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I-CAR Hosts Hands-On Training for Illinois First Responders to Rescue Occupants from Complex Late-Model Vehicles

Hoffman Estates, IL
October 14, 2015

I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, hosted a training session to help approximately 40 Illinois first responders learn the best techniques for extricating occupants from the latest vehicles, many of which are manufactured with complex new systems and designs.

The event, which provides classroom and hands-on instruction at the I-CAR Training Support Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is the state’s only First Responder Emergency Extraction (FREETM) session to be held in 2015. As part of a nationwide program developed by the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the program uniquely provides hands-on opportunities to practice extrication techniques on late-model vehicles.

Advancements in vehicle technology require current training and knowledge on where and how rescue workers should efficiently cut vehicles to extract occupants. This knowledge can save lives while contributing to the safety of first responders.

“I-CAR is proud to be a host location for the NABC FREE event,” said I-CAR CEO and President John Van Alstyne. “As a not-for-profit organization, the heart of I-CAR’s vision is consumer safety following a collision. Although I-CAR’s work with the driving public is centrally focused on collision repair education through the Gold Class® program, providing first responders with extrication training on late-model vehicles is another way we can get critical information and knowledge into the hands of professionals that are involved with the safety of drivers and passengers.”

I-CAR trains collision repair professionals across the nation on methods of performing complete, safe and quality repairs on all types of vehicles, with an emphasis on evolving vehicle design and technologies education. Understanding vehicle advancements can be especially valuable to first responders removing drivers and passengers from late-model vehicles.

“My hope is every Illinois first responder who completed today’s training returns to their stations and shares what they learned with their colleagues who couldn’t be here,” said William D. McLeod, Mayor, Village of Hoffman Estates. “For every responder who is equipped with this knowledge, there is another potential life saved.”

The classroom training session was conducted by JoAnn Tyler of Holmatro Rescue Equipment. Incorporated in her advice on extraction techniques for first responders is the most current design and technical vehicle information. State Farm donated the vehicles used during the program, and Copart Towing transported the vehicles to the I-CAR site. The session was offered as a free community service, with no charge to the first responders participating.