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.
Auto Collision and Glass at 2200 Military Road, Niagara Falls, NY, hosted first responders from Amherst, Kenmore, Lancaster, Lewiston, Grand Island, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Eggertsville at a special NABC F.R.E.E.™ instruction program on April 6 in Niagara Falls to help ensure drivers have the best prepared response in case of an accident.
“Auto Collision and Glass is committed to helping the local community whenever we get the chance,” said Kevin Gross of Auto Collision and Glass. “We were glad we could participate with this worthy cause, and will most likely be doing more of these events. We also participate with the NABC Recycled Rides™ program and donate vehicles to disabled veterans.”
USAA Insurance provided the vehicles, and Lyons Emergency Services supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration. Other partners included Niagara Towing, Paddock Chevrolet and National Coatings and Supplies.