EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The East Hartford Fire Department held a vehicle rescue demonstration on Thursday morning to teach firefighters the best rescue methods involving heavy machinery.
During the training exercises, firefighters worked to upright a school bus that was flipped on its side and free a trapped car that was beneath a fire truck.
“What the operator of the towing company is doing is removing the top car so that we can work safely within the school bus and rescue the other victims,” said Steve Purcell, chief training officer.
The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant gave the East Hartford Fire Department over $650,000 in funding to make this training possible. The training will be eight hours a day for the next seven weeks.
According to the officers, all members must learn these tactics given the location of the department.
“East Hartford is the intersection of Interstate 84, Route 15, Route 2 and the local roads we see some severe crashes and victims get trapped,” said Steve Alsup, assistant chief of the East Hartford Fire Department
Officials also said that these crashes happen more often than many people think.
“Over 365 major crashes every year, so this is something we use on a daily basis,” said Alsup.
A local towing company, Central Auto and Transport, is also helping the first responders.
“We get with the fire department, we assess the scene and we see how we’re gonna handle the situation to get the highway open,” said Joe Guarino, the Central Auto Director of Operations.
The first responders said their mission is all about safety, protecting the community and ensuring they’re prepared for emergencies.