High Sheriff of Shropshire in RTC exercise

Shropshire's High Sheriff was literally in the driving seat to see at first hand how firefighters rescue victims of county road crashes.

Anna Turner was cut out of a green Fiesta in a training exercise carried out by six firefighters during a visit to Telford Fire Station this afternoon (Wednesday).

She went through the motions of hearing the rescue tender arrive before being 'stabilised' by the first firefighter on the scene, a trained trauma technician.

The car was stabilised, hose reel jets prepared in case the car set on fire, the car battery disconnected and airbags de-activated.

The High Sheriff had a green cover put over her to prevent being cut by showering glass as windows were removed, pillars sawn off and the car roof removed in double quick time.

Incident commander Tean Treherne mobilised her fire crew at the scene in which the High Sheriff was placed onto a spine board before being safely lifted out of the back of the wrecked car.

'It was pretty scary. They were brilliant with a firefighter in the back seat re-assuring me all the time. It was very helpful being talked through the experience which gives you confidence if you ever are unfortunate enough to have to be rescued. They certainly know what they are doing.'

Trainer Scott Hurford told how firefighters have to cut free victims in a maximum of 20 minutes with another 20 minutes for ambulance crews to get the victims to hospital.

Anna Turner was visiting the training centre along with members of Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority. They also witnessed the dangers faced by fire crews including a 'back draft' which was recreated when a fireball exploded when oxygen was introduced into a controlled container fire.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus also showed how they search for people trapped inside a smoke filled home in a scene recreated in the 'smoke house' where county firefighters are trained.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond said the demonstrations showed how well trained and well equipped Shropshire firefighters were to deal with any incident they were faced with.

29th July, 2009