Practice makes perfect - services team up for rescue drill

PUBLISHED: 11:55 02 July 2019

Sidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle Baker

Sidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle Baker

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Emergency services were put through their paces as part of a multi-response rescue drill.

Sidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle BakerSidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle Baker

Sidmouth Fire Station teamed up with student paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) to simulate rescuing a trapped casualty from a car.

Firefighters used heavy cutting equipment to take apart vehicles, while the paramedics worked to treat volunteer casualties.

The exercise took place on Monday, June 24, with three student nurses acting as the causalities, covered in fake blood and sporting injuries made up to look like realistic wounds.

Throughout the evening the crew and paramedics adapted to different potential scenarios.

Sidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle BakerSidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle Baker

In the first instance, one casualty was trapped by her feet in the driver's seat, another casualty unconscious in the back of the car and there was walking wounded casualty.

The paramedics set to work to triage the patient and give life-saving first aid while the fire-fighters helped to co-ordinate the extraction of the casualties.

The second scenario involved a vehicle that had rolled over and landed back on four wheels with the student nurses role playing as causalities who had lost limbs and suffered spinal injuries.

The fire service proceeded to remove the roof completely before the casualty was carried on a spinal board.

Sidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle BakerSidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle Baker

A fire service spokesman said: "It is vital that we do corporation work with other emergency services so that we learn how the other agencies respond and act in intense situations, they also learn how we react.

"This co-operation training helps build bonds and trust with people who we are working along. Making the exercises as realistic as possible is essential to training, we need to feel the same stress and pressure that a real incident brings.

"The idea for the drill was for the paramedics to get some experience of treating casualties trapped in a vehicle while we extricate the casualties.

As you can imagine we make lots of noise and have to get in and around the paramedics with heavy cutting equipment making the task of treating patients very difficult. We all have to work together as one team while carrying out lots of simultaneous activity.

Sidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle BakerSidmouth Fire Station and paramedics worked together as part of a drill to rescue casualties from cars. Picture: Kyle Baker

"The exercise was a great success for us and the paramedics, we are planning the next one already."

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