Nov. 13, 2017—Two CARSTAR shops in Kansas City area recently offered training on the latest technology to first responders in the area. CARSTAR Metcalf in Stilwell, Kan., offered training on Nov. 8. and CARSTAR Wicklunds in Liberty, Mo., offered training the following night.
The First Responders Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.) program is a four-hour course that incorporates classroom and hands-on instruction, including demonstrations of vehicle cutting techniques.
The F.R.E.E. program keeps first responders abreast of the rapid changes in vehicle design. High strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems and safety around alternative fuel vehicles are all covered in the training.
More than 80 first responders from Kansas City, Shawnee, Lees Summit, Liberty, Pleasant Valley, Birmingham, Riverside, North Kansas City, Grandview, Lenexa, Falls City and Warrensburg registered for this training.
“First responders need to know about these new alternative fuel vehicles on the road,” said Steve Hahn, owner of CARSTAR Metcalf. “We teach the fire fighters how to be safe when working around those vehicles and how to disable the systems if needed.”
Hahn said the training included displaying alternative fuel vehicles. Olathe Toyota provided an electric car for display. Also featured during this training was how to deal with the multiple airbag and restraint systems appearing in vehicles.
The true strength of this program is the opportunity to practice “cutting” late model vehicles. Salvage cars were donated so first responders can get a chance to practice “cutting” vehicles in a controlled and safe environment. Salvage vehicles were donated by State Farm Insurance for firefighters to practice “cutting” techniques.
The F.R.E.E. program is a partnership between the National Auto Body Council and Holmatro Rescue Equipment. CARSTAR is a national partner with NABC.
JoAnn Tyler from Holmatro Rescue Equipment was the instructor at the events. The program will display key products used to increase the speed at which occupants can be removed safely from damaged vehicles. Holmatro is an international rescue equipment manufacturer.