Clearwater and District Road Rescue hold auto-extrication training for local responders

By Jaime Polmateer

Clearwater and District Roadside Rescue (CDRR) recently held an automobile extrication training day, where participants from local fire departments and emergency services learned the basics of roadside emergency scene management.

Road Rescue Units from Blue River, Barriere, Blackpool, Clearwater and Vavenby attended the all-day session.

“Scene stabilization, vehicle and patient stabilization and access to patients with a multitude of different extrication techniques—being it a door removal, a roof removal, going through the trunk or vehicles on their side, that sort of thing,” said Mike Savage, deputy unit chief for Highway Rescue and training coordinator.

Savage added CDRR tries to hold two of these training days a year, considering them major events in terms of keeping responders skills sharp, with Clearwater Towing offering up its property to hold the event this time around, and even donating half a dozen wrecked vehicles for participants to cut apart.

“It’s always nice to get that community buy-in to support the training of the volunteers,” Savage said.

Roughly 20 people took part in last weekend’s event, which served as an introduction to auto extrication for those new to the team, and a refresher to those more familiar with it.

This kind of training is ongoing, said Savage, and for people who are less familiar, it gives them hands-on experience with different equipment and techniques, teaching how to use the tools of the trade on actual damaged vehicles, so when a real roadside emergency is attended, there are fewer surprises.

For more seasoned participants, the day helps improve techniques and protocols that may have been learned at past training events, keeping skills honed and responders capable.

Some of the areas that were touched upon involved approaching and controlling a scene, de-energizing airbags and assessing the threat of a fire.

“Many of the accident scenes we go to now, with the new technologies and some of the mechanisms of the crash, the electrical components are easily damaged and short out,” Savage said.

“Couple that with any flammable substances, whether it be the fuel on the vehicle or the components within the vehicle, they ignite rather easily and being able to mitigate that risk for the victims and the responders ensures that everybody comes home safe.”

Teams were made up of one candidate from each agency represented, so everyone involved was working with someone new and all with varying skills levels.

Each team had an experienced extrication member and were monitored by the lead instructor.

Eight different emergency scenarios were undertaken by the teams, which rotated positions so everyone had time with each of the rescue tools.

Savage said there is enough gear provided to do two emergency scenarios at a time, including two sets of jaws, power packs and two sets of cutters.

“We could do two to four vehicles at a crack, which means a lot of manpower and a lot of work,” he added.

“It’s a volunteer service that’s provided to the community; the volunteers don’t get paid for what they do and it’s an important service that’s offered, community leaders need to know it’s valuable and needs to remain.”


Just Posted

Clearwater Fire Department adds building to facility

The building, bought from Wells Gray Search and Rescue, will be used for different types of training

Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO: Residents of Vavenby gathered at the Centennial Park for… Continue reading

Pipeline protesters move ‘tiny house’ camp north after leader’s arrest

Kanahus Manuel says on Facebook group has moved to the work camp at Blue River

Update: Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

Police investigating more racist slogans on First Nations signs

Police are investigating racist graffiti being posted on First Nations signs in the Kamloops area

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read