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Firefighters train with help from local business

David Napper instructs firefighters during a jaws of life training session.

David Napper instructs firefighters during a jaws of life training session. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

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Jaws of life training.

— Standing around the car, Westport volunteer fireman David Napper instructs members of the Westport and Whallonsburg departments.

Each listens as he tells them where and where not to cut and which wires to look out for before they begin using the jaws of life.

The training, which took place at McGee’s Towing and Recovery in Westport, is something Napper feels is important for the firefighters.

“There is new technology every day in cars and you need to figure out the new technology so you can get into these cars during an accident,” Napper said. “The big thing is learning how to use the tools so you are not endangering yourself or the patient when we are out on a call.”

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Firefighters practice using different equipment that would be deployed at an accident scene.

Bobby McGee, owner, said that he will use cars that are to be crushed as practice vehicles for different fire departments throughout the region.

“If I have them, I like to donate the cars to local fire departments for training before they get crushed,” McGee said. “Sometimes they will come here and sometimes we will take them somewhere for the departments.”

McGee explained that he was looking for a way to give back to local firemen and women since he used to be one of them.

“I used to belong to the (Westport) company, and this is a way that I can give back to them. I see it as a professional courtesy.”

McGee said that any companies that would like to practice on car rescues can contact him for more information.

Napper said that he and his fellow volunteers are able to take a lot away from the trainings.

“No two accidents are the same, and we can do simulations in different situations,” he said. “It’s a controlled environment where we can teach them how to do the right thing.”

“Hopefully, I will never know anyone they have to get out of a car like this,” McGee said. “But if I do, then I know that they were able to train and I was able to help.”

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