WICHITA, Kansas - Dozens of first responders from south central Kansas learned about new ways to help people trapped in their vehicles as a result of car accidents.
Newer cars weigh less and have more advanced safety features than their older counterparts, but also provide different challenges to emergency crews.
"It's going to be very helpful," Sedgwick County fire Capt. Kelby Harrison said. "With today's technology, cars are always changing, and we need to keep up with the modern technology."
Newer vehicles are often fitted with undeployed air bags, hidden compressed gas chambers, and tougher metals to cut.
"The challenge then becomes when they get trapped inside the vehicle as a result of the accident, it's more difficult for a firefighter to create that space in order to safely remove them from the vehicle without making their injuries any worse," Dan Crowbridge, a retired firefighter from Colorado who taught the course, said.
CARSTAR Body Shop on Webb Road in east Wichita has provided these training sessions for the past four years, saying their expertise can actually help first responders.
"We have an understanding of where the steels are at, why the cars are constructed that way, and so we can help with that piece of giving them that experience of knowing where to cut the vehicle when dealing with that," Bob Keith, the body shop's owner, said.
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