Constructive Destruction

Jenny Scarborough
Constructive Destruction


Constructive Destruction

Ocracoke Volunteer Firefighters practiced extrication techniques on Sunday.

The afternoon workshop was led by the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad in conjunction with training coordinator Eric Godbey.  The professional Hatteras squad offered the training for free to the all-volunteer, non-profit Ocracoke group.

15 members and two junior members took part in the training. The department has about 30 total members.

"The new guys are getting a chance to practice," said Van O'Neal, who traded an old truck to Tommy Barnett in exchange for one of the cars being dismantled.  Frankie Garrish donated the other vehicle, an old van.

"Let's turn this into a convertible," William Howard was heard to say, as firefighters carefully lifted the windshield away from the van.

Constructive Destruction

They practiced un-hingeing doors, cutting through glass, slicing away metal, and opening up space to free victims trapped in wrecked vehicles.

"My arms are killing me.  The equipment is extremely heavy," said Micah Bassell, who as a landscaper is used to physical labor.

The last time the department had to use these skills was about ten years ago, said Mark Justice.   A woman rolled her car on the north end after veering into the soft sand on the roadside.  Two children were also trapped inside, and all survived with minor injuries.

Justice was coming off the Hatteras ferry, and was first on the scene.  A Pedro Marine rescue helicopter landed on the highway and transported the victims to the hospital. 

The Fire Department continually trains to be up to date with all their skills, even those they are infrequently called upon to use.


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