BEING trapped in a car wreck is most people’s idea of a nightmare.
But a group of Huddersfield University students signed up for a first hand taste of the horrors of a traffic collision with a live demonstration of the “jaws of life” at Batley Fire Station.
Fire crew showed the transport design students how they would rescue a victim trapped in their own vehicle by cutting the roof clean off.
It is hoped the demonstration will help the group to invent safer vehicles when they graduate to the car design industry for real.
Instructors from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s road traffic collision training team also revealed the graphic details of what happens to the human body after a high speed traffic smash.
The link with future car designers, thought to be a UK first, was organised by crew manager, Paul Stevens.
He said: “I was approached by Huddersfield University and we got our heads together with the road traffic collision training department and came up with the contents of the day.
“They also get a strong road safety message, which opens their eyes and makes them think twice before driving irresponsibly.
“We are delighted to be working with the University of Huddersfield and hope our input will help the students both on their course and in their future careers.”
Mr Stevens, a fireman for more than six-years, revealed road traffic accidents were now the most common type of rescue the fire service was called to.
And he said there was no doubt the demonstration had a profound impact on the trainee car designers’ attitudes.
He said: “You can see from their comments and the way they act at the start, and then at the end, that it’s having an affect.
“For every two people rescued from house fires we rescue 15 from crashes.
“We have what we call a ‘Golden Hour’ from the point of collision to the victim being treated in hospital. We try to get them out within the first half hour.”
Mr Stevens admitted modern cars were safer than ever before but said the one thing that would aid the fire service enormously would be more information about cars’ internal systems.
“If we cut through the power cables in a hybrid car or the cannisters that fire off the airbags, that can be very hazardous,” he added.