SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Members of the Iona-McGregor Fire District are prepared in the event a vehicle crash requires the extrication of a victim.
Over the course of three days of training, about 75 firefighters with the district were trained on how to safely and quickly remove a person trapped in a car.
In the past, only a handful of firefighters received the training.
The 12 cars used were part of a deal worked out with Beach Fender Mender, a car repair shop in South Fort Myers.
The cars were not donated, but the fire district says the cost was small compared to how many lives the training will save.
Crews were trained to secure the vehicle before trying to extract a victim. They need to stabilize the car, take the air out of the tires, and cut the battery power before they start using any of their generator-powered heavy equipment.
They are taught where to make cuts into the car so it won't disturb air bags that can potentially go off after the crash.
Firefighters learned several techniques including door and roof removal, side out procedures (where the entire side of the car is removed at once) and dash lifts (where the dashboard is lifted in the event a victim becomes pinned beneath it).
The Iona-McGregor Fire District responds to an average of thirteen car accidents each month.
The division chief, Seth Comer, says they can make it to any crash in the district in four minutes or less.
He says the training will help them reduce extrication times once they arrive at the scene.