Thirty-two first responders from Arlington Heights, Elk Grove, Hoffman Estates, Melrose Park, Mount Prospect, Riverside and Rolling Meadows were updated on the latest in evolving vehicle design and technology, and trained in full gear and with all related emergency equipment on extrication techniques on the late model hybrid Audi vehicles.
"Days of blind cutting are over... some cars have as many as 15 air bags and some of them are as high as 14,000 psi; thus, it's critical to know where to cut to avoid any inactivated cylinders as well as the high voltage areas," said JoAnn Tyler of Holmatro Rescue Equipment, who provided the training.
Audi of America donated two 2016 e-Tron model Hybrid vehicles for the demonstration and State Farm Insurance donated supplemental vehicles for the training as well.
Zachary Kaleta of J.R. Auto Body Collision Repair and host of this event said, "We in the collision industry know better than most how the technology has changed, especially with the electric cars. So this training was primarily to help firefighters learn new techniques and be prepared to safely extricate car occupants at the scene of an accident."
According to the Department of Transportation, hybrid and electric car sales have skyrocketed recently, making this training even more important.
Mount Prospect Fire Department's Shift Commander Randy Uidl said, "It was a great opportunity to see new tools, have great instructors and get the opportunity to practice on new cars. Typically, we don't get new vehicles because of the cost, and we're using junkyard cars, which are usually rusty and a couple of generations behind where we need to be to practice on... we're glad to be here."
J.R. Auto Body Collision Repair is affiliated with the 1Collision Network, a group of top-performing independent and dealer-owned collision repair businesses.
We would like to thank 1Collision Network for reprint permission.