TONICA — During August, the Tonica Volunteer Fire Department conducted multiple vehicle extrication exercises.
These gave the newer and less-experienced members the opportunity to become familiar with some of the rescue equipment the department currently has available. Department members who are state certified roadway extrication specialists explained the operating capabilities of the tools.
Rescue personnel were presented with different situations they may encounter at accident scenes. One simulated accident scene required extrication operations to be performed on two vehicles at one time.
Some of the things covered included scene safety, command and control, vehicle stabilization, and patient access and removal. Various tools utilized included a hydraulic spreader and cutters, scene lighting, rescue air chisels, rescue high pressure air bags, a saws-all, cribbing, hi-lift jacks and rescue struts.
The exercises involved a multiple-vehicle accident requiring the safe removal of automotive glass, removal of the roof of the vehicle, the doors and seats, and the displacement of the steering wheel and dash.
The current rescue tools the Tonica department has are air-over-hydraulic, pneumatic and electric powered.
At these extrications, representatives from various fire equipment companies demonstrated newer cutters, spreaders, rams and combi-tools that are only battery powered. The advantage to these tools is they don’t require hoses or cords to be connected between the tool and the power source. The newer tools meet or exceed the performance capabilities of the current tools and are NFPA compliant.
The department is evaluating various battery powered rescue tools that may reduce extrication time. If a decision is made to purchase these newer style rescue system tools, fundraisers will be announced to help defray the cost.
The Tonica Volunteer Fire Department is an emergency service provider that is not supported by property taxes.