Garrison Fire and Emergency Services hold vehicle extrication drill
By Laura KreiderJune 17, 2020
VICENZA, Italy - Motor vehicle accidents are one of the common emergency incidents to which fire departments respond. To improve the skills and techniques required to safely and efficiently extricate and care for those involved in these incidents, members of the U.S. Army Garrison Italy Emergency Services directorate conducted multiple vehicle extrication exercises on Caserma Ederle June 8-10, 2020.A dozen Italian and American firefighters in conjunction with the military police patrols participated in simulated vehicle accidents to test their capabilities at the accident scene."This type of hands-on training is conducted multiple times each year to give the opportunity to our firefighters to respond to a simulated vehicle accident, take appropriate actions to safely treat and remove training mannequins from a vehicle," said Jeff Hawkins, USAG Italy DES fire chief."Crews demonstrated emergency scene safety operations, command and control, patient assessment, extrication techniques and transfer to the medical authority, and proper methods to remove an injured patient from a heavily damaged vehicle," he continued.Hawkins also explained that this type of exercise builds teamwork, improves confidence and helps reinforce the techniques needed to work effectively and efficiently during emergencies."Our USAG Italy firefighters are the silent sentinels of the garrison who are ready to respond to any type emergency, day or night,” Hawkins said. “These professionals constantly train to perfect their skills in rescue and firefighting operations, emergency medical and hazardous materials responses to help keep our communities safe and mission ready during unforeseen emergencies. I am very proud of this team for their dedication and capabilities they demonstrate each and every day."The garrison firefighters performed the exercise under the watchful eyes of evaluators.One of them, Matteo Manfron, the lead firefighter training officer, said that the importance of the operations, in terms of effectiveness, safety and execution time, "Is to merge different techniques and working cultures (Italian and American) together to achieve the best service that can be offered, in the specific case of the emergency technical rescue of the person."One element of the exercise included the firefighters wearing special personal protective equipment and performing various vehicle extrication and stabilization methods, then taking the simulated victims outside to the ambulance."I'm not sure I can give importance to any particular moment. In itself, the exercise is important in every phase: the operational one is useful for putting skills into practice and comparing oneself on the field, while the next part of the debriefing is for the cold analysis of positivity and things that can be improved in the future," Manfron said.The drill focused not just on the participating firefighters’ competency in properly executing individual tasks, but also on fostering strong teamwork. The Vicenza firefighters felt the exercise helped them become better prepared to provide emergency services to the community members traveling the local area.“We love our job,” said Federico Croce, who works at the garrison fire department.“I have been with the fire department for the past 20 years and yearly we perform these exercises, but throughout the years, material and technologies change, so these are always good opportunities to learn new skills and enrich our experiences,” Croce said.