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Omaha fire fighters cut up vehicles at CARSTAR

First responders learn new auto technology to help save lives
Friday, April 26, 2013 - 06:25
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Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at the scene of an accident. Electric cars, hybrid cars, natural gas vehicles…. all these fuel systems pose dangers for first responders if need arises to “cut” the vehicle for rescue.   
Keeping fire fighters abreast on the latest new technology in vehicles is a challenge for the every local fire department. Two Omaha auto body repair shops hosted training on the latest in technology to area first responders. Don & Ron’s CARSTAR and Silver Hammer CARSTAR hosted this training April 10 & 11.
The First Responder Emergency Extrication program (F.R.E.E.) keeps first responders abreast of the rapid changes in vehicle design. High strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems and safety around alternative fuel vehicles are all covered in the training.
The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety concerns surrounding these vehicles makes this training a necessity for first responders.

More than 80 firefighters from the Omaha metro area attended this training.
“First responders need to know about these new alternative fuel vehicles on the road, “ says Bob Keith, CARSTAR senior director of training and education. “We taught the fire fighters how to be safe when working around those vehicles and how to disable the systems if needed.”  Keith said the training included displaying electric, hybrid and natural gas vehicles.

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