GRAFTON—When it comes to the safety of the community the Grafton Fire Department (GFD) strives for excellence; constantly honing their skills and learning new techniques to better assist them when duty calls.
Over the weekend, members of the department took part in a special training to prepare them to work quickly and efficiently in the case of a motor vehicle accident.
On Saturday, the crew gathered at their Beech Street location, where a mock vehicle accident was created, with two vehicles overturned and resting on their top and side.
According to GFD Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Roberts, this training exercise was focused on using the proper techniques to remove entrapped patients when a vehicle is overturned or has landed on its side as a result of an accident.
Throughout the rigorous five-hour training, members familiarized themselves with the department’s Rescue 42 stabilization struts.
Acting as though the scene were a real-life accident, crews used the equipment to hold the vehicle in place as they worked to safely free the patient.
“When we arrive on the scene of an overturned vehicle it is important that we work quickly but must go through several steps to ensure everyone goes home safely,” Roberts commented.
He shared that once they have assessed the scene, stabilizing the vehicle is a vital step, as even the smallest shift of the automobile during extraction could cause serious injury to not only the occupants of the vehicle but to the firemen working the scene, as well.
Additionally, the day of training gave members a refresher on how to properly utilize the GFD’s Hurst Jaws of Life; a piece of equipment powerful enough to cut through the metal of an automobile in order to allow easier and safer access to anyone who may be trapped inside.
“Once the vehicle is secure, we can begin cutting off doors, or whatever is necessary, to free the patient without moving them too much. The goal is to extract the patient without them having to move much, just because with a rollover accident, injuries can possibly be severe,” Roberts explained. “We don’t want anyone with a serious head or neck injury to have to crawl through a broken window. This is a safer option to get the patient execrated and into the care of the emergency squad.”
While he reported that the training day was a success and he was pleased with the work everyone put forth, he noted that this is just the first of many trainings to come for the department.
“We are planning to start monthly trainings. This was just the first of the many we have planned,” Roberts commented. “It is our job to protect and rescue individuals in the community, and it is something we take pride in.”
He said that in order to do that job, the department must make sure that all of their members are fully prepared, comfortable and familiar with all of the equipment.
“It is a nerve-racking situation where our guys have to remain calm and level headed, go through the steps, work quickly and efficiently and get everyone home safe. These trainings and refresher courses are necessary to ensure that happens. They are just another way we are working to be able better serve our community,” Roberts imparted.