Local First Responders Work to Make Santa Clara, CA, Drivers Safer on the Road Through National Auto Body Council® First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) Program

NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication Logo
Logo: CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts Chilton Auto Body

NABC F.R.E.E.™ Program, CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body – Santa Clara, CSAA Insurance and HURST Jaws of Life Hosted Education Event to Demonstrate How to Extricate People from Today’s Advanced Vehicles

MEDIA NOTE: Photos and Video Available Here

SANTA CLARA, CA – Drivers in the Santa Clara area are familiar with heavy traffic, bumper-to-bumper driving and traffic accidents. But when a fender bender turns more serious, they rely on the community’s first responders to be there to help them to safety. And when they are driving a late-model vehicle with numerous airbags, advanced technology or electric/hybrid engines, the rescue can be more challenging.

Santa Clara firemen looking at car wreck

The National Auto Body Council® First Responder Emergency Education (F.R.E.E.™) program helps prepare local first responder teams to rescue accident victims from these late-model vehicles. The program provides education and live demonstrations on working with high-strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems, onboard technology and safety around alternative fuel vehicles.

CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body – Santa Clara hosted first responders from the Santa Clara, Oakland and Woodside Fire Departments and surrounding areas at a special NABC F.R.E.E.™ education and guidance program on August 10 to help ensure Santa Clara area drivers have the best prepared response in case of an accident. They had an opportunity to practice cutting techniques on advanced vehicles, addressing high-strength steel and composite materials, multiple airbags, onboard technology and changing vehicle design.  The vehicles for the program were donated by CSAA Insurance and HURST Jaws of Life is providing the classroom education and extrication demonstration.

“At Chilton’s, we are proud to play a valuable role in educating these amazing individuals and showing them how to extricate drivers and passengers from today’s advanced vehicles,” said Steve Sikes, vice president of revenue operations for CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body, a member of the CARSTAR network, with 16 locations throughout the Bay Area. “On top of that, it we end up saving lives as a result, that’s even better. We are doing something special and helping the community in a huge way. This educational session was hands-on and comprehensive and taught by Eric Sanders from HURST Jaws of Life—so we know that the participants received the latest and relevant training available in the industry.”

The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety concerns surrounding these vehicles makes this program a necessity.  Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at the scene of an accident.  Electric cars, hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that pose dangers for first responders if need arises to “cut” the vehicle for rescue.

To learn more about the NABC F.R.E.E.™ program, visit https://nationalautobodycouncil.org/programs/first-responder-emergency-extrication/


“The National Auto Body Council® is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities we serve. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council® has gifted nearly 3,000 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities for nearly 5,000 First Responders and is helping educate students and adult drivers in communities around the country through NABC Recycled Rides®, NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) and the NABC® Drive Out Distraction program. That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC® membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council® is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit www.NationalautoBodyCouncil.org.”