LEVEL PLAINS, Ala.(WDHN) — Imagine being in a car accident and not having a way out, it’s up to first responders to assess the situation and help save victims trapped in their cars. The volunteer fire departments of Level Plains and Daleville took WDHN behind the scenes of their entrapment training.
“Today we are practicing extrication when someone has been in a car wreck or not necessarily a car wreck could be a machinery entrapment or something, today we are practicing with cars,” said Level Plains Fire Department Chief, Jamie Gatlin.
Chief Gatlin says they always have new people coming through the station and training is crucial for a volunteer fire department.
“We have people who have never had a chance to do this so they get a chance to do it in kind of controlled conditions. And also, our automatic mutual aid partner Daleville Fire Department is coming over and they are going to join in and so that we can get to practice together like we are working together on the scene,” Gatlin said.
When rolling up to the scene, first responders can use a tool like a combi tool to extricate passengers from a car accident.
“This time of year, with the extra travel, always prone to have more wrecks and anytime you have a wreck there’s always a chance of someone being trapped or just their hurt bad enough that they can’t get out normal means sometimes we have to cut the car just to get them out even though they aren’t really trapped to prevent further injury to them,” Gatlin said.
The Daleville and Level Plains fire departments train together quarterly since they show up to and work the same scenes due to their automatic mutual aid agreement. The departments got to know each other and the equipment so that they can be more efficient if and when an entrapment or accident occurs.
“Accidents are pretty common, entrapment is not as common, and that’s the reason, we have to, it’s a low frequency but high-risk event so we have to practice that,” Said Gatlin.
Trainings like this are important for first responders so that they know how to properly handle arriving first on the scene of car accidents.