WHEN Orange Fire and Rescue are called to free someone trapped in a motor vehicle accident, time is of the essence.
As part of an ongoing program to upskill firefighters, an intensive weekend of training is coming up for retained and full time firefighters at the Orange Fire Station.
Station officer Matt Jeffery said changes to motor vehicle design continued to challenge firefighters in their role as they cut injured people from vehicles, often at the same time they are being treated by paramedics.
“This type of training is something we do on a regular basis but we have had to make some changes to the way we carry out our rescues,” he said.
Mr Jeffery said the design of some modern vehicles, particularly in the B-pillar section, is traditionally where firefighters have used the jaws of life to help remove the roof of a vehicle, has changed in recent times.
“They tend to be laminated structures these days and are quite hard to cut through,” he said.
Another of the challenges facing firefighters working on modern vehicles are air bags that have failed to deploy.
“That does tend to happen quite often and we find in that instance we have to disconnect the battery if the air bags don’t go off,” he said.
Mr Jeffery said the vehicles which will be used for practise at the weekend have been donated, and the brigade is always looking for more to assist with ongoing training.
“At the moment we are on the look out for a van with a side sliding door that isn’t roadworthy anymore,” he said.
Mr Jeffery said in that type of vehicle leg injuries were quite common and presented firefighters with another set of challenges to be conquered in the training schedule.
If you have a vehicle you no longer want which could be used for training by Orange Fire and Rescue call 6361 2205.