Firefighters train saving trapped motorists - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters train saving trapped motorists

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Dozens of firefighters spent hours rescuing trapped motorists Sunday.  But it was all practice to prepare these new volunteer firefighters for the real thing.  

Firefighters used wrecked cars to train how to remove and save crash victims.

"They go through basic training steps, they learn how to take care of patients in vehicles, what to do and not to do, how to dismantle cars to remove patients who have been in a vehicle accident," said Chris Wainwright, GA Emergency Management Field Instructor.

The rookies tore off doors and roof panels with the power equipment and learned how to saw through the heavy duty plexiglass windshields.

"All kinds of lifts and maneuvers to do like dash rolls, dash lifts, and popping doors off the hinges, just trying to get people out of cars," said Wainwright.

They took turns with the Jaws of Life and other powerful saws tearing off doors, roofs and broken windows.

For Blake Martin, this isn't his first time doing this training. In fact he has used this same equipment out in the field.

"You get on scene and your adrenaline starts going, it is just something you have to do, you know you got to do something and get it done," said Blake Martin, Calhoun Co. Volunteer Firefighter.

They demonstrated on cars in numerous positions according to how a car may land in a wreck.

"Different situations, different wrecks, we have one that is on its top, on its side, a lot of wrecks end up on all four tires, or all tires are deflated, we put them at different angles, we create different scenarios for each car, we may have one patient that is in the front, we may have a whole car full of patients," said Martin

And practice is important since timing is crucial when it comes to saving someone's life.

"What we call the golden hour, we have trained on this for years, if they can get to the trauma from a trauma incident to a trauma center in less than an hour, their survivability has increased considerably," said Wainwright.

And getting them to think quickly in training will better prepare them for the unpredictable situations out on the roads.

Fire fighters were also trained on using hammers a chisels to extricate patients from a car, just in case power equipment malfunctions.

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