Local donor’s vehicular gifts help firefighter ‘crash’ course

By Kristen Roderick
Hutchinson News – October 21, 2013
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – October 29, 2013

hutchinson fire 10292013

The word “HELP” was written in the snow Friday on a beat-up red Ford car.

Firefighters surrounded the vehicle, prepared to spring into action at a moment’s notice. The extrication equipment was ready as firefighters assessed the damage.

It can happen at any time in any weather, and on Friday afternoon, Hutchinson firefighters got a crash course on extricating accident victims from a vehicle.

The training uses vehicles donated by Silas Enterprises owner Ed Manche. Any time the fire department needs a vehicle, Manche is there–no questions asked.

“He donates his time, gas and vehicles to let us cut them up for free,” Jason Holland, Hutchinson Fire Chief of Training, said. “Any time we want something, he’ll send it to us.”

He will take the time to drive a vehicle to the Hutchinson Fire Department’s training center or he will place a vehicle outside the gates of the automotive recycling business, at 11th Avenue and Chemical Street, like he did Friday.

Hutchinson Fire Capt. Gary Baudoin said Manche donates about six vehicles a year. He’s donated all types of vehicles for at least 20 years.

Firefighters aren’t friendly to these vehicles. They cut them up, set them on fire and do anything else that could happen in an emergency.

They have to be prepared for everything.

On Friday afternoon, they turned the beat-up red car into a convertible. It’s what they might have to do to get accident victims out of the vehicles. This training is vital to have a faster response in critical moments.

They couldn’t do it without Manche’s support.

“He helps us keep our skills sharp by donating cars,” training captain Tim Pitts, said.

www.ksffa.com

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