High Sheriff is car crash victim

The roof was removed from this red car to release High Sheriff Richard Tanner pictured with firefighters Tim Hughes and Billy Edwards (right)

Shropshire's High Sheriff became a car crash "victim" as firefighters demonstrated how they rescue people trapped in the wreckage of their cars after a collision.

Richard Tanner willingly played the role as he was cut free from a red Ford car which had its roof totally removed using special cutting equipment during the exercise at Telford fire station.

District Officer Phil Brooks said: "Red Watch demonstrated an extrication using him as a live casualty. It enabled him to experience at first hand the trauma that someone goes through being severely trapped in their car after a crash."

Mr Tanner, chairman of Tanners Wines, said: "I was very impressed. It was a simulated car crash and I was the injured person. It took a few minutes and they cut the car away section by section. It is a drill they often practice and they were very good."

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is currently staging a road safety campaign in its bid to reduce the number of crash victims on Shropshire roads.

Designed by fire officers to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on county roads, the Car Crash Experience "roadshow" has already visited Bridgnorth and Market Drayton and will be in Ludlow early next year.

"Much of our time is spent at road crashes across the county and we want to get the message across to Shropshire motorists that they must take more care on the roads,"said Mr Brooks.

"We have been very successful in reducing fires through education and we will continue to do that while also turning our attention to tackling road safety.

"We regard road safety as a very important issue. Our firefighters attend road crashes in Shropshire virtually every day and we want to effectively reduce that worrying statistic."

Last year 1,825 people were killed or injured on Shropshire roads. A total of 286 died or suffered serious injuries - 29 of them children. There were 1,539 slight injuries.

18th October, 2006