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Emergency crews practice techniques in mock car crash

Firefighters take the roof off of a car involved in a mock accident using a tool commonly known as "the jaws of life" Feb. 14 at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The firefighters were evaluated on their ability to respond to a real-world scenario during a week-long base exercise. (U.S. Navy photo/Seaman A.C. Rainey)

Firefighters take the roof off of a car involved in a mock accident using a tool commonly known as "the jaws of life" Feb. 14 at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The firefighters were evaluated on their ability to respond to a real-world scenario during a week-long base exercise. (U.S. Navy photo/Seaman A.C. Rainey)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNEWS) -- To test how fire, medical and security forces respond to a real emergency, exercise planners put together a mock car crash using two battered cars and three crash victims Feb. 14 at Yokota AB.

"Basically, we like throwing different things at our units to see how the personnel handle this," said Tech. Sgt. A.J. Eversley, a member of the Exercise Evaluation Team inspecting the emergency teams.

Members of the 374th Medical Group here arrived to the crash within 10 minutes, and immediately began engaging the victims in conversation to evaluate their condition and keep them conscious. They also checked the victims' vital signs and braced their necks to avoid further injury.

Once firefighters got there, they made sure the vehicles weren't leaking and went to work taking apart the car with the victims trapped inside.

"There's a lot of hands-on that goes into an auto-extraction," Sergeant Eversley said. "It's better to do something as opposed to teach something in a classroom and not have the practical hands-on experience you would gain from an exercise like this."

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