Our Level 3 Public Services students have been given serious lessons in how the emergency services respond during an emergency, after visiting agencies attended to create a realistic Road Traffic Collision (RTC) at the College campus.

Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form has an outstanding Public Services department and completion of the course is recognised as being a highly successful route into employment in the emergency and armed services, or to university and training. Students take part in theory lessons encompassing command and control, criminal justice, government and politics and land navigation and also a number of physical activities ranging from Ghyll climbing and orienteering, to circuit training and residential trips with the Army and Navy. Each year, students progress into the Services and onto degree courses such as Police and Criminal Investigation.

In order to give students a realistic ‘taster’ of what the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services deal with on a daily basis, a scenario RTC was created on the College car park, involving four ‘casualties’. These casualties were actually fellow public services students who were expertly made up with the Paramedic’s own moulage kit, which enhanced the overall experience by making the students look like they had serious head injuries and fractured bones – with plenty of blood!

In order to emphasise the seriousness of the scenario, one of the acting students would be pronounced dead at the scene and the remaining three would have life-threatening or life-altering injuries. During the event, the other students, including visitors from other courses, were able to witness, in real time, what treatment the ambulance crew would give to the patients and why, giving them a medical perspective of the scene and an insight into how they might deal with a fractured femur, a collapsed lung, or a spinal injury.

The local Fire and Rescue service provided a car to be cut up in the scenario, and also provided the commentary from their perspective. This included safety aspects that have to be adhered to, such as stabilising the car, “glass management” and the dangers posed by airbags that have not already deployed.

The Police traffic officers were then on hand to discuss their role during and after the management of casualties at an RTC. They handed out some literature and promoted safe driving.

Carl Potter, Senior Paramedic helped to organise the event and said, “Overall I think the event was a great success. It was the first time we had carried out such a detailed ‘mock RTC’ and I think services worked well together. I look forward to working with the College and colleagues in the services at similar events in the future.”