Alachua County Fire Rescue Completes Vehicle and Machinery Rescue Training

Press release from Alachua County

Alachua County Fire Rescue is proud to announce that members of the department recently completed vehicle and machinery rescue (VMR) training to prepare for highly-involved vehicle collisions. While all department members receive training to rescue crash victims from vehicle entrapment, this specialized instruction is utilized during severe incidents requiring advanced technical skills and equipment. This training also prepares them for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) certification.

In the event of a collision, cars are designed to absorb crash impact by “crunching” and sustain severe compaction as a result. While general extrication procedures utilize the Jaws of Life and other cutting tools to remove patients from compacted vehicles, the severe circumstances of VMR require that crash vehicles first be stabilized using specialized equipment such as struts and other supporting structures before emergency personnel may attempt patient retrieval.

“As in all crash situations, the goal of VMR extrication is to safely remove and transfer critically-injured patients to hospitals within the ‘golden hour,’ or the time frame associated with the highest chance of survival for those sustaining significant, life-threatening injuries,” said Alachua County Fire Chief Harold Theus. “Emergency personnel certified in vehicle and machinery rescue are prepared to effectively serve Alachua County citizens in the event of an extreme collision.”