If you were in a vehicle that crashed, would you know the best way to escape?

Knowing precisely where and how to extricate victims enables first

responders to save precious minutes and lives.

At Saturday's Oro Valley Business Fair and Exposition, the public can view demonstrations of emergency extrication techniques during a first responder training session from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They will observe how airbags and restraint systems operate, and view emergency crews as they cut through metal and steel to extricate “victims” from late-model vehicles.

Approximately 30 first responders from Golder Ranch, Drexel Heights and

other fire districts will be participating in the instructional program.

It is one of a number of displays and events surrounding the expo, during which more than 60 area vendors will participate.

The expo will take place Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Steam Pump Village shopping center, 11000 N. Oracle Road, north of First Avenue.

The family-friendly event is being presented by the Oro Valley Business Club. Admission is free.

Event organizer Hank Jepsen hopes participation in this event will exceed that of a business expo conducted in 2007. Held at the Oro Valley Public Library, that event showcased 50 businesses and attracted about 2,700 people.

He’s glad the expo has returned.

“It’s a good first effort. It’s going to be a great event and a great way to get to know our local business people all in one spot, and for local business owners to meet area residents,” Jepsen said.

This year’s vendors represent medicine, banking, insurance, personal catering, cosmetics, cabinetry-making and interior design.

In addition to the wide range of businesses, the fair will include A Taste of Oro Valley, a sampling of local restaurants starting at 10 a.m. For $5, people can purchase a meal at one of six local eateries: Noble Hops Gastropub, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Vero Amore, Harvest Buffet, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain and The Loop, Taste of Chicago.

In addition, there will be demonstrations by the Oro Valley Police Department’s K-9 squad, SWAT team, motorcycle division and Taser gun use, as well as vehicles from the Golder Ranch Fire District.

The expo also will be a collection site for non-perishable food for Catalina Community Services, which will serve more than 300 meals at Thanksgiving to area families in need.

In addition to Catalina, the organization serves people residing in the Oro Valley ZIP codes 85737 and 85755, said CCS Executive Director Barbara McClure.

Food items needed most include peanut butter, canned fruit and rice, as well as staples for holiday meals. Donation bins will be located in several locations at the expo.

People who would like to donate gift cards to use for turkeys or other much-needed foods should drop them off at the CCS booth, No. 44.

Participation in the expo is not limited to vendors. About 40 students from Oro Valley and Canyon Del Oro high school key clubs will be assisting the Oro Valley Business Club to operate the fair and expo.

“Everyone is invited to come out and support our local businesses,” Jepsen said. “This is a chance for the businesses to put their best foot forward.”

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