Innovation and Training for Road Accident Rescue

Innovation and Training for Road Accident Rescue

Extrication Training Centre in Casiglion Fiorentino: First Dedicated Centre for Rescue Worker Training up and running

In the heart of STRASICURAPark, in Casiglion Fiorentino (Arezzo), is a state-of-the-art centre, ready to welcome visitors, experts and rescue professionals specialised in a delicate branch of emergencies: the extrication of victims from crashed vehicles. This initiative represents a fundamental step forward in the training of rescue operators in critical situations. Let’s delve into this special reality.


This is the technical term used to define the complex process operated by rescuers, including fire fighters and firefighting personnel, with the aim of extracting and freeing people trapped inside crashed vehicles. This type of intervention presents hazard scenarios, including body and sheet metal deformation. It is also called decarceration, as it represents the situation in which an individual finds himself imprisoned in an often compromised and inhospitable passenger compartment, sometimes even with fatal outcomes for the occupant.

This branch of rescue is closely related to the protocol to be followed in case of trauma, known as Basic Trauma Life Support (SVT). This procedure is adopted by all 118 emergency responders to provide assistance in trauma situations.

formazione-sanitaria-formula-guida-sicuraThe key equipment used in extrication or decarceration operations is a first-aid device specifically designed to extract traumatised persons from crashed vehicles. This device is known by the acronym KED (Kendrick Extrication Device). Generally, the KED consists of two belts, adjustable loops and attachments, which are placed around the patient’s neck, head and chest. This makes it possible to immobilise the spine and keep the patient in a semi-rigid position that does not worsen their medical situation. The KED is used after a cervical collar has been applied and significantly reduces the risk of secondary damage during extraction from the vehicle. In addition to the restraints, the KED consists of a series of nylon-coated rigid bars and is essential for preventing orthopaedic-neurological complications that could result from spinal injuries.

The KED is used during extrication operations following road accidents with injured persons inside the vehicle.

However, before using it, it is essential to check that the patient’s circulation and respiration are functioning and that the dynamics of the accident do not require rapid intervention, e.g. in the event of a fire. The assessment of the situation and the choice of the medical protocol to be activated are the responsibility of the qualified rescue personnel. This decision depends on the safety of the scene, the condition of the patient and the presence of other more serious traumatised persons, as well as the unstable condition of the patient that may require a resuscitation manoeuvre.

In the field of extrication, another device used for the mobilisation of traumatised persons is the spinal board or spinal axis. This instrument is mainly used in cases of polytrauma, where a spinal injury is suspected.

In the difficult work of rescuers, every detail is crucial, as even the smallest distraction or error in assessment could have serious, if not fatal consequences. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that these rescuers can practise, learn and implement the necessary procedures and actions in every phase of the rescue. For this reason, a new specialised centre has been set up alongside the important work carried out by the associations and bodies specialising in training.

The idea of creating an Extrication Training Centre was born from the collaboration between local voluntary associations, such as Anpas, Misericordia and the Red Cross, together with the police and fire brigades. This centre offers a safe training area, a well-equipped gymnasium in which various scenarios with crashed vehicles are simulated.

The Extrication Training Centre is the first training camp dedicated entirely to the rescue of people involved in road accidents. In the future, training will also extend to the extrication of drivers involved in accidents with racing cars.

The project is based on a gradual, step-by-step training path for operators

This progressive approach enables them to acquire specific technical knowledge in a gradual and certified manner. In addition to specialised personnel with years of experience, the training staff will include emergency medical nurses and all rescue workers.

The project was born with the conviction that many professionals working in the emergency medical sector will use the centre to train, test techniques, methods and tools to further enrich their experience. Furthermore, given the particularities of the field, it is an ideal showcase for presenting the latest equipment and offers rescue associations the opportunity to assess the quality of these devices.