West End Fire Dept. learns ‘Tennessee Twist’

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  • From left, Frank Magee, Dick Hughes, Russell McKague, Donna Richter, Mike Richter, and Keith Woody load a practice dummy on a gurney during a recent training exercise. (Courtesy photo)

  • 1

    Mike Richter and Russell McKague use the Tennessee Twist to remove the SUV’s roof in a training scenario. (Courtesy photo)

  • 2

    Volunteer KEITH Woody used the “Jaws of Life” during training exercise at the Saltese Station. (Courtesy photo)

  • From left, Frank Magee, Dick Hughes, Russell McKague, Donna Richter, Mike Richter, and Keith Woody load a practice dummy on a gurney during a recent training exercise. (Courtesy photo)

  • 1

    Mike Richter and Russell McKague use the Tennessee Twist to remove the SUV’s roof in a training scenario. (Courtesy photo)

  • 2

    Volunteer KEITH Woody used the “Jaws of Life” during training exercise at the Saltese Station. (Courtesy photo)

The West End Volunteer Fire and Rescue members practiced old and new methods of extricating an injured person from a crashed SUV recently at the Saltese Station.

Saturday, July 6, volunteers used the Jaws of Life technique along with a new method, the “Tennessee Twist.” Its name roots from a Tennessee rescue team who developed the process.

Rescuers developed the technique because the old “life and carry” method have become outdated. The method involves cutting the roof supports and lifting the roof from the vehicle to gain access to the injured person.

The method has become more difficult due to larger, heavier roofs in newer vehicles and there are fewer and older rescuers who are involved in these situations. Ideally, the rescue team would incorporate six to eight younger, stronger individuals to perform this task, which is not usually possible with a volunteer rescue organization.

The “Tennessee Twist” involves cutting all but one vertical rear support on the vehicle top followed by twisting the top off of the vehicle. Only two rescuers are needed with this method.

The Superior Volunteer Fire Department loaned the West End a practice dummy to simulate actually extrication of an injured person from the wrecked vehicle. West End Emergency Medical Technicians and firefighters practiced removing the dummy in the proper manner to avoid further injuries.

Following a very successful practice, the volunteers went to The Old Montana Bar in Saltese for a pizza dinner.

The West End Volunteer Fire Department is always looking for new members.

Training is in DeBorgia at the fire station at 6 p.m. each Mondays at 6 p.m. All are welcome to drop by and become a volunteer.

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