West Plains training helps first responders learn how to rescue late model vehicles

WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) – A national program aims to train first responders in West Plains on how to properly rescue people in late model vehicles.

The National Auto Body Council offered training Saturday morning as part of its Emergency Education Program for First Responders (FREE). Groups gathered at CARSTAR Gobel’s Collison, an auto body shop in West Plains, for several hours of in-depth training.

The FREE program prepares emergency response teams to rescue victims of recent vehicle accidents, which can often make rescue more difficult. Saturday’s training included live demonstrations of how to work around high-strength steel, modern airbags, advanced restraint systems and on-board technology found in alternative fuel vehicles.

“The growing popularity of high voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety concerns surrounding these vehicles make this program a necessity,” the National Auto Body Council said in a press release. “Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at an accident scene. Electric cars, hybrid cars, and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that present hazards to first responders if it becomes necessary to “shut off” the vehicle for rescue.

The vehicles used for the live demonstrations were donated by Allstate Insurance and Genesis Rescue Systems.

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