Weight of response to road traffic collisions

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has started a trial that will increase its initial weight of response to many of the car crashes that happen on local roads.

Up until 2007 we sent two appliances to every road traffic collision we were called to, and an additional support unit if a large goods vehicle is involved. The first firefighters to arrive called for any necessary reinforcements once they have assessed the situation.

The new arrangements have led to the following changes:

  • Initial response where three or more vehicles are involved and people are trapped - increased to three appliances (and an additional support unit if a large goods vehicle is involved)

  • Initial response where two large goods vehicles are involved and people are trapped - increased to three appliances and an additional support unit

  • Initial response where a large goods vehicle and another vehicle are involved and people are trapped - increased to three appliances and an additional support unit

Where either one or two light vehicles are involved and people are trapped, the initial response is unchanged at two appliances. Initial response where a single large goods vehicle or other vehicle is involved and people are trapped also remains unchanged at two appliances and an additional support unit.

Where no-one is trapped and the collision involves a single vehicle and either a pedestrian, a pedal cyclist or a motor cyclist, the response will be reduced to one appliance.

A lot of work has gone into calculating responses which best reflect the risk to life. Our aim is to get all the necessary people and equipment to these incidents as quickly as possible so that the time between someone being injured and taken into care is reduced, thereby maximising their chances of a full recovery.

Obviously we will still call for further resources should they be necessary. For larger and more complex incidents, our specialist Urban Search & Rescue vehicles and equipment will also be available.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service attends around 11,000 emergency incidents every year, of which about 500 are road traffic collisions. Of these, about 300 involve people who need to be released from a vehicle because they are trapped in it.

We would like to hear from you if you would like to comment on the above trial. Please respond by post or email by 31 December 2007.

Postal responses
ACO Des Williamson
Director of Risk Management
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service
Stocklake
Aylesbury
HP20 1BD

Email responses
Please write RTC trial in the subject box and email to info@bucksfire.gov.uk

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