Champion Launches Extrication Academy With Volvo

Champion Rescue Tools has created the 5-Star Extrication Training Academy at the company’s new corporate headquarters and training facility in Upland, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

The academy’s one-day program, according to Champion, is offered free to qualifying first responder training officers and includes both classroom and hands-on training for the toughest extrication problems posed by improved automobile construction.

The first two academy training days were Feb. 13 and 14 to coincide with the Firehouse World trade show in San Diego.

“When Tom Patton started Champion, our goal was to provide tools and training that save lives,” said Champion CEO Alan Discount. “Our two credentialed national fire service training directors have put together a program that provides information not previously available in the marketplace.”

Carl Haddon, who co-directs the program with Aaron Heller, said, “No other training program exists for first responders in the United States that brings together the safest automobile constructions with the best extrication tool technology, free or otherwise.”

In addition to Champion, academy sponsors include safety leaders in the automotive and first responder industries. Volvo was the inaugural automotive sponsor and provided six late-model Volvos valued at more than $214,000 for academy attendees to tear apart.

“Volvo has partnered with Champion Rescue Tools at a time when it is increasingly difficult for obsolete extrication tools used by firefighters to cut through the newest car constructions,” Discount said.

Volvo also displayed a cut-away model of an XC90, illustrating passenger compartment construction and the locations of five different grades of steel used throughout the vehicle.

“With the kinds of metals and structures we employ today, extrication techniques and tools are different than 10 or even five years ago,” said Bruno DiGennaro, a senior safety engineer with Volvo Cars of North America. “We believe Champion’s academy will significantly help first responders and ultimately accident victims during post crash situations.”

In addition to Volvo, other sponsors who provided equipment for the academy’s inaugural session included Total Fire Group, Turtle Plastics, Fire Hooks Unlimited, Fire Axe Inc. and All Hands Fire.

To learn about academy participation, training officers should contact Jacque Weaver at Champion Rescue Tools at 888-396-2426.

Sponsorship inquiries should be directed to Carl Haddon at 208-865-2060.

Founded as Patton Hydraulics in 1978, Champion produces a patented line of hydraulic vehicle extrication tools.

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