This creates an opportunity for repair shops to reach out and build practical partnerships with their local fire departments. Moore suggests repair shops who find themselves with crash-damaged late-model vehicles destined for the scrap yard contact their local fire department and offer to host rescue personnel to perform a practice mock extrication on the vehicle. “Virtually any fire department I know of would jump at that opportunity,” he says.
Many fire departments – especially in rural or low-income communities – can go multiple years without having the opportunity to let their personnel practice on the kind of late-model vehicles they’re most likely to encounter on an emergency call. This makes the offer by a collision shop of a practice session a precious opportunity to build real-world skills which could save lives in the local community.
Most shops who do this also invite their own repair technicians to attend and learn, taking advantage of the opportunity to watch a vehicle get dismantled on their shop floor or parking lot. Moore says when he’s led these sessions, repair technicians regularly tell him how interesting and valuable the experience was.
This kind of partnership between repair shop and fire department provides not only practical value, but also builds goodwill in the community at minimal cost: “The car’s still going to the scrapyard, it’s just going in a few more pieces than it would have otherwise,” Moore concluded.