A TEAM of resting firefighters on their way to a nationwide competition in Tyneside to show off their extrication skills put them to the test in a real-life situation when they were first at the scene of an accident in highway.
The Northfield-based crew were heading to the two-day “Festival of Rescue” hosted by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) on Thursday.
When they arrived on Newcastle’s central highway just after 5 p.m., they saw that a vehicle had crashed and the driver was stuck inside.
With other crews on the way, highly trained firefighters rushed to the vehicle, put a cordon in place, and helped coordinate the response of emergency services.
The motorist was rushed to hospital with serious leg injuries, but the response from the rest crew allowed him to be attended to as quickly as possible.
The West Midland Fire Department’s extrication team consisted of Anthony Busst, Andrew Connolly, Rhys Suban, Lee Renenhan and Andrew Butler.
Mr Busst, team commander of the Northfield Fire Station, said: ‘When we saw the collision we knew we had the training to be able to assist the local emergency services so we didn’t not hesitated to stop us.
“We were the first on the scene and our priority was to secure the area and reassure the occupant of the vehicle.
“Our thoughts are with them as they continue to recover from their injuries and we are just happy that we were able to do something to help them.”
Senior fire officers praised the team’s efforts and said it showed the “collaborative spirit” of the UK Rescue Organization (UKRO) event.
Fire Chief Chris Lowther said, “We were incredibly proud to host the Festival of Rescue which really showcased the area and the skills of fire and rescue services across the country.
“The response to this incident shows how committed the firefighters family is to keeping our communities safe and that was the goal of this festival.
“I would like to personally thank our colleagues in the West Midlands for providing a safe workspace for our teams. “
West Midlands Fire Department Fire Chief Phil Loach said: “I am extremely proud of our Northfield firefighters who responded confidently, efficiently and safely to this incident, to assist the occupant of the vehicle. .
“In this case, our firefighters were in the right place at the right time and acted instinctively. I commend them for being proactive when they are away from the West Midlands.
“The cooperation of the crews with the local emergency services has proven to be invaluable.
“I am glad we were able to offer our assistance and would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the West Midlands Fire Department to wish the occupant of the vehicle a full and safe recovery.”
The UKRO Festival of Rescue was a two-day event at the Newcastle and Gateshead Docks that hosted five different challenges: Rope Rescue, Water Rescue, Trauma Care, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and Extrication .