Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Exercise 'On the Buses'

With road traffic collision training opportunities becoming increasingly more difficult to arrange, there was a lot of mileage to be had from Exercise ‘On the Buses’, organised by Southend Station Officer Al Green, White Watch in partnership with BJG.

BJG arranged for the delivery of a single decker bus, donated by Ensign Buses of Purfleet, three motor vehicles and a motorcycle. All vehicles were de-polluted and a vehicle, which ended up being placed in the river, was free of glass too. BJG crews set up the accident scene, assisted during the rescues and cleared all vehicles and debris after the event.

Jack Bayford supplied all the live casualties and make up with his St John teams and took along a Special Constable from Witham for the day who controlled the traffic during the exercise at Gunners Park on Saturday.  Southed Fire Station was supported locally by Southend Emergency Planning Officer Keith Holden who used his contacts to secure both the necessary Traffic Orders and permission of the land owners to hold the exercise.

With multiple casualties within a bus on its side, crews had to deal with a badly injured driver, making timing critical. Immediate access to the bus was prevented by an over-turned car which was both on fire and had casualties trapped inside it. The casualties were jammed against the bus’ emergency exit door and another vehicle had crashed into the front screen of the bus, trapping the bus driver. Three more people were trapped in the second vehicle.  The only access to the occupant of the bus was by its normal doors, which now formed its roof!

A  third vehicle whose driver was a 28 stone dummy with a further two casualties in the back had been in collision with a motorbike. The car, its occupants and both motorcyclists - a father and pillion passenger daughter - left the roadway and ended up in the roadside river.

“This certainly gave the initial Incident Commander just a bit to think about!,” said Southend Station Commander Martyn Hodder.

Crews attending were Shoeburyness, Leigh and two from Southend. Stn O John Tidbury was  the Level 2 Commander

“Everybody got stuck in and hopefully got the maximum out of it,” said ADO Hodder. “Opportunities like this do not come along very often -

an excellent day, well planned, and executed. From some of the photographs we were able to capture,  it could have been a real incident.

Thanks go to everyone who played their part in making the event possible, particularly our partners.”

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