Fernie Firefighter Zane Neal and his three-year-old son Beau at the department’s second annual Family Safety Day, where Neal helped give a vehicle extraction demo.

Fernie Fire goes all out on Family Safety Day

While it was only a demonstration; it was a situation that the Fernie Fire Department has dealt with countless times.

A vehicle rollover, or accident where the passenger is trapped inside the car—crews have mere minutes to extract the injured person from the vehicle using the jaws of life.

One by one, a firefighter cuts the doors off the old Ford Explorer being used as the demo vehicle for the department’s second annual Family Safety Day.

Broken glass is scattered around the site, as fire crews work methodically to open up the entire side of the vehicle.

With a pop, the jaws of life break the T-frame of the SUV, and then they remove the back of the seat.

Carefully, the crew slides the mock victim onto a backboard and carry her out, to where in the real-life situation, an ambulance would whisk her away.

“It’s important to educate the public in regards to emergency management,” said Fire Chief Ted Ruiter, who had members of Search and Rescue, as well as the RCMP on site for the day.

The Fire department also demonstrated a high angle rope rescue off their aerial apparatus.

“I think it’s important for people to have an understanding as to the challenges that we have,” said Ruiter, explaining that these serious incidents pose a specific set of challenges for officers and firefighters.

“Somebody is experiencing their worst day and we’re there to hopefully resolve the situation and make everybody safe,” said the Chief.