When there is an accident involving a heavy vehicle, the most competent rescue teams are required. While Ålesund Fire Department in Norway has offered crews heavy vehicle rescue training since 2010, for the past six months, trainees have been practising using cab prototypes from Scania.
“The ball started rolling in 2010 when four of us from the Ålesund Fire Department were on a course in Sweden to learn about rescue in connection with heavy vehicle accidents,” says firefighter Geir Egil Haug.
He is also the training coordinator for heavy vehicle rescue at Ålesund Fire Department and plays a key role in connection with nationwide heavy vehicle rescue training.
“Then we got in touch with Jimmy Säfström at Heavy Rescue Sweden, who is an important figure within this area internationally. We saw how they were working with complete cabs and how this made for top-quality training. Freeing trapped casualties from a cab is very demanding and requires understanding, competence and the correct tools. It’s about being prepared for the tasks we might have to take on.”
“Previous to this, the challenge was getting hold of cabs to practise with. It’s difficult to get them, and we’ve often had to use cab shells without interiors.”
Now, Ålesund Fire Department has been given access to prototype cabs manufactured by Scania: the best setup for training fire crews from across Norway.
“It’s not just about heavy vehicle rescue and the challenges involved in this, but also about what equipment you need to make rescue operations as efficient as possible,” Haug says.
It is not only Scania that has offered significant support when it comes to establishing good nationwide heavy vehicle rescue training in Norway. Haug, who has worked for Enger Transport in Ålesund in his spare time, says that the company has, on its own initiative, taken steps to ensure transport of cabs from Scania’s Swedish headquarters in Södertälje to Ålesund that is as reasonable as possible. Meanwhile Sunnmøre district, where Ålesund is situated, has its own oil company, Bunkers Oil, which has provided fuel for this transport.
“This is cooperation in practice!” Haug says.