By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
Commerce Fire Chief Jack Bernie wants his firefighters to be ready for any situation they may find themselves in.
To aid in that, he has developed a monthly exercise for his men to run through.
This month’s exercise was safely extricating occupants from wrecked vehicles.
The exercise was held on June 19 and 20 at the old fire station on Martin Luther King Boulevard
“Vehicle extrication is a big part of what we do unfortunately,” he said. “And vehicles have changed a lot in the last 5-10 years.”
Bernie said a safety hazard for firefighers is safely extracting a person whose vehicle’s airbags have not deployed.
The amount of pressure an airbag has when released is enough to kill a grown person. That’s why Bernie said this training is so important.
“There are a lot of dangers with undeployed airbags,” he said.
Bernie said he thanks Bensen Brothers for furnishing the vehicles for the exercise and said the company has been helpful to the department.
According to Bernie, the training was a success and that everyone from a seasoned firefighter to a rookie learned a lot.
“It was good training,” he said. “I’ve been around for a long time and I learned a lot.”
Bernie plans to have the firefighters go through elevator training for next month’s training.