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September in Michigan is a time that I traditionally watch my kid’s football and head up north to fish the annual king salmon run. That all changed 3 years ago at FDIC when Mike Huffman from Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District in northern Illinois asked me to teach at Crunch Time Extrication. After my first time there, I was hooked and in 2015 I made my third trip to Illinois to new September tradition. Why you ask? It’s all about the students at Crunch Time Extrication.

Crunch Time Extrication is spread out into a weekend workshop that teaches relatively new firefighters a structured crash course in extrication competitions. Friday night is team registration and classroom class room session. Saturday is a hands on training session and the weekend cumulates on Sunday with an extrication competition.

Friday night consists of a couple hours of classroom presentations. For the last 3 years, I presented New Vehicle Technology from my Vehicle Extrication from inside of the Auto Industry classes.

Saturday the teams are split up in the morning into several groups. The groups include, Incident Command, Medical Officer, and the remaining team members are sent to the junkyard. Around lunchtime the teams are put back together and run through several different scenarios. Thanks to support of Erickson Auto Parts & Services in South Beloit, IL. The student to vehicle ratio was nearly 1-to-1.

Challenge day is Sunday. The teams compete in a judged extrication competition that cumulates the skills and techniques that acquired over the last two days. Each team competes in an unlimited and hand tool only pit. The teams are judged based off TERC USA rules.

Mike Smith, Absolute Rescue's Editor in Chief, is a veteran of the fire/rescue service in Michigan, who also works in the automotive industry as a designer. Have an idea of suggestion for the site? Contact Mike here


York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021



York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021

Take a look at the York County Vehicle Technician Class 2021. It’s a 24-hour Vehicle Rescue Technician program that includes classroom and practical training which applies to those incidents where commercial or heavy vehicles are involved, complex extrication processes will have to be applied, or multiple uncommon concurrent hazards are present, or that involve heavy machinery or more than digital entrapment of a victim. Emphasis will be placed on heavy vehicle lifting and stabilization, utilization of heavy towing and recovery services, and complex patient packaging and removal techniques.

Pictures (by John E. Burruss)

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Heavy Rescue

Large Animal Rescue

Working with their past experince, the Patterson Fire Department’s completed their 4th horse rescue in the past several years.



Horse Rescue

Per the post from the Patterson Fire Department’s Facebook page:

At 0732, 25th of August 2021, the Patterson fire department was dispatched for a public assist to a local farm. Patterson’s heavy rescue, 22-6-1, arrived on scene and found a 31-year-old male horse, named “Dozer”, in distress. He had apparently fallen and managed to get himself stuck between a rock and a fence line. At first, the crew attempted to assist the horse in getting up by shifting his position. It became apparent that additional equipment was going to be needed to help Dozer out since he had become too exhausted to get up on his own. After some discussion, it was established that the best plan of action was to use a Paratech bipod system. It would be used as an artificial high directional with TU-32 griphoist’s assistance to lift the horse up. With a lot of sweat and effort, the crew was able to lift the horse up onto his feet. After some much-needed fluids and rest, we were happy to see Dozer trot away, unassisted.

An interesting fact, this is Patterson Fire Department’s 4th horse rescue in the past several years, all with successful outcomes.

Photos below from Andrew Akin

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Building Collapse

Rescue Methods BGSU 2021 Rescue Tech Series



Bowling Green State University State Fire School Certified Rescue Tech

These courses are NFPA compliant and covers all six disciplines of technical rescue operations. Students will utilize the latest and greatest equipment and will put learned skills to the test in intense hands-on scenarios.

General information on the Certified Rescue Technician Program.

Class Schedule

  • Rope Rescue Technician
  • Water Craft Ops / Swift Water Ops
  • Confined Space Technician
  • Vehicle & Machinery
  • Trench Rescue Technician
  • Structural Collapse Operations

Rescue Methods BGSU 2021 rescue tech series with structural collapse ops.

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