First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE™)
The National Auto Body Council’s First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE™) helps saves lives by providing firefighters and rescue squads with rare opportunities to train and hone their skills specifically on late model vehicles with lighter weight, high strength steels, sophisticated electronics and multiple airbag systems.
Advances in technology have made today’s vehicles much safer for passengers but first responders often face challenges preventing further injuries to accident victims or themselves due to the complexities of the new technology. Knowing specifically where and how to efficiently cut and extricate can make the difference in saving precious minutes and lives as well as the safety of the first responders.
The FREE program is a collaborative effort by collision repair shops, insurance companies that donate salvage vehicles and Holmatro Rescue Equipment which provides expert instructors and equipment to facilitate the event.
The typical FREE event consists of one-hour class instruction, followed by three hours of hands-on extricating practice using the latest equipment on late-model vehicles staged to simulate crash scenes. Local community first responders are invited to participate at no cost.
Each event involves 3-4 salvage cars sourced from insurance companies or salvage yards. Participation at each event is generally limited 40 first responders.
Participation in the FREE program is open to any repair facility with a minimum Bronze level membership in the National Auto Body Council. Shops interested in hosting an event simply need to fill out a FREE application. A 3-6-month lead time is preferred from initial application to event date to allow time to coordinate all participants.
Once membership is confirmed and event application is received, an instructor from Holmatro Rescue Equipment will then contact your shop to set an event date.