Missouri First Responders Learn New Rescue Skills Through NABC F.R.E.E. Program


The program teaches first responders how to safely respond to emergencies involving newer vehicles with advanced technology.

First responders from the Liberty, MO, Fire Department and surrounding areas donned their rescue gear Oct. 18 for a hands-on demonstration of the latest techniques in emergency vehicle extrication, preparing them to provide the best response for car accident victims, all thanks to CARSTAR Wicklunds Liberty, Farmers Insurance, HURST Jaws of Life and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) First Responder Emergency Education (F.R.E.E.) program.

CARSTAR Wicklund Liberty, located at 941 Sutton Place in Liberty, hosted the first responders.

Today’s vehicles are equipped with numerous airbags, advanced technology and innovative safety systems that keep drivers safer in case of an accident. But, these same safety advantages make it harder for first responders to rescue those drivers and passengers. Add to that the potential challenging presented by electric and hybrid engines, and first responders need a whole new arsenal of rescue tools and procedures.

The NABC F.R.E.E. program helps prepare local first responder teams to rescue accident victims from these late-model vehicles. The program provides education and live demonstrations on working with high-strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems, onboard technology and safety around alternative fuel vehicles. Since it was founded, it has provided education for more than 5,000 first responders.

"We understand how important it is for firefighters to get a chance to practice their extrication skills on newer vehicles. This event helps bring awareness to the newer technology and stronger tensile strength metals in vehicles today. We are proud to be able to host and even get education ourselves from the First Responder Emergency Education class,” said Billy Wicklund of CARSTAR Wicklunds Liberty.

Farmers Insurance provided the vehicles, and HURST Jaws of Life supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration.

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