Vehicle Extrication Training Course
Several members of the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD) recently attended a vehicle extrication class in Charlottesville, Va. The course, known as “VEHEXT,” is hosted annually by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS) and provides an excellent way to learn the basic principles of auto extrication as well as a challenging opportunity for those with experience to refine skills and stay current on vehicle technology.
The BVFD covered all the expenses so that MFF Drew A. Dunn, FF Mark Bulla, FF Derrick Leak, and FF Sam LeClair could attend the three-day class. The course took place at a local junkyard and CARS has developed a relationship with the owner so that, unlike many other classes, there is a nearly unlimited supply of vehicles to cut up. The first day consisted of lectures and practical exercises to familiarize and refresh everyone, followed by two full days of cutting cars.
Representatives from several tool vendors were present which provided members an opportunity to try different tools which included newer cordless hydraulic tools. This experience was an incredibly valuable as the department is in the early stages of replacing RS715.
The course culminated in a “colossal collision” scenario where small groups of 8-10 students tackled an unusually challenging scene. BVFD members train regularly to ensure they’re proficient in the variety of accidents we face. Whether that’s stabilizing a vehicle on its side, popping a door, or rolling a dash, BVFD members take pride in working quickly and professionally. So imagine their surprise when they found two vehicles on their sides with a third resting on top and were told to take all the doors, remove the room and roll the dash!
Not only did the crew complete their assignment but did it with enough time to spare that the instructors showed some additional techniques including a novel method for rolling the dash of a car on its side.
The class was a uniquely valuable experience, and the department plans to send additional members next year.
Find more information on Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS) at: https://carsrescue.org/