NABC F.R.E.E. Program Hosts First Responders from 4 States, D.C.


First responders from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., learned how to handle the latest vehicle technology.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hosted first responders from Charlottesville, VA, three other states and Washington, D.C., on Oct. 10 and Oct. 12 at a special National Auto Body Council (NABC) First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.)™ education and guidance program.

More than 100 first responders donned their rescue gear for a hands-on demonstration of the latest techniques in emergency vehicle extrication, preparing them to provide the best response for car accident victims in the area, all thanks to URG and Team PRP. HURST Jaws of Life and Municipal Emergency Services (MES) provided the tools and education. Allstate and GEICO participated in a second event with IIHS on Oct. 12.

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 challenge presented by electric and hybrid engines, and first responders need a whole new arsenal of rescue tools and procedures.

“First responders from five states came to IIHS and participated, not only in viewing a crash test, but they were cutting late-model vehicles that are donated to us by insurance partners. They will take back knowledge about how to extricate victims with the newest techniques,” said Kyle Medeiros, NABC board member and chair of the NABC F.R.E.E. Committee. 

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 5,500 first responders.

USAA, Allstate and GEICO provided the vehicles, and HURST Jaws of Life and Municipal Emergency Services (MES) supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration. Panera Bread provided breakfast, Mission Barbeque donated lunch and the PepsiCo Bottling Company provided water.

AkzoNobel Beta web graphic v2 600px

Shop & Product Showcase