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Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:02

Keenan Auto Body’s First Responder Training Brings Together PA & DE Communities

Written by Toby Chess

I’ve long supported and done my best to contribute to first responder training. These brave and dedicated public servants have a lot to deal with and a lot to prepare for. Whether it’s a building fire, hazmat situation, medical emergency, or vehicle extrication,   they can’t prepare without the training, tools, and equipment necessary to get the job done. I was happy to be able to contribute some skills to training conducted recently in Pennsylvania, which drew first responders from two states.

We held the training on Tuesday, October 25th at Keenan Auto Body East in Clifton Heights, PA, and on Wednesday, October 26th at Keenan Auto Body South in West Chester, PA. The events were organized and sponsored by Keenan’s. Keenan VP and COO, Michael LeVasseur introduced Keenan Auto Body’s First Responder training program.

With over 5.8 million car crashes per year it’s imperative that first responders are equipped with the knowledge to extract vehicle occupants in the quickest most efficient manner, especially in crashes when the difference between life and death is on the line. Collision repairers have the vehicle expertise that first responders need and can contribute to the cause.

Recently, however, it’s become evident that vehicle responders need more experience with modern vehicles, which have otherwise unfamiliar and even dangerous features to contend with.

“First responders such as firemen require the most current vehicle information to be effective and save lives at the scene of an accident,” said Craig Camacho, Keenan’s Marketing Director.

“This type of training is more important than ever given the rapid onslaught of advancements in vehicle design such as high-strength steels, advanced restraint systems, and multiple air bags. The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid vehicles also makes a class like this a necessity.”

State Farm Insurance Co, Esurance and 1800 Charity Cars donated eight late model vehicles for first responders to practice on. This is a  real strength of the program since most fire departments don’t have access to such modern vehicles.

“Local fire departments have indicated this kind of knowledge is much needed and we are honored to be able to deliver critical information to those who need it most,” added Camacho.

I instructed the class as I’ve done in many previous hands-on demonstrations. We covered air bag deployment and other dangers first responders encounter every day.

M.E.S., a distributor of Hurst rescue tools, including the Jaws of Life line of tools, provided all of the equipment needed for the hands-on cutting. Enterprise Rent-A-Car sponsored the catered dinner for Clifton Heights and Hertz Local Edition sponsored the dinner for West Chester. Both dinners were excellent and well appreciated by the hungry first responders. Keenan Auto body, Inc. owns and operates nine state of the art collision repair centers.

For additional information visit: www.jawsoflife.com.
This website provides an introduction to the Crash Recovery System, which  is a software application through which important updated information with regard to safety systems in almost all current vehicle models can be accessed directly. Specially developed for rescue workers, it provides an invaluable source of information for extracting people from crash accident vehicles.

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