Firefighters train to free victims crashes safer and faster

GREEN PARK, MO (KPLR) - Dozens of firefighters from across Missouri and Illinois were in St. Louis Tuesday night learning how to rescue auto crash victim faster and safer. The training session was held at the CARSTAR Collision Center.

Every year new cars change.  Different materials are used and safety systems are updated. Firefighters want to know everything they can about those changes and the latest information about items like air bags.  Tony Barboza works with Holmatro Rescue Tools.  He said, “They need to know how to work around them (air bags) safely again because of the occupants who they’re trying to rescue and because of themselves they don’t want to accidently deploy a bag when they’re working. “

Fire crews spent a great deal of time learning new techniques with hydraulic rescue tools. Carbondale Fire Chief Ted Lomax said, “You want to work quickly and smoothly and quickly so we can get the occupants out of the vehicle and to medical care.”

They also had classroom time, and they took a close look at a hybrid car.  St. Louis firefighter Mario Montero said, “All the electrical components there’s a shock hazard with that that we have to be aware of.”

State Farm Insurance loaned wrecked cars for the firefighters to cut open.