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Moody firefighters complete jaws of life training, EMT refresher course

A fire helmet rests on a seat, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. This training was included as part of an Emergency Medical Technician refresher course where students learned about vehicle extrication from Moody’s own firefighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A fire helmet rests on a seat during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. This training was included as part of an Emergency Medical Technician refresher course where students learned about vehicle extrication from Moody’s own firefighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Jeremy Valler, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron crew chief, explains the uses of equipment that makes up the bunker gear, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The bunker gear is used when fighting fires and during vehicle extrication to protect the wearer from debris and extreme temperatures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

U.S. Air Force Jeremy Valler, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron crew chief, explains the uses of equipment that makes up the bunker gear during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The bunker gear is used when fighting fires and during vehicle extrication to protect the wearer from debris and extreme temperatures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Master Sgt. Juan Soriano, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron explains why it’s important to wear the right gear, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Soriano explained that the gear is so advanced and durable that it will be affected by the fire before the firefighter feels anything. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Juan Soriano, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron, explains why it’s important to wear the right gear during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Soriano explained the gear is so advanced and durable it will be affected by the fire before the firefighter feels anything. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Members of an Emergency Medical Technician refresher course, listen to final instructions, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The students donned the top half of the protective gear to shield them from any debris during the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Members of an Emergency Medical Technician refresher course, listen to final instructions during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The students donned the top half of the protective gear to shield them from any debris during the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A participant uses a spreader, also known as the jaws of life, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The spreader is used to pull pieces of the vehicle apart, but when removing doors, placement is just as important as power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A participant uses a spreader, also known as the jaws of life during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The spreader is used to pull pieces of the vehicle apart, but when removing doors, placement is just as important as power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A student uses a hydraulic cutter to cut through a support on a vehicle, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The cutter is strong enough to cut through sheet metal and hard plastic and is used on vehicles to free trapped passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A student uses a hydraulic cutter to cut through a support on a vehicle during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The cutter is strong enough to cut through sheet metal and hard plastic and is used on vehicles to free trapped passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

An instructor guides a student using a spreader, also known as the jaws of life, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The instructor showed the student to keep an eye out for openings the spreader created, then close the spreader, and force it into those openings to get the door off faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

An instructor guides a student using a spreader, also known as the jaws of life during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The instructor showed the student to keep an eye out for openings the spreader created, then close the spreader and force it into those openings to get the door off faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Senior Airman Gelisa Johnson, 23d Medical Operations Squadron uses a cutter, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The cutter is strong enough to cut through sheet metal and hard plastic and is used on vehicles to free trapped passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gelisa Johnson, 23rd Medical Operations Squadron, uses a cutter during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The cutter is strong enough to cut through sheet metal and hard plastic and is used on vehicles to free trapped passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A participant uses an axe to cut through a windshield, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. After loosening the windshield from the supports, firefighters can fold it over the hood or completely remove the windshield depending on how they want to remove the patient from the vehicle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

A participant uses an axe to cut through a windshield during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. After loosening the windshield from the supports, firefighters can fold it over the hood or completely remove the windshield depending on how they want to remove the patient from the vehicle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

Participants work as a team to remove a simulated patient from a vehicle, during Vehicle Extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In a real world extrication, firefighters would arrive on scene, ensure the car was safe and get the patient out as quickly as possible to prevent further injury. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)
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Participants work as a team to remove a simulated patient from a vehicle during vehicle extrication training, Jan. 13, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In a real world extrication, firefighters would arrive on scene, ensure the car was safe and get the patient out as quickly as possible to prevent further injury. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The culmination of a week’s worth of classroom and hands-on training concluded July 13 as students participated in vehicle extrication training as part of their Emergency Medical Technician refresher course.

Students donned gear and used tools firefighters would use in the field to remove vehicle parts that would free a patient and allow him or her to be removed from the vehicle.

“It’s important for us to practice together, because we’re going to be working together on scene,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Nickeson, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron, NCO in charge of the emergency communications center. “We have to work as a team, and there’s no better way [to foster that dynamic] than through training.”

For this extrication, students wore firefighters bunker gear, which consists of three layers to protect the wearer from debris and extreme temperatures. The first layer prevents abrasive material from getting through the gear. Then the second and third layers provide protection from water and heat during a fire.

While it was important for students to know about the gear and what it’s designed to do, they also needed to know its limitations.

“For vehicle extrication, we wear our gear to protect us from sharp objects,” said Jeremy Valler, 23rd CES crew chief. “If we’re cutting out a victim with hydraulic power tools, the bunker gear will stop minor impacts from injuring you, but you’re not immortal in the bunker gear.”

While the gear provides protection, the knowledge of how the tools work and what firefighters do on scene for vehicle extrication helps keep everyone safe.

“They need to be knowledgeable about what we’re doing,” Nickeson said. “If they know exactly what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, it’s only going to make it that much safer on scene.”

Safety is the number one concern of first responders -- whether it’s keeping themselves safe or ensuring the safety of the patients they rescue.

“We have to ensure we’re all safe,” Nickeson said. “Responder safety is number one, because if you get hurt, you can’t help anyone.”