On Tuesday, we had an extrication training at my volunteer department.
The captain set up the training; he had arranged for the local and regional sales managers from the company that makes the particular extrication tools that we use to come and help with the training. The captain had also come up with two cars for us to cut up; one from a member of the department that has a car repair shop; the other from another local garage.
The garage was to drop their car off at the station during the day on Tuesday; the other car was to be brought by our member Tuesday evening.
We all showed up at 1830 Tuesday. As promised, there was a car in the lot and our guy brought the other car on a flatbed.
It was cold so we pulled Engine Two out to make room in the bay for our training. Several members went out to the lot to bring in the car; the garage had neglected to leave the keys to their car so our guys had to pop the steering lock and hot-wire the car to get it into the garage.
The car was actually in really good shape. There was a little rust on the outside but the interior was nice; plus, once the car was hot-wired, it ran great. We debated keeping it within the department but finally decided to go ahead and use it for the purpose it had been donated for.
The second car, from our guy, didn’t run. He backed his flatbed into the bay to unload the car.
We started on the non-working car. We spent about two hours with this car; we broke all of the glass and removed the windshield to prepare it for cutting, then removed all four doors, then the roof. Finally we crimped and cut the frame to perform a dash-roll; a procedure that is used to lift the dashboard and steering column off of a trapped occupant.
The sales managers are very experienced and knowledgeable about auto extrication and critiqued us throughout. As a department, we have experience with extrication but can always use training and advice from people that have done it more than us. The regional sales manager has been focused on extrication tools since 1989 and was able to give us a lot of insight and many tips that were new to us.
After we completed the first car, we stopped and discussed the previous evolution for a few minutes. Then the trainers had us open the second car as though we were on a scene, without stopping for instruction. We had the four doors off the car, the roof peeled all the way back, and the dash rolled within ten minutes. A nice job, really.
We finished up and cleaned up the bay. Our guy took the car he had brought away on his flatbed; we pushed the other car back out into the lot, to be picked up later by the garage that had donated it.
Then we went back inside.
Someone noticed that the answering machine was flashing with a new message; no one had noticed it before. One of the officers pressed the playback button. It was the garage, apologizing for not being able to drop off a car as promised. They hoped that this would not be an issue for the scheduled training.
The mystery car still sits in the lot.