A Shropshire car dealership has donated a scrap car to Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to help firefighters practice rescue techniques.
The left hand drive Peugeot silver estate was delivered to Shrewsbury fire HQ by Rybrook Shrewsbury and will be used as part of regular training exercises to keep firefighters fully prepared to deal with vehicle crashes on county roads.
Group Commander Neil Griffiths thanked the Mini dealership for the vehicle which will be used to train firefighters in casualty care.
“This is a valuable asset to us for training purposes. Suitable scrap vehicles are hard to come by as they have to be drained of pollutants.
“People die and are injured in road traffic crashes on Shropshire roads and it is vital that our firefighters are regularly trained to deal with potentially lifesaving rescues.”
The French registered car was a part exchange vehicle from Rybrook Shrewsbury which has strong links with Shropshire firefighters with staff from both organisations helping to raise funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance and The Firefighters Charity in the recent Three Peaks race and at charity car washes.
“We are giving the car because we want to support firefighter training. We are big believers in road safety and have a longstanding relationship with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service,” said Katy Taylor, from Rybrook Shrewsbury marketing department.
Firefighters train as trauma technicians to hold straight the neck and head of road crash victims as colleagues work to free them to prevent spinal injuries.
They learn how to stabilise vehicles so they don’t move during a rescue, hose reel jets are prepared in case of fire and the car battery disconnected and airbags de-activated before a rescue.
Once another replacement vehicle is found, the Peugeot will have its windscreen and passenger door removed with a hydraulic spreader, front pillar sawn off and the car roof taken off.
“Car roofs are not always removed unless paramedics require it after assessing a patient’s condition. But firefighters have to be fully trained in the techniques,” added Group Commander Griffiths.
Firefighters also train at the Jarvis Metals scrapyard in Harlescott, Shrewsbury, with the owner supporting the brigade by letting fire crews regularly hone their rescue techniques on scrap cars – a vital resource provided free of charge and which saves the service £3,000 a year.
“This extra car from Rybrook Shrewsbury means that we can also train on the drillyard in Shrewsbury,” he added.
With a high number of young people involved in road accidents, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service runs a free driver training scheme with the county branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. The 17 to 25’s go out with a trained observer and take the advanced driving test. For more information visit www.shropshirefire.gov.uk
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to deal with 257 road crashes in 2013/14.