Firefighters train for level crossing disaster

Freeing trapped casualties
Freeing trapped casualties

If ever there is a disaster at Cleghorn Crossing in the future, the firefighters sent to it will be well-prepared.

Thirty trainee firefighters have just taken part in a disaster scenario, sent to rescue casualties following a ‘collision’ involving a train, a bus and cars at a level crossing.

The major exercise at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) National Training College in Cambuslang replicated the chaos that firefighters would face at such an incident.

Crews scrambled to the scene found dozens of casualties fleeing the vehicles and many others still trapped inside.

British Red Cross volunteers played the role of walking wounded and critically injured persons, portraying the sense of confusion and fear that would grip many caught-up in such an incident.

As highly-qualified SFRS instructors looked on, the trainees moved to stabilise vehicles, provide emergency trauma care to the wounded and rescue those who needed to be freed.

These realistic training scenarios ensure firefighters are prepared for the wide-range of emergencies faced by today’s SFRS.

Deputy Chief Officer Alex Clark said: “When I joined as a firefighter almost 30 years ago we responded to fires. The role today is so much bigger.

“Our new recruits will go on to respond to road traffic collisions, water rescue, rescue from height, urban search and rescue and of course deliver our vital prevention work that reduces the chance of incidents.

“Their role and that of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will continue to expand as we work to improve the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

“We have recently joined forces with the Scottish Ambulance Service to help save patients who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrest. This is another example of our firefighters saving lives across Scotland.”

He continued: “The facilities here at our national training centre are the best in Britain and are a key to developing the skills of firefighters from right across Scotland.

“Our trainee firefighters will soon be joining our highly-skilled crews across the country where they will continue to develop their skills and knowledge.

“These recruits represent our commitment to the safety of the people of Scotland. That is why they join and I know they will leave ready and equipped for the task ahead.”