Emergency crews tackle head-on simulation
EMERGENCY crews took part in a high-speed collision exercise to help hone their rescue skills.
Firefighters and paramedics practiced their techniques for a major rescue operation which involved removing the roofs of two cars to free those trapped inside.
The simulation took place on an internal road network at Sibelco UK's East Gold Works at Kingsteignton.
Manager Wayne Russell had ensured that although operations at the ball clay extraction and processing site could continue, emergency teams were given the space and time they needed to carry out the vital practice.
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Watch Commander Phil Scammells, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said having such a venue was invaluable.
"It's rare for us to be able to train like this alongside ambulance crews, normally we meet at the roadside following an actual collision," he said.
"The objective here is to learn from each other and to make us more effective when it counts, at a real emergency.
"All the staff involved tonight will have only had a brief so for them this will be treated as a real situation.
'This is the fourth time we've used the East Gold Works. It's not easy to find places as ideal as this. We hope this site will remain available to us long into the future and we're very grateful to Sibelco for allowing us to use it."
During the simulation crews dealt with three 'injured' volunteers, one thrown from the car they had been travelling in when the head-on took place, and a fatality.
Each had to be assessed and dealt with according to priority.
Lynne Campbell, a paramedic based at Newton Abbot, helped to co-ordinate the exercise.
She said: "We want to give our trainees some exposure to being hands-on lead clinicians. Normally at an emergency they have to step aside and let the qualified paramedics take over, not here.
"It's brilliant having a venue like this."
Sibelco's Wayne Russell said: "It's not causing us any disruption at all and the emergency services have been really excited at what they've found here. Given that it allows them to hone their skills, which anyone of us might need at any time, I'd say it was a win-win situation."