Published November 18, 2013 19:15
On Saturday, November 16, 2013 members of Bell Springs Fire went to Vehicle Extrication Training with Laytonville VFD and CalFire. MacCaffrey's Auto Wreckers graciously allowed us to tear apart about-to-be-smashed cars to learn how to extricate accident victims. We hope we don't have to use these skills but they could save someone's life.
Will, Daniel, Courtney, Echo, and Brian went to the training. We were expertly instructed by Laytonville Assistant Chief Greg Smith. Greg led us through the steps necessary to safely remove people from wrecked cars. Stressing safety first for responders and victims, Greg taught us the best ways to stabilize the vehicle, assess the patient, break the glass, remove the doors, peel the roof, and transfer the victim(s). There's a lot to learn and a lot of hazards to avoid. Modern cars are filled with airbags, restraint systems, and complex electrical systems that pose threats to rescuers. All cars are different and all situations are different. We will continue to train and learn how to deal with what happens. Although we will not be responding to accidents on the highway, we may have to deal with collisions and cars over the bank on our steep dirt roads and driveways.
Several years ago we were given a Jaws of Life system that had been upgraded by a municipal fire department. These are very expensive units that are often the only tool that can quickly open a mangled car. Our unit was the hottest thing in 1975. It features a 2-stroke engine, built-in hydraulic pump and tank, and cutter and spreader tools. The engine is incredibly loud and the tools are very heavy and exhausting to use but they do a great job breaking open doors and cutting metal in a hurry. It's a great tool to have on the engine.
Here's some photos of our crew at work. Thanks to Greg Smith and Laytonville Fire for sharing this training with us.