AT 3am on a cold Orange winter’s night it is vital firefighters know their rescue techniques automatically, without having to think twice about it, according to Fire and Rescue NSW Orange station officer Matt Jeffery.
Five Orange firefighters have just completed a weekend course to perfect their rescue techniques.
These same skills were put to the test on Friday night when their colleagues attended a two-car accident on the Cargo Road, which left one person trapped.
Fire and Rescue NSW senior rescue instructor Col Whiteman said it was vital crews knew a range of techniques when rescuing someone trapped in a vehicle.
“Every crash is different, they’re [the firefighters] problem solvers, they have to think on their feet,” he said.
During the road crash rescue competency course firefighters learnt patient management and removal techniques, road crash hazards, vehicle stabilisation, glass management and legislation requirements.
“The ability to remove someone from a vehicle can be the difference between life and death,” Mr Whiteman said.
“It’s critical for everyone, we’re the insurance policy for the community.”
Station officer Matt Jeffery says there are hazards not only for the people trapped in a car accident, but also the emergency service crews that attend the incident.
“You’ve got to know your stuff back to front, because at 3am on a cold and frosty night, and the ambos are saying this person needs to be out of the car in 15 minutes ...,” he said.
The training was part of a six-weekend course to ensure all firefighters were adequately trained in essential rescue techniques for accreditation with the State Rescue Board.