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First responders learn new rescue skills through NABC program and Illinois collision shop

NABC F.R.E.E. Program and Crash Champions host education on how to extricate people from today’s advanced vehicles

Crestwood, Ill.—Crash Champions Collision Repair in Crestwood, Ill., hosted first responders from Crestwood, Midlothian and surrounding communities at a special NABC F.R.E.E. education and guidance program last week. The training helped ensure drivers have the best prepared response in case of an accident. The vehicles were donated by Allstate Insurance and the educational program and extrication demonstration was led by Genesis Rescue Systems. A hybrid/electric vehicle was provided by by Zeigler Infiniti of Orland Park.

Electric cars, hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that pose dangers for first responders if need arises to ‘cut’ the vehicle for rescue.

“With the complexity of today’s cars, advanced safety systems and hybrid/electric vehicles, first responders face a challenge when they get to an accident scene of knowing how to safety extricate the passengers from that specific make and model,” said Natalie Zajc, vice president of marketing for Crash Champions Collision Repair. “Working with our partners at Allstate to provide late-model vehicles and Genesis to lead the training, we’re able to provide them an opportunity to practice their cutting and extrication techniques.”

The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety “concerns surrounding these vehicles makes this program a necessity,” said Tom Styczynski, chief of the Alsip Fire Department.  “Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at the scene of an accident.  Electric cars, hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that pose dangers for first responders if need arises to ‘cut’ the vehicle for rescue.”

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