Telford MOD base sees firefighter training
There was a drink driver, 16 casualties, a pile up of cars and swarms of emergency service on scene at MOD Donnington recently - but it was just a drill.
Staff from Shropshire Fire and Rescue, West Midlands Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance and Highways Agency joined together to practice their rescue techniques.
Staged at the military base in Telford, the emergency services were called to a 10-vehicle crash which involved a HGV and a motorbike.
And to make the multi-agency exercise even more realistic, public service students from Telford College played the role of casualties.
The brief for the night was that a 999 call had been made reporting a serious road traffic collision involving multiple vehicles, a large lorry and an unknown number of trapped casualties.
Malcolm Stevenson from the fire service said: "Exercises like this enable the emergency services to practice and hone their rescue techniques in circumstances that we try to make as realistic as possible."
As night fell the students were each given a set of instructions to relay to the emergency services, including their injuries, blood pressure and pain levels out of 10, and were placed in the wreckage ready to be rescued.
Claire Brown from ambulance service said: "The exercise was a great opportunity to test our skills and joint-agency team work at an incident. Routine exercises like this take place across the West Midlands region regularly and are important as they enable us to test our ability to deal with incidents with our fellow 999 colleagues."
It was also an opportunity for student paramedics to get experience in large-scale operations and learn how to treat patients who aren't immediately accessible.
The main rescue mission of the night was a car which was trapped under a jackknifed lorry. Firefighters had to stabilise the HGV, shatter the glass using a tear drop device, and used the jaws of life to remove the roof of the car to free the casualties who were trapped by their legs.
On the night, police also 'arrested' a man on scene on suspicion of drink driving and is thought to have caused the pile up.
Spokesperson Kieren Bodill, from West Mercia Police, said: "This is one of many multi-agency reconstruction training events we have taken part in. It is a vital opportunity for West Mercia Police and partners to come together and practice our rescue techniques."