Tuesday, 13 November 2018 22:51

CARSTAR Offers NABC F.R.E.E. Training to KS City-Area Firefighters


More than 120 first responders from the Kansas City and St. Joe area attended demonstrations offered by CARSTAR on how to extricate people from today’s advanced vehicles.


The National Auto Body Council First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.) training on the latest in technology was offered by three CARSTAR locations in the Kansas City area.


CARSTAR hosted three events in St. Joseph and Smithville, MO, and Stilwell, KS, Oct. 16--18.


Fire departments from Kansas City, MO and KS, St. Joseph, Smithville, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Lenexa, Johnson County, Anderson County, Shawnee Heights, Louisburg, Winfield, Rushville, King City, Maryville, Warrensburg, Fishing River and Falls City attended one of the three events.


Steve Hahn, owner of CARSTAR Metcalf, said CARSTAR is committed to helping our community become a safer place to live.


“Hosting the NABC F.R.E.E.™ events are a way for CARSTAR to further serve the Kansas City area,” added Hahn.


Twelve salvage vehicles were donated by State Farm for firefighters to practice “cutting” techniques.


“State Farm is proud to support this program that will help prepare our first responders to handle the emergency situations they’ll face,” said Kevin Gamble, State Farm community and media relations. “We make it our business to help build safer, stronger and better-educated communities.”


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 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 First Responder Emergency Extrication program (F.R.E.E.™) 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 need arises to cut or pry the vehicle for rescue.

Billy Hurt from Alex Air Apparatus was the instructor at all three events. The program displayed key products used to increase the speed at which occupants can be removed safely from damaged vehicles. Hurst Jaws of Life is a rescue equipment manufacturer that has partnered with the National Auto Body Council.


Hahn said, “Our training and experience in repairing vehicles also translates into knowledge of how to ‘cut’ these vehicles in an emergency scenario. Hurst knows the tools and techniques for extrication. CARSTAR body shops know the vehicles.”


The First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) program is a project of the National Auto Body Council.

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