In case of emergency
PUBLISHED: 11:03 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:35 06 May 2010
TRAFFIC has not yet started to flow through the Baldock bypass tunnel but it has already seen its first major incident. The collision on Sunday involved a caravan, two motorcycles and more than 20 cars. However, the only injuries sustained might have bee
TRAFFIC has not yet started to flow through the Baldock bypass tunnel but it has already seen its first major incident.
The collision on Sunday involved a caravan, two motorcycles and more than 20 cars.
However, the only injuries sustained might have been a bit of a chill on a cold February day.
The incident was an exercise to allow rescue services to practise dealing with a multi-vehicle pile up.
Organised by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, it was the county's largest road traffic collision exercise for many years.
Helping to make the exercise more realistic, the fire service was helped by 17 casualties from the Casualties Union and students from North Hertfordshire College.
Baldock fire crew were first on the scene followed by eight from across the north of the county, including a specialist crew from Hatfield.
Around 60 firefighters and officers worked together to release casualties trapped in their vehicles, while remaining vigilant of the risk of fire and a potential petrol leakage.
Station commander Ian McKenzie from Baldock Fire Station said: "It was the perfect opportunity to use a real piece of roadway for training - something we rarely have the chance to do.
"We are expert in dealing with collisions between two or three vehicles, but we also need to practice the command skills needed to control a large incident such as this.
"From our point of view, we gained a great deal from the morning, as did St John Ambulance who provided five crews and assisted us with the casualty handling.
"We would like to thank the casualties whose performances were excellent - their make-up and acting made the scenario authentic.
"The exercise took a lot of organisation and we are indebted to Saunders Recovery Service of Stotfold, who assisted with the planning, setting-up and the clear up of the operation.
"They also provided the majority of the vehicles at the scene.
"We want to thank the many organisations who contributed, especially E and S Metals of Hitchin who transported 16 cars from the fire station and collected them for us afterwards.
"We are also incredibly grateful to Hertfordshire Highways and Norwest Holst for allowing us to use the bypass and tunnel, as well as the readers of The Comet who donated their scrap cars for our use.