Emergency first responders call the span of time between an accident and arriving at an emergency room the golden hour - the moments that often decide whether an accident victim lives or dies.
Sometimes, part of the work during the golden hour involves cutting victims from mangled vehicles - a job 35 Columbia County first responders practiced Saturday and Sunday at Martinez Fire Station No. 2 off Gibbs Road in Evans.
The group of first responders spent time in the classroom and in the field gaining hands-on experience using power tools for cutting off jammed doors, rolling the dashboards and peeling off roofs.
"Based on the size of this community and the traffic, I would guess that you would have, on average, around two or three accidents a week that require extrication techniques," said Ronnie Register, a field instructor from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and a firefighter from Houston County, Ga. "So it's pretty plain to see why this training is so important. It saves lives."
Register is a 12-year veteran of training first responders in the proper use and techniques of using such equipment as the jaws of life, saws and airbags to remove victims from vehicles.
"First responders are legally required to undergo this training every three years," said Register. "The reason that it is not so much the equipment. The rescue equipment has been pretty standard for the past few years, but the techniques are always changing and getting better. Every accident is different, thus every extrication is different. We're always learning new methods in the field for extricating accident victims."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.