Valley Firefighters Participate in Disaster Drill

5/31/2008 Clovis, CA The challenge is to get passengers out of the crashed vehicles fast and without hurting them any worse than the accident did.

Firefighters say newer passenger cars pose new challenges for them.

When they see something like a flipped car, they start using the "jaws of life" right away to get out the passengers. But new cars have airbags and seat belt tension devices that use gas cylinders hidden somewhere else in the car.

Jim Stemler, Clovis Fire Department, says "It's definitely a detriment to us because if we cut into one of those gas cylinders, we can create an explosion... That definitely doesn't provide the best patient care when things like that are exploding around them.

Firefighters don't run into these kinds of accidents very often, so they set up training events like this one to keep themselves prepared. They came from all over the valley to take part in today's training session.

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