Road crash rescue heroes up to speed on modern vehicles
WIELDING hydraulic cutters and spreaders, the firefighters quietly and efficiently slice open a vehicle to allow a trapped person to be treated by paramedics.
But thankfully, there's no injures as they are at the Lismore Fire Station, undertaking additional Road Accident Rescue training.
Lismore Fire & Rescue Station Officer James Connor was overseeing his crew of Andrew Hayes, Greg McKay and Shane Hulbert.
It's only 9am but already the reflective heat from the concrete apron at the rear of the fire station was blazing hot, however, these firefighters weren't sweating.
Instead, they appear cool and calm as they go through the procedures to ensure they and anyone inside the vehicle are kept safe while they do their job.
Standing by two motor cars, Mr Connors said the vehicles have been supplied by NSW Transport as they have been deemed a statutory write-off, which meant they had suffered significant structural damage which was irreparable and cannot be registered for use in NSW.
Now, these late models are perfect for Road Accident Rescue training.
"It's very important we keep up to date with all the features on newer vehicles as they can pose a risk to firefighters and people we are extracting," he said.
"For example a hybrid vehicle may still be 'live' even though the engine is switched off."
As firefighters McKay, Hayes and Hulbert ensure all passive safety hazards including seat belts, seatbelt pre-tensioners and airbags are negated, they stabilise the vehicle by chocking the wheels, locate and disconnect the battery.
Mr Connors said his crew would prefer to never have to use their RAR skills.
"Wearing seatbelts, keeping to the speed limit and not using your phone are the best ways to not be in a crash," he said.
"We like to do additional RAR training above and beyond so we are ready when the community need us."