safer metal, glass, and more capabilities, it can make it tougher for emergency crews to do their jobs.

Brandon Hamblin, the Newbern Volunteer Fire Department Chief, said, "Technology in these cars changes everyday. Sometimes as a first responder, it's hard to follow all the new things that come out. It was excellent and we definitely learned some things we didn't know."

This training wasn't to make extrications faster or easier. It's to keep the first responders, as well as the people in the car, safe.

Travis Arnold of the Poplar Hill Volunteer Fire Department said, "They were explaining earlier, there are lines that you cannot cut on a hybrid car, and that's good to know and a lot of people don't know that."

Pulaski Fire Department Chief added, "They were able to tell us different points and what areas to cut on the car that makes it better or quicker for us and where our tools will go through it and where it wouldn't go through it as before."

They also learned things like why the car battery needs to be deactivated, so an airbag doesn't go off, and that new windshields can't be smashed with tools, they need to be cut.

The crews also got to use new equipment designed to get people out of new cars.

But there was also learning by the public, who were invited to watch, about not getting distracted if you pass these scenes on the highway.

Draper Fire Department Deputy Chief Justin Dobbins explained, "It shows them how serious our job is out here on the fire scene and that they need to take into consideration when they see flashing lights, they need to move over."

One of the tow companies even said 71% of people don't know slowing down and moving over when passing a scene like what was demonstrated Wednesday night is a law!

Follow @EamonOMearaTV on Twitter and like Eamon O'Meara WDBJ7 on Facebook

Follow @WDBJ7 on Twitter and like WDBJ7 on Facebook