Our role in Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs)
Assisting at the scene of an RTC is a major part of our work as a fire and rescue service.
Our firefighters are trained for rescue and extrication equally as much as they are for tackling fires. Using team work and state of the art rescue equipment, and working closely with ambulance service staff and paramedics, our firefighters are able to release casualties who become trapped in ther vehicles after a crash.
Every normal fire engine carries cutting and spreading gear that allows us to remove whole sections of a vehicle such as its roof or doors to release casualties who become trapped in their vehicle after a crash. We also have three rescue vehicles with extra equipment to support rescue operations.
It can be a frightening experience being trapped inside a wreckage and we will always do our best to minimise the trauma. By the time we have to resort to dismantling your vehicle, it is usually too late to save it from the scrapheap - but at least you are safe.
It takes a great deal of time and care to rescue people from wreckages. Unfortunately for other road users, while we rescue trapped passengers, lanes and roads need to be closed and so delays can occur. An extrication cannot be rushed but we will carry out the rescue as quickly and as safely as possible.
In 2011/12, we attended 463 road traffic collisions and had to cut free 196 people from wreckages. We also had to recover the bodies of 18 people who tragically lost their lives as a result of these crashes. A further 308 people were injured.
These statistics are of concern to us and as a fire and rescue service we are a key partner in trying to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the county's roads.
In this section, and by navigating through the sub headings on the left hand menu, you can learn more about the work we do with partnership agencies to educate motorists about safer driving.