You wouldn’t normally expect to see the signs of a horrific road traffic accident in the middle of the pedestrianised area of Croydon’s main shopping centre, but that’s exactly what surprised shoppers were faced with recently.
Thankfully no-one was actually hurt as it was all part of a demonstration jointly hosted by Transport for London (TFL), the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service to raise awareness of road safety, and in particular the dangers of speeding. Richard, Sam and I took a new Mercedes ambulance down to the shopping centre to take part in the reconstruction on what turned out to be a gorgeous sunny early autumn afternoon.
The scenario was that a motorcyclist and a car had collided at speed leaving both drivers seriously injured. We all worked together to demonstrate the roles of the different emergency services and how we all work smoothly together at these incidents.
The police were first to arrive and they made the scene safe, controlled the traffic and began to collect evidence that would help them to establish what exactly happened. They also gave a report over the radio of the seriousness of the incident to make sure that the right response would be sent by other emergency services.
The fire and rescue service arrived and continued to ensure scene safety and worked closely with the ambulance service to affect the rescue of the injured men.
The motorcyclist needed to have his helmet removed in a safe and controlled way that wouldn’t damage his head or neck further. We placed a neck collar on him and secured him with straps on to a spinal board to immobilise his whole body. He was then removed to the ambulance for further assessment and treatment for his injures.
Attention then turned to the victim in the car. He too had a neck collar placed and spinal immobilisation kit known as a KED was used to minimise the chance of any further damage to his neck and back and also to make it easier for us to lift him free from the car once the fire and rescue services had cut off the roof.
Quite a crowd gathered and watched with interest. It was a good day which gave us an opportunity to practice working together with our emergency service colleagues without there being anyone actually injured to worry about.
I am very grateful to Stu Willis for sending me these photos of the day. You can see more photos in the gallery.