Rescue Crews Learn New Techniques to Save Lives

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A rescue worker's job is constantly evolving. And, as the technology in cars and trucks advances, crews must stay up-to-date on the latest ways to save lives at crash scenes when only seconds can matter.

That's why Glenn's CARSTAR in Lincoln spent months putting together a demonstration for Nebraska fire and rescue crews from Lincoln, Crete, Raymond, Dwight and Bellevue.

They brought in professionals from Holmatro, a company that manufactures rescue equipment, to teach rescue crews how to adapt to newer automotive technologies.

"I would like to give them the confidence to go into a rescue," JoAnn Tyler, a former firefighter and regional manager for Holmatro, said, "so that they're well prepared and so that they can execute their job quickly and safely."

Specifically, Tyler focused training on newer vehicle restraints, what rescue crews need to pay attention to on all-electric vehicles and how thicker metals can make using the Jaw of Life more challenging.

"There's the potential to cut through some high voltage cables," Capt. Dennis Clark, of Lincoln Fire and Rescue, said, "and we obviously have to be aware where they are."

And bigger, thicker cars mean rescuers need to find newer entry point to get victims out of dangerous situations.

"The more we are aware of construction and design of these vehicles," Clark said, "the better we're able to serve the victim."

Glenn's CARSTAR brought in a newer Chevrolet Volt, so that Tyler could describe how crews should power down the vehicle before attempting to extricate a person.

Crews also got the chance to cut into several salvaged cars that were given to Glenn's through donations.

"It gives us a great opportunity to work with some newer vehicles," Clark said, "and actually get some hands on with some new vehicles."