Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 14:11 UK

Crash training for firefighters

Firefighters at crash training site
Firefighters will train in techniques used to free people trapped in crashed cars

A special training facility aimed at reducing the number of deaths on Scotland's roads has been created in a Lanarkshire fire station.

The site in Motherwell will give firefighters the chance to practise complex crash rescue techniques in a realistic environment.

In 2007, 281 people were killed and more than 2,300 were seriously injured in road accidents in Scotland.

The facility features replica crash barriers and white line markings.

Firefighters will train with the hydraulic cutting and spreading equipment used to cut away a car's bodywork and force open doors in order to remove casualties.

It is extremely important that our firefighters are highly trained and able to use their skills to extract people from wrecks in order to prevent them from becoming fatalities"
Robert Scott
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue

They will take part in scenarios involving overturned and mangled cars and practice how to successfully free trapped drivers and passengers.

Robert Scott, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue's area commander for North Lanarkshire, said: "What we have is a very realistic facility, with a crash barrier exactly the same as what you would find on a dual carriageway or motorway, that allows our firefighters to train in realistic and meaningful fashion.

"A key aim of the service is to improve road safety throughout our area. We run education programmes in partnership with the local police and council in order to try to prevent accidents occurring.

Crash training site
Replica crash barriers have been fitted at the fire station

"However, these accidents do unfortunately happen and it is extremely important our firefighters are highly trained and able to use their skills to extract people from wrecks in order to prevent them from becoming fatalities."

Roads maintenance company Amey donated labour, materials and expertise to help create the training facility, which was completed in two weeks.

The company's service director, Gordon Wilson, said: "The safety of the travelling public within Lanarkshire is of paramount importance to Amey's daily operations."



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