Firefighters rescue hundreds of people trapped in vehicles each year, and one way the community can help save even more lives is to donate their unwanted cars to road crash rescue training.
A total of 208 people were removed by firefighters from crashed vehicles in 2012, and so far this year 61 people have been rescued.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services Applied Training Officer Noel Buckland said all firefighters, no matter how long they had been on the job, completed regular extrication training including using the ‘jaws of life’ on vehicles.
Mr Buckland said during training firefighters learned how to safely and quickly stabilise a crashed vehicle and remove the windows, roof or doors. They were also taught how to gain access to the engine or boot.
“Being able to remove someone from a crashed vehicle quickly and safely is an essential skill for a firefighter– and it is also one that requires quite a bit of practise,” he said.
“Every year we use more than 500 cars to practise road crash rescue techniques so we need the community’s assistance to make sure that we can help even more people.
“It doesn’t matter what condition the car is in, or how old it is, it may be able to help firefighters.”
Donated vehicles need to have:
• four wheels
• a steering wheel
• glass windows
• windscreens intact (preferred but not necessary)
• an engine (preferred but not absolutely necessary)
• proof of ownership and be unregistered.
To donate a car in the Perth metropolitan area contact the Department’s vehicle contractor, Tony Young, on 0414 970 640.
In regional areas, car donors can contact their local fire station.