Cutting Cars; Air National Guard Units Conduct Basic Vehicle Extrication Training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Andrew J. Merlock
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont Air National Guard Fire Departments conducted basic vehicle extrication training exercises here at the 165th Airlift Wing's Regional Fire Training Facility in Savannah, Ga. on April 6, 2016.

The training provided practical, hands-on exercises focusing on softening, a term used to describe the prying of doors and other openings, and stabilizing a vehicle in addition to the deployment and use of extrication tools.

"Take it all in, make good sound decisions and take into account the safety of your crew," explained Tech. Sgt. Brandon Sotter, Assistant Chief of Operations for the 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard, who was instructing the vehicle softening portion of the exercise. "We didn't make the scene that way, we're just trying to make it better."

Airmen practiced the deployment and operation of cribbing tools to stabilize an overturned motor vehicle, in addition to Hurst spreaders and cutters, similar to the Jaws of Life. These tools are utilized by fire departments throughout the Air National Guard to prevent further injury and ultimately remove an entrapped victim of a motor vehicle accident.

"EMS is a large part of our job now," explained Senior Airman Colin Bellavance of the 158th Fighter Wing Fire Department, who also served as an instructor. "This is a big part of it, responding to scenes and providing assistance to patients in need."

The basic vehicle extrication training exercise is one of the many training sessions that the five Air National Guard Units will conduct together during the week at the 165th Regional Fire Training Facility.