Firefighters and police joined forces to stage a rescue demonstration based around a drink-driving crash scenario as part of a month-long campaign targeting those who drive under the influence.
Crews from Rushden and Wellingborough fire stations were joined by police officers from the East Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Team for the event in Higham Ferrers on Tuesday night (December 12).
Spectators who braved the cold were introduced to a scenario where a drunk driver had crashed, leaving his passenger with life-threatening injuries. As police arrested the driver, firefighters arrived to cut the casualty free from the vehicle, with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s lead instructor for road traffic collision training, Watch Manager Craig Douglas, providing a commentary.
Driving home the dangers
WM Douglas said: “It’s important to show people the reality of incidents like this. There are safety procedures we have to follow before we can begin to extricate a casualty, and the more severe their injuries, the more every second counts.
“The drink drive message doesn’t just apply to the night out, but to the morning after, so we’re encouraging awareness of the fact you may still have alcohol in your system which will impair your reactions the following day.
“Drink drive incidents aren’t just about cars colliding with each other, but about vehicles mounting pavements and hitting pedestrians or going into gardens or areas where children may be playing. The message is simple – never drink and drive.”
To help emphasise the potentially fatal consequences of driving while under the influence, the demonstration role play ended with the death of the injured passenger.
PC Paul Mitchinson, of Northamptonshire Police’s East Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Team, said: “The purpose of this event was to educate the public regarding the dangers and consequences of drink driving, to support the ongoing festive drink and drug drive campaign.
“By working with the fire service we were able to demonstrate the deadly seriousness of the consequences of drink driving, and reinforce the message that you should never do it.”
Spectator Lucy Mackness, of Higham Ferrers, said: “It was brilliant to see the rescue carried out and interesting to hear what goes into an incident like this. Our children also enjoyed watching it all because they love everything to do with the emergency services.”
Northamptonshire Police’s anti drink and drug drive campaign is running throughout December, with static checkpoint operations and roadside checks carried out to identify and bring to justice those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.