County’s now on a larger-scaled map

Published 7:39 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Most people have seen them at some point in their lives: accidents that snarl up traffic for long periods of time on heavily traveled roads; inching up to the accident site as cars slowly crawl forward toward the many flashing lights in the distance. Then there’s the moment in time in which driver and passengers are momentarily confronted with the horrific accident scene itself. It could be a tractor trailer lost control and took out several smaller vehicles in an attempt to gain it back. It could be a sports car, the driver of which ran a stop sign and beneath a garbage truck it met mid-intersection. Though these accidents are rare, they do happen. Some involved in such scenarios may lose their lives on the scene; others are severely injured and trapped in a vehicle.

So, what happens next? A fully loaded 18-wheeler is not exactly easy to move. Tons of twisted metal catapulted atop another vehicle, or several, is not a stable situation. First responders know time is of the essence for these accident victims, but safety is an issue — for the victims and for themselves. In order to bring about a positive outcome, it takes a team of people working together to stabilize these accident scenes, move massive vehicles and start treatment and extricate victims in the safest way possible.

Most first responders tend to learn this information on the job with a hope for the best. No so for local first responders. On Saturday, a unique partnership between Woolard’s Automotive, Beaufort County Community College, several wrecker companies and other businesses formed to offer first responders practice for real-life accidents of the worst sort. It was an education in physics and working with wrecker operators to stabilize vehicles while they all work toward a greater goal of saving lives.

The accidents are rare, but so is the training — so much so, that people not only came out from out of state to attend, they came from out of the country to attend the weekend of training facilitated by BCCC and held at Woolard’s Automotive.

Beaufort County may be a small, rural county, but it was put on a much larger-scaled map for many emergency responders this weekend, by virtue of offering proactive and advanced training that ultimately best serves the community. For that, all involved in organizing and all who participated should be acknowledged for their forward thinking.