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Simulated crash makes crews 'more effective when it counts'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 01, 2012

  • The scene of the 'high speed collision' at Sibelco UK's East Gold Works near Newton Abbot. Emergency crews were not told about the training exercise ahead of time

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A high-speed collision gave emergency crews the "perfect" training conditions.

Emergency crews were called to the scene of a high speed collision on a road in Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, only to find nobody was harmed.

The collision, which caused a road blockage for over two hours, was all part of a training exercise for new emergency crews.

The mock crash took place at Sibelco UK's East Gold Works, near the South Devon town.

Having the simulation at this location gave the crews a chance to work in a real-life situation, without any time constraint or inconveniencing other road users.

The crews were not told of the exercise and were only given a brief. They therefore treated the call-out as a real life emergency.

"It's rare for us to be able to train like this alongside ambulance crews," said Watch Commander Phil Scammells, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. "The objective here is to learn from each other and to make us more effective when it counts, at a real emergency."

Saying it was the fourth time they had used the East Gold Works, he added: "It's not easy to find places as ideal as this."

Sibelco UK's manager, Wayne Russell, ensured that although the usual site operations could continue, the emergency teams were given space and time to complete their exercise.

"It's not causing us any disruption at all really and the emergency services have been really excited at what they've found here," he said.

Lynne Campbell, a Newton Abbot-based paramedic, helped co-ordinate the exercise. "We want to give our trainees some exposure to being hands-on lead clinicians," she said.

"It's brilliant having a venue like this – I didn't even know it was here until today, it's perfect."

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