Local First Responders Work To Keep Drivers Safe


Education Event to Demonstrate How to Extricate People from Today’s Advanced Vehicles

The Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department and Woodmere Fire Department working on their respective demonstration vehicles. (Photos by Julie Prisco)

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, local first responders in the Great Neck area gathered to learn new skills and increase efficiency in extricating people from new model vehicles. The National Auto Body Council First Responder Emergency Education (NABC F.R.E.E) program, GEICO Insurance and Genesis Rescue Systems hosted the event at Northern Boulevard Collison located at 325a Great Neck Rd., Great Neck, NY 11021.

NABC F.R.E.E provides education and guidance to help first responders advance their cutting techniques on high-strength steel, multiple airbags, onboard technology and changing vehicle designs. GEICO Insurance donated vehicles for the first responders to practice on and Hi-Tech Fire and Safety demonstrated classroom education using the Genesis Rescue Systems.

Four different wrecked cars that varied in size, technology and material make-up were provided for the fire departments to practice on. The Great Neck Alert Fire Company, Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company, Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department and the Woodmere Fire Department attended the event with members of their crew in their equipment and ready to learn.

Paul Wilson, the President of Northern Boulevard Collision was more than happy to host the education event for the local first responders.

“I never really knew what a sacrifice it is to be involved here as a fireman or EMT until I started dating this wonderful young lady who is a member of the firehouse and I learned about what they go through,” said Wilson. “They are unrecognized, unsung heroes of the community.”

“I belong to multiple associations that bring great minds of the collision world together, and they go to regular meetings or conferences which I attend,” said Wilson. “Along the way, I was introduced to the NABC’s work.”


Fire fighters listening to the educator’s instructions.

The event began at 4 p.m. and went on till 8 p.m. The different fire departments were able to use their own tools to practice and use the Genesis tools to learn new extrication techniques.

“We usually teach this stuff to our crew,” said David Hurtz, President of the Great Neck Alert Fire Company. “So this is a good opportunity to learn some new techniques.”

When speaking to the staff of Northern Boulevard Collision, the crews asked which car available was the most difficult to cut through. The staff said that the Jeep Compass is the most durable, so the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company decided to take on practicing with that vehicle.

While cutting through the doors and trunk of the car, the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company Chief Scott MacDonald would take the time to tell his team to step back to use the demonstrations as teaching moments for his crew.

The eight members of the Vigilant Fire Company used different tools and machines for the different parts of the car and learned the most efficient and safe techniques for extrication.


The Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company using new tools and extrication techniques.

“We were invited down to learn about the tools and machines,” said Chief MacDonald. “It’s a great opportunity for the crew to learn how to use different machines in the most efficient way. We are looking into purchasing some of the presented equipment for our department.”

Northern Boulevard Collision and Orang Johnathan Mehdizadeh from Personal Computer Medical Doctor (P.C.M.D.) arranged for Fire Engine Foods to come to the demonstration event to provide sweet treats like ice cream, donuts and cookies for the fire departments to snack on. After the education event, they had ordered pizzas, pasta and salads for dinner to express their appreciation for the hard work from the fire departments and the Hi-Tech educators at the event.

Northern Boulevard Collision and Mehdizadeh from P.C.M.D. are planning another event with NABC F.R.E.E in the next few months to continue the education program for local first responders.

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