West Midlands Fire Service staged dramatic multi-vehicle crash scene at university

Thursday 07 November 2019

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A shocking multi-vehicle crash scene and the fire service response was staged at Coventry University to serve as a dramatic reminder of the importance of road safety.

The West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) event involved a live demonstration of rescue procedures, including the extrication of crash ‘victims’ from the vehicles using specialist cutting equipment.

University students, staff and members of the public attended the event where the fake car crash was staged outside the university’s Alison Gingell and John Laing buildings.

As well as the dramatic response WMFS were also on hand to discuss the importance of driver and passenger safety with students and members of the public. Attendees could also experience how collisions can unfold and their devastating impact using virtual reality headsets.

West Midlands Police were also present, promoting pedestrian safety and the Green Cross Code, while the university’s Protection Service spoke to students about general safety, both on- and off-campus.

Visitors interested in fire service careers were able to speak to the WMFS recruitment team. Those interested in careers in emergency management, public safety and crowd management could find out about undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development courses available at the university. Lecturers from these courses played ‘victims’ in the casualty extrication demonstration.

It’s vital that the message of staying safe on the road, whether as a driver or as a pedestrian, is well communicated and understood by young people and the wider community, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

This event and demonstration provided a realistic insight into the impact of not taking enough care, and the devastating consequences on the lives of those involved. It’s fantastic that our students got up-close and involved in learning what a real emergency looks like and it was great to work with WMFS on this.

Emma Parkinson, Course Director for Emergency Management at Coventry University

This was a valuable opportunity for West Midlands Fire Service to work with Coventry University students and develop their understanding of road safety.

We know that drivers aged 24 and younger are at a much higher risk of having an accident. Drivers aged 17 to 19 only make up 1.5% of UK license holders but are involved as drivers in nine per cent of fatal and serious collisions.

As well as staging a fake multi-vehicle collision, we also wanted to focus on pedestrian safety. We know that a mobile phone user deep in conversation as they cross the street is generally more at risk than other pedestrians.

Those interested in the fantastic career opportunities open to them with the fire service also got the opportunity to find out more.

Samantha Lewis, Station Commander at Coventry Fire Station