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Atlantic Highlands first responders stage extrication drill

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS - Members of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad, the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department and Colts Neck First Aid recently spent a Saturday morning wrecking cars in order to help others.

The cutting, breaking and ripping was all part of a vehicle extrication drill held at Red Bank Recycling in Red Bank, NJ.

Red Bank Recycling generously donated two cars, manpower to move the vehicles and space so the volunteer first responders could practice necessary skills to remove people from car wrecks.

“Partnering with Red Bank Recycling allowed the Squad to simulate collisions that we could encounter in the field,” said AHFAS Chief Tom Hayden. “We apprec

iate their efforts to help improve our vehicle stabilization and extrication skills.”

Over the course of five hours, members of the two organizations practiced stabilizing a vehicle on its side, removing the roof, doors and windows, and preparing how to move a patient.

The drill was one of several held each year dealing with vehicle extrication and stabilization.

“Our members need to be prepared for the worst and motor vehicle collisions are very dynamic,” Hayden said. “These drills are vital to keeping our skills sharp and equipment fresh. It is also a great opportunity to train with the fire department, with whom we work very close.”

For more than 80 years, the dedicated volunteers at the AHFAS has been providing around-the-clock emergency medical and rescue services to the borough of Atlantic Highlands and occasionally to surrounding areas. Besides EMS calls, the AHFAS is responsible for vehicle extrication and maintains a collection of high-powered tools to lift, separate and remove car parts.


The AHFAS is an all-volunteer organization that operates on donations from the borough and its residents. Indeed, the extrication drill was held during the squad's annual fund drive period. Funds derived during this period in part are used to hold future training sessions, which directly benefit the community. For information about donating or joining the AHFAS log onto or call the squad's non-emergency number (732) 291-8118.

“New members are essential to this organization,” Hayden said. “The training is free and the skills learned are invaluable. Consider joining the AHFAS to give back to your community.”

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