Road crash training for 999 crews

999 crews work on a car

Six people were injured in a seven vehicle pile up caused by a drunken lorry driver in south Shropshire but it was all a vivid re-enaction as part of an emergency services training exercise organised by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Trapped inside crushed cars strewn across a road were "victims" made up to look like real casualties with spine, neck, pelvis injuries, broken bones, head and internal injuries to test the reactions of 999 crews.


Shropshire volunteers of the Casualties Union, Sally Joyner of Shrewsbury (left), and Hazel Darlington of Much Wenlock.


District Officer Glenn Holloway, of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said it had been "invaluable" training to test how well the emergency services worked together as a team.

"We all worked together to get out the casualties in the shortest time possible," said Glenn, who thanked Britpart for their car park location, Ludlow haulier Stephen J Weaver for the loan of an HGV low loader and Central Salvage at Craven Arms for the scrap cars.


The crash scene.


Ludlow Sergeant Jonathan Smithson said their role was to assess the scene to allow the 999 crews to save lives, arrest the drunken driver and secure the crime scene.

Firefighters who attended the Saturday morning (16th) scene from across the county practised using special cutting equipment to slice their way through the wreckage, use their casualty care techniques and remove the injured with neck and back injuries carefully on spinal boards with paramedics tending to the seriously injured.


Firefighters cut through one of the wrecked cars.


Playing the victims were Red Cross, St John Ambulance and first responders all members of the Casualties Union, who travel the country acting as trauma victims to help train firefighters, junior doctors and medical staff in hospital casualty units.

With their medical knowledge they were able to replicate the injured and one woman with horrendous looking head cuts and false blood dripping down her face even had an equity card and had appeared in two horror films.

Two Shropshire postal workers, experienced first aiders Hazel Darlington (47), of Southfield Road, Much Wenlock, and Sally Joyner (42), of Mount Pleasant, Shrewsbury, were among the acting cast.

"We've driven into the back of a car in the multiple pile up and I've got a broken pelvis, cuts and bruises and Hazel has neck injuries," said Sally, who works at the Royal Mail centre in Shrewsbury.

Casualties Union member Frank Smith, who sprayed himself with whisky to play the part of the drunken driver and is an amateur make-up artist, said they regularly helped to train firefighters at the Worcester training college and acted as trauma victims for medical staff.


All smiles afterwards.

18th May, 2009