TOP PHOTO: Crews set the first rescue strut in place to stabilize the front of this Toyota Prius.

La Follette Firemen began to remove sheet metal with the new Genesis battery powered spreader tool during a training session on Tuesday morning.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – During a Tuesday morning training session, a rookie firefighter with the La Follette Fire Department was rocking back and forth with a cutting tool trying to work his way into a Toyota Prius. “Don’t use it like a saw. Put it up against the car, and let it work,” said veteran LFD Firefighter Mikey Brown.

The Genesis cutter.

The rookie responded to Brown’s advice. “We’ve hit a side airbag,” added Brown. As the rookie firefighter makes his last cut, Brown says, “now you have to access your patient.”

This is the Genesis spreader commonly called “jaws” as in the jaws of life.

This is just some of what was being tested, taught and learned during an extrication skill session in the impound yard at Brandon’s Towing Service on North 5th Street.

Firefighters are preparing to set the rear rescue strut by making a place in the car body.

As Assistant Fire Chief Keith Fraley looked on, LFD Lieutenant Brad Young and members of La Follette’s “C” Shift spent the better part of four hours on Tuesday morning training on some of the department’s newest equipment. According to Young, the department recently purchased new Genesis battery powered rescue equipment along with some new rescue struts used for vehicular stabilization for vehicle extrication.

The rescue begins by assembling the struts used to stabilize the wrecked vehicle.

A representative from Safe Industries was on hand explaining the new tools to the firefighters. “Battery life depends on what you’re cutting and the user. Go on the sound. It’s up to the user to gauge battery life,” he said. The rep adds that these are two stage tools; spread and force. “They are water resistant, not waterproof,” he noted.

Once the car body metal has been bent to accept the rescue strut. The strut is set in place.

LFD’s “B” Shift worked over a Chevy Cavalier on Monday morning during that shift’s training session. The “A” Shift trains this morning on a different vehicle.

A manual cutter is being used here to cut the windshield.

The training sessions include vehicle stabilization along with patient/victim extrication. This includes safety cutting away of a windshield or removing a door or vehicle top.

Firefighters cut the hood loose with the new Genesis cutter.

“We’re seeing what these new tools will do and not do,” said Lt. Young.

A drill accessory with the glass cutter makes it so much faster in cutting the windshield.