Charlotte County first responders train to make sure they can help you in a life or death situation

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
Charlotte County Fire and EMS training (WINK News)

Dozens of first responders learned how to save you in case you get stuck in a life or death situation. EMS personnel in Charlotte County created a training scenario to teach responders how to rescue victims trapped in cars.

It’s a role-playing scenario that seems all too real.

“We have multiple victims that are trapped in cars,” said firefighter Curtis Rine.

“We do respond to vehicle accidents almost every single day,” said Lt. Shane Styza.

“A scenario on I-75 where there is dense, heavy fog and multiple vehicles piling up causing a major incident where people are trapped in their vehicles,” he said of the training scenario.

The training is focused on communication and teamwork among three different squads.

“We have a more efficient operating system with our smaller groups and their equipment,” Special Ops firefighter Jeff Opsatnick.

The ultimate goal: safety and saving lives.

“We have to worry about our safety, make sure the vehicles don’t fall on us,” Rine said. “We get a paramedic inside the vehicle and start IVs, pain management, fluids and then it’s the patient safety of getting the patients out.”

Trained Charlotte firefighters had to put their skills to the test during a similar, yet real-life scenario in January when a family’s car flipped on I-75, entrapping the mother.

“Yeah, definitely there’s an angel on their shoulders, yep,” said Anthony Fowler whos fiancee and daughter were involved in the crash.

Rescued by those with halos and helmets, prepared for the worst outcome but trained to generate the best.

“It gives us a sigh of relief,” Rine said.

Charlotte County Fire and EMS holds this training class throughout the year at Trademark Metals and Recycling off Duncan Road.

The business prepares the training site for first responders and says it’s a way to help make their job easier, which leads to saving lives.

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