Firefighters helped victims at more than 450 accidents in a year in Northamptonshire

Picture: Northamptonshire Police/David Jackson
Picture: Northamptonshire Police/David Jackson

Firefighters in Northamptonshire attended more than 450 accidents on the roads in a 12-month period, it has been revealed.

The figures were released as the fire service performed a demonstration at Mereway Fire Station in Northampton, showing the skills they use to rescue victims from the wreckage of accidents.

Picture: Northamptonshire Police/David Jackson

Picture: Northamptonshire Police/David Jackson

The demonstration was designed to offer people a glimpse of what they can expect to see as part of a large-scale road safety day, due to be held at Rockingham Circuit on April 2.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Fire officers do not just tackle house and business fires in their day to day jobs.

“In the financial year 2014-2015, Northamptonshire firefighters attended 459 road traffic collisions.

“Crews are highly trained in carrying out rescues from vehicles, often using specialist equipment to cut people free from cars. They are also frequently called upon to carry out essential First Aid in emergency situations,” she said.

Picture: Northamptonshire Police/David Jackson

Picture: Northamptonshire Police/David Jackson

The aim of the Open Roads event is to provide a fun day out for families, non-drivers and drivers, young and old. But the serious motivation for holding the day is to help reduce the number of people being killed or injured on Northamptonshire’s roads, the spokeswoman said.

“The number of people who died in collisions within Northamptonshire rose by approximately a third in 2015, compared to the preceding year. This figure was 32 in 2015, compared to 21 in 2014,” she added.

Gemma Rutland, community engagement officer for the Safer Roads Team, said: “We hope the Open Roads event will be well attended and that it will be both a fun day out and a great opportunity for people to learn more about why road safety is so important.

“The experience of being cut from a car after a serious collision on a major road is not something that anyone ever wants to face in real life. We hope that, in witnessing the staged rescue as part of this event, people will learn more about what can happen when a crash takes place, as well as more about the pressures the emergency services face in these situations.”

The Open Roads event will take place on April 2 from 10am to 3pm at Rockingham Circuit.

The day will include more than 30 activities, stands and demonstrations such as staged Police pursuits, a display of modified and supercars, an array of motorbikes on show and plenty of entertainment for children, such as a bouncy castle, face painting and the chance to climb onto a real fire engine.

There will also be sessions promoting motorcycle safety and there will be Car Kraft taster sessions for young drivers, which will include driving experiences such as skid training in Renault cars.

Other attractions will include a Lotus driving simulator, a lorry driving demonstration in which blind spot dangers will be highlighted, a chance to see the Police helicopter up close and the opportunity to get involved with a variety of interactive exhibits, as well as picking up handy safety tips and having child car seat and tyre checks.