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NABC Hosted Event for First Responders at IIHS

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September 21, 2018—Virginia first responders recently learned new rescue skills through the National Auto Body Council First Responder Emergency ExtrIcation program (F.R.E.E.). The event was hosted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

Some 60 first responders representing 20 fire stations from Virginia gathered Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Va.

Keeping first responders up to date on the latest new technology in vehicles is a challenge for many local fire departments.  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.

Seven vehicles were donated by State Farm Insurance  for the demonstration.

 

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