United Recyclers Group, Team PRP to Sponsor NABC F.R.E.E. Program in Virginia


The National Auto Body Council® announced United Recyclers Group (URG) and Team PRP have signed on as presenting sponsors for the NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) program at the renowned Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, VA.

The IIHS NABC F.R.E.E. event presented by URG and Team PRP, scheduled for Oct. 10 and 12, will feature a two-day demonstration of the latest techniques in emergency vehicle extrication, preparing them to provide the best response for car accident victims in the region. 

URG is an association of auto recyclers representing more than 500 member companies and their 775 locations in the U.S. and Canada, and Team PRP is the nation’s largest 131-member group of independently owned auto recyclers. Allstate, USAA and GEICO will donate the vehicles for the event and HURST Jaws of Life will supply the classroom education and extrication demonstration. Some 100 first responders from the region will participate in the event.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to connect the NABC F.R.E.E. program with the auto recycling industry,” said Don Porter, internal business/industry consultant, for URG. “We are especially thankful that we are able help sponsor this important event which will enhance the training, safety and knowledge of these first responders who risk their lives and work daily to save the lives of individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents.”

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

“Our network of 280 of the nation’s best automotive recyclers is proud to work hand in with the NABC to assist in the heroic work of first responders who strive to be their best when others are in need of lifesaving help,” said Jarret Hann, executive director for Team PRP.

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 advanced 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.

“We are very excited to partner with URG and Team PRP on this tremendous event for the continued education of our first responders, with hands-on experience using the latest technology to address the most advanced vehicle designs,” said Kyle Medeiros, chair of the NABC F.R.E.E. committee. “Their support makes it possible for us to put on this two-day event and share this education effort with so many first responders.”

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