ANKENY, Iow — Members of the Ankeny Fire Department have been learning how to do a difficult task this week — lift a truck off another vehicle. Lt. Dan Schellhase said through a donation by TMC Trucking of Des Moines, the department was able to train on a high-risk, low frequency event involving a car which has run underneath a semi trailer. TMC provided a new flatbed trailer, the department obtained a wrecked car to be placed under the trailer.
Schellhase said it is necessary to “lift the trailer up, to pull the vehicle out.” To do that crews use a Rescue Truck, which looks like a fire engine, but it is loaded with rescue gear. That includes dozens of wooden blocks, jacks, braces and cables, was well as an air-powered jack. The crews working as a team quickly raise the trailer a few inches at a time until it can be pulled out. Once the vehicle is out. Then rescue crews use jaws of life to cut the victims free of the car.
“It’s nice that our members could train with actual semis,” said Schellhase. “The difficulty is the safety of the occupants in the vehicle,” he added. The Fire Department has around 80 members, and they train like this at least once a year. They also do things like a car on it’s top. “Every year we throw new things at them,” said Schellhase.