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Dothan Fire Department hosts vehicle extrication course

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - All too often traffic crashes leave vehicles mangled and unrecognizable. In many of these situations, the quick work of first responders is the difference between life and death. For the first time, the Dothan Fire Department is hosting a vehicle extrication course. Bringing in experts to teach important skills to firefighters on how to maneuver crash scenes.

Automobile crashes often require precision work by first responders to safely remove drivers and passengers. A 40-hour extrication certification course this week allowed Dothan and Andalusia firefighters a chance to hone their skills to better serve the community.

Sam Castanza, Instructor from the Alabama Fire College said, “Here in Dothan you’ve got the Circle, the bypass, 231, you know, so it’s heavy traffic areas. Hwy 231 you’re going to see a lot more speed involved, so you’re going to see a lot of the crashes you see in the background here.”

A successful patient removal begins with, “The first thing they are going to do is be able to stabilize the vehicle so that it doesn’t render anymore hazards to not only themselves but the patients that are entrapped on the inside,” according to Castanza.

From there they cut the cables to de-energize the vehicle, Then its time to, “Begin their extrication and detanglement of the patients inside that vehicle,” Castanza said.

In a life-threatening scenario its important to be smooth and fast. While all firefighters have basic training in extrication, this makes them proficient in the task.

Castanza said, “Vehicle accidents are probably the number one issue that you’re going to come and find in a rescue scenario.”

The knowledge learned during this course will be taken back to share with other team members.

Mark Powell, Dothan Fire Department Training Captain said, “I know at certain stations especially station 6 the Napier Field Station with Montgomery highway right beside it we always have more vehicle accidents in that area between, probably between John D. Odom and Troy University there is always a lot of vehicle accidents in the area so certain stations and even the southside station has more vehicle accidents.”

When time is critical in situations like this – Dothan Fire Department hopes training like this will be the difference maker. There is a written exam the firefighters must pass before they are certified in extrication. The fire department hopes to host another course next year.

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