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

The program teaches the latest techniques in emergency extrication from vehicles equipped with advanced technology and innovative safety systems.


More than 30 first responders from the Cranford, NJ, Fire Department and surrounding areas donned their rescue gear Nov. 25 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 Benner’s Auto Body and HURST Jaws of Life and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) First Responder Emergency Education (F.R.E.E.) program.

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.

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.

Benner’s Auto Body provided the vehicles, and HURST Jaws of Life supplied the classroom education and extrication demonstration.

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