Southwater Community First Responders witnessed a demonstration of firefighters cutting crash victims from a car at Horsham fire station last Wednesday (June 4).
The event was part of a road safety session, to show how the volunteers can assist emergency services at the scene of a collision.
For the demonstration, a member of the community responders, along with a willing County Times reporter, volunteered to be cut from the vehicle after a simulated road accident.
It was a surreal experience that all drivers would benefit from.
Firefighters wielded heavy, deafening power tools as they smashed windows and removed panels from the vehicle in a bid to rescue us.
Had it not been for one member of the crew explaining each step from the back seats of the car, the experience would have felt real. It is not something that can be simulated.
It was intense and at times unpleasant - even though I had not crashed and was in no pain.
Speaking after the demonstration, Alistair Green, watch manager at Horsham Fire Station, said victims could be rescued in as little as three minutes if firefighters deemed it necessary.
Pauline Flores-Moore of Southwater Community First Responders said: “We don’t get called to collisions, and the team wanted to know the reasons why we don’t get called.
“It is useful to see how emergency services work and what they do - and if we come across a collision it helps us to know what we can do.
“We are passionate about serving the community and it is such a worthwhile job.”
SC Neil Worth of Horsham police said: “The whole idea of it is for these guys to be safe at the scene of a crash, and the things for them to think about to stop them being casualties when they stop to help.”
For more information about the community responders group, visit www.southwaterresponders.org
Sussex Police is currently recruiting more Special Constables for the force. For more information and to apply, visit www.sussexspecials.com