The Edmond Sun

July 11, 2013

Edmond fire recruits sharpen crash rescue skills

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — “Vehicle extrication” is a less than glamorous name, but in the fire service it often is the difference between life and death.

Thursday afternoon, the city’s nine fire recruits split up into two teams and tackled car crash scenaries at the Edmond Fire Department’s regional training facility located just east of the Covell-Interstate 35 intersection.

Edmond Fire Capt. Barry Garrett said in responding to wrecks on I-35 or on city streets, when vehicles become entangled, it may not be as simple as opening the doors to get a victim out. Garrett said personnel need to know how to get a victim out safely without injuring them further.

“Sometimes they’re in some vary precarious situations,” Garrett said, noting how the scenario used vehicles on their side and overturned.

At the same time, the length of time it takes to assess a scene, extricate a victim and get them to medical care can make the difference between life and death, Garrett said.

“You’ve got to get it done right now,” he said.

Tools fire rescue personnel use during extrication include cutters, spreaders, combination tools, rams, hyrdraulic pumps, self-contained rescue tools and stabilization equipment. The process involves crew organization and scene safety. Personnel extricate victims, depending on the situation, by removing doors and/or removing roofs.  

A number of the recruits have previous fire service experience, but learning is a continuous process, Garrett said.