This was not your ordinary training. The sounds of tearing metal provided the backdrop Saturday as Lincoln-area first responders practiced life-saving extrication techniques in a real-world setting.

Provided by the National Auto Body Council (NABC) and held in cooperation with Eustis Body Shop and Nationwide Insurance, the First Responders Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.) event helped local first responder and emergency rescue teams learn the finer points of rescuing accident victims from modern, late-model automobiles. 

Modern advances in vehicle safety and technology keep drivers safer than ever. However, these same advances can make rescuing drivers more difficult for emergency responders. Features like airbags, advanced restraint systems, and high-strength steel can make extrication more difficult. Hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles also provide safety concerns for emergency teams that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

Using late-model cars provided by Nationwide Insurance and Genesis Rescue Systems, Saturday’s event gave Lincoln’s rescue crews a rare chance to learn about new vehicle technology and practice life-saving extrication techniques in a safe live-action environment.

Training like this allows Lincoln-area first responders to stay on the cutting edge of extrication technology. Training that will keep these rescuers safe, and will allow them to save the lives of Nebraskans in the future.