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South Fire District, Middletown, CT

South District Firefighters Complete
New Vehicle Stabilization Equipment Training
February 25, 2009

South District Firefighters recently completed training with new vehicle stabilization equipment. This equipment was purchased with Firefighter and crash victim safety in mind.

When Firefighters arrive on scene of a serious accident, they must first make the situation safe. Downed power lines, leaking gasoline, unstable vehicles, and fast-moving traffic are all hazardous conditions that must be controlled prior to patient care.

The new stabilization kit is comprised of cylindrical "struts", which can be extended to different lengths, and recovery straps to ensure the bases of the struts don't move. The struts have a 4:1 safety rating, and can hold up to 80,000 pounds each.

This equipment eliminates possible movement of a crumpled vehicle, specifically one that has been involved in a roll-over type accident. Vehicles no longer on their four wheels have the potential to move, which can further injure crash victims as well as their rescuers.

Prior to obtaining this equipment, the South Fire District had minimal equipment to perform this type of rescue safely. It now has expanded the department's capabilities, as it may be used in many different situations to make accident scenes safer for both the Firefighters and the community.

To see additional photos of the stabilization equipment in use, please click here.