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East Sussex College students take part in crash scene simulation

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) reconstruct a road traffic collision (RTC) for Motor Vehicle students at East Sussex College

ESFRS led the demo for Level 1 & 2 Mechanical Repair students at the Eastbourne campus last week (Tuesday 22nd October). The fire crew recreated a road traffic collision scene with students being ‘rescued’ from a silver Ford. Students experienced being cut out of a crashed car, with all the sounds and feelings of being in an RTC, albeit with hard hats and safety goggles on.

Leading the demo was Kevin Hart, who represents ESFRS and the UK in extrication competitions worldwide.

“The first thing we have to do is stabilise the car so we put blocks underneath and wedges around the wheels so it can’t roll either way,” Kevin explains. “If there’s an injured person in the car, the car will be rocking around, making a spinal injury worse. Cars are designed to protect you as much as possible and absorb the impact of a collision. However, it will confine the victim, so we have spreaders and cutters designed to get them out.”

ESFRS has a mobile database of every car, so they know the risks involved when they attend an accident scene. Hybrids and electric cars pose different problems, as well as some modern cars, which come equipped with up to 32 airbags.

Following the demo, the students were split into two groups to practise using the equipment themselves, removing car doors and car roofs with cutters.

Mark Streeter, Motor Vehicle tutor, said, “This experience gave students an insight into how modern cars are made and the obstacles faced by the rescue services when they attend a crash scene. Car makes, models and their year of manufacture can make all the difference. This demo has been invaluable.”

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