COPPERAS COVE - Copperas Cove firefighters have witnessed more than 160 people injured in car crashes in 2016.
Friday morning, the Copperas Cove Fire Department participated in training on how to rescue people trapped in cars.
When firefighters arrive to the scene of an accident, the goal is to get the trapped person out of the car in under 10 minutes. But it is much easier said than done -- and the department showed Channel 6 the difficulties firefighters face in those situations.
It's a lot more complicated than just prying open a door.
Firefighters must first stabilize the car when they find a person trapped in a vehicle. Then, the next step is to find a way inside.
A common tool most people think to use would be the 'jaws of life'. Actually, there are three different hydraulic-powered tools that responders need to train on: a device that creates openings, one that cuts through metal, and one that functions as a jack to break the car apart.
When a vehicle occupant's legs are trapped by the steering wheel or engine, all three devices must often be used to save them.
In some cases, responders will go through the roof if they can not get the doors open.
"Cars have crumple zones and they perform in such a manner when they encapsulate the person in the car," Copperas Cove FD spokesman Gary Young said. "So, it does require you to sometimes remove the roof."
Many firefighters only receive proper training once or twice a year, so the opportunity presented Friday will make a huge difference for newer members in the department.
The Copperas Cove Fire Department urges anyone who witnesses a crash to not try and move a trapped individual, but call 9-1-1 instead so firefighters can assist.
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