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 |  Jun 25 2010, 5:12 PM

In the last decade, wildfires have wrought considerable havoc in Southern California, often testing the limits of firefighting crews as well as requiring assistance from out of the state. In cases where the fires spread to urban environments, causing people to become trapped in buildings and cars, saving lives becomes crucial. That’s where facilities like the Rio Hondo Regional Truck Academy in Santa Fe Springs come in. Rio Hondo offers courses designed for professional firefighters to train and also educate emergency medical responders about saving lives in emergency situations, including vehicle accidents where time and techniques in rescuing occupants from stranded vehicles are critical .

Kia Motors recently aided Rio Hondo’s programs by donating 26 Borrego SUVs to the academy for instructional training. These vehicles will be used in a variety of scenarios that simulate real fire and emergency situations, plus as late-model vehicles they allow both students and instructors to learn about the latest in modern technology features such as airbags, while utilizing the right tools to remove the occupants quickly and safely. The donation also comes at a time when many states, particularly California are struggling with budget issues, including funding for emergency services.

“We know many government agencies are in need of support during these difficult times and providing Rio Hondo with these vehicles is an ideal fit,” stated  VP Marketing, Kia Motors of America.

David Kang, Truck Academy instructor for Rio Hondo, added, “without this donation from Kia Motors, we would not be able to do this training. The use of these Kia SUVs will allow firefighters from all over Southern California to learn the latest in vehicle technologies and save lives.”

[Source: OC Metro]