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'Crash' drama in Snodland recovery yard

‘Crash’ drama in Snodland recovery yard

Snodland HGV exercise
'Crash' drama in Snodland recovery yard

1 November 2016

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) was faced with the dramatic aftermath of a crash in which two heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s) and two cars had collided, with a car trapped under one of the HGV’s.

Fortunately, the 'crash' had been staged for a special training drill at NY Recovery in Holborough Road, Snodland, and firefighters from Strood and Rochester rushed to the scene in fire engines with ‘heavy rescue capability’. They worked from a HGV platform, a portable piece of kit that adjusts in height to enable them to access and rescue casualties from lorry cabs.

Strood Watch Manager, Alan Brown, said: “Crews were faced with a series of complex rescues, which involved using the latest heavy duty hydraulic rescue equipment including rescue struts and HGV stabilisation. This enabled us to shore up and stabilise the vehicles before using our powerful cutters to remove the roof or other parts of the vehicles so we could get to the ‘casualties’.

“The exercise was carried out as if it was a real incident and enabled us to test our knowledge and skills with the variety of equipment available to us. It was a complex drill but allowed crews to stage the different and challenging scenarios that we might be faced with, without it being in a time critical situation."

Fire crews working from HGV platform to access 'casualty' in lorry cab
Firefighters working from HGV platform

NY Recovery Incident Manager, John Darvell was approached to see if it was possible to have some HGV casualty vehicles as the fire service regularly has the opportunity to cut up and train on cars but not HGV’s. NY Recovery contacted one of its customers who were able to supply three HGV trucks that could have the cabs cut up for training purposes. 

NY Recovery staged the multi-vehicle crash with cars and HGV’s, complete with mock casualties supplied by KFRS, to make access to the vehicles as difficult as possible. 

Alan ended: "We are very grateful to NY Recovery for providing us with a range of vehicles to work with and allowing us to use their site.”

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