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A vehicle crash scene, especially one involving the extrication of an occupant, can be challenging enough for a rescue crew. One involving an injured police officer (worse yet, trapped inside a patrol vehicle) can become a particularly difficult incident. In this University of Extrication column, we look at police vehicles, their designs and the special outfitting and equipment that may be present. Highlighted is how these special features can affect a rescue or extrication scene.
With this information, rescuers are encouraged to work with their law enforcement agencies – local, county and state. In a joint-agency training session, protocols for police officer-involved crashes from both the fire-rescue and police side can be discussed
As part of this sharing of information, supervisors can arrange for several vehicles to be used for a static display where rescue crews learn first-hand about the typical police vehicles used within your jurisdiction. Familiarity with unique features such as those discussed in this article can make a big difference in how a crash scene involving a police officer will be handled in your community.