The car crash experience

Station Officer Mick Howe and Mayor Colin Phillips with hydraulic Holmatro cutting equipment used to cut free road crash victims watched by the crew from Market Drayton and fire authority chairman Nigel Hartin|Station Officer Mick Howe with Mayor Colin Phillips and Mayoress Joanne McIntyre look at fire helmets through the ages.

Up to 500 people attended a major public exhibition on car crashes organised by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Aimed at educating Shropshire motorists about the dangers on our roads, the event at Market Drayton fire station was hailed a huge success.

Crowds watched as firefighters performed two 20 minute re-enactments on extricating car cash victims from saloon cars. They sawed through the roof of the cars before carefully removing the vehicle's doors to safely release the trapped driver from the wreckage.

These were exercises which firefighters carried out "for real" on too many Shropshire motorists, said District Officer Phil Brooks.

"They were very visual displays which showed graphically what happens to motorists involved in accidents on Shropshire roads. We got home the message that this is something we do too often as a result of driving errors on the part of many motorists."

Saturday's open day also gave parents important information on choosing the correct car seat for their children to comply with the new child car safety seat law.

Advice was also on hand from road safety experts, ambulance and police with a series of activities and stands, including eyesight tests from the county council road safety department.

Also at the event were the Shropshire Institute of Advanced Motorists Display Unit; fire memorabilia, fire recruitment advice; a chip pan fire demonstration; and a number of fire appliances.

The "Road Traffic Crash Experience" was a successful event aimed at reducing the death and injury toll on county roads.

The fire service has turned its efforts to educating the public about road crashes after highly successful education campaigns have seen house fires considerably and consistently reduced over the past few years.

"We have been very successful in getting householders to get smoke alarms and be aware about potential risks of fire in the home. Now we want to concert some of our efforts into cutting road crashes in Shropshire," added Mr Brooks.

A series of open days are being held by the fire service in the county.

2nd October, 2006