Kowie Towing helps train rescue services
Fire and rescue services from Port Alfred and Kentonon-Sea/Bushman’s spent time at the Port Alfred fire station recently to learn how to operate the Jaws of Life in order to rescue victims who are trapped in road accidents.
The training was the initiative of Dewald de Vos of Kowie Towing Services who recognised the importance of being able to use the Jaws of Life, specifically over the festive season when thousands of motor vehicles pass through the town and traffic accidents are at their most likely to happen.
“I knew my dad [Kowie Towing owner Dirk de Vos] had experience in using the equipment and thought it was a good idea if our emergency services personnel also knew how to use it,” said De Vos.
Fire and Rescue Services in the area have experienced an influx of new trainees and this training assisted them with establishing the correct methods of extracting a victim out of a damaged vehicle without harm.
The trainees were led by senior supervisor Benny Mike.
“What we are doing here is removing the vehicle from the victim,” Mike told the trainees.
Mike showed his trainees the importance of propping up the vehicle before attempting to cut sections of it away.
“If the vehicle is on its roof, the weight of the chassis and engine will be suspended above the victim, so care must be taken to support the vehicle before any of the vehicle structure is cut away and removed,” Mike told the team, who learnt the secrets of cutting away and spreading parts of a motor vehicle to move it off the victim.
All of the trainees had the opportunity to get a feel for the equipment which includes a cutter and a spreader, both pneumatically operated, therefore a compressor and portable generator also forms part of the equipment.
The equipment is heavy but did not prevent female personnel from being able to practise with it.
“This is an excellent opportunity to learn skills that may be required over the festive season,” said De Vos. “It may well allow the emergency services to save lives.”
After the training, Kowie Towing served a braai for those who took part and wished them luck should they be forced to use the new equipment.
CAREFUL WITH SUPPORT: Ndlambe fire and rescue services department senior supervisor Benny Mike, right, recently showed trainees how to handle and use the Jaws of Life, equipment intended to rescue victims of vehicle accidents who are trapped in wreckage