FIRE and ambulance crews, trained in road traffic collision recovery, visited Albemarle Barracks this week to highlight road safety.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service crews, based in Hexham and Prudhoe, have specialist equipment to help save car crash victims, with the A69 and Military Road particular blackspots.

Army personnel at Albemarle Barracks got to have a go at using the equipment for themselves, with help from the emergency services.

Road traffic collisions are one of the most common fire service call outs and attendees were taught the ‘fatal five’ points that cause collisions – the use of mobile phones, alcohol or drugs, speeding, inexperience and seatbelts.

A real-life re-enactment of a car crash recovery saw fire crews remove the roof and windows from a car before two occupants were recovered by paramedics.

Ben Toyer, who left the car on a stretcher, said: “I felt very safe inside the car and it felt like the firefighters were in full control.”

Regimental fleet manager at Albemarle, Kev Skeels, said: “It’s very important to get the message from the experts, and that it was as hard-hitting as possible.

“It was great to get all the facts surrounding the dangers of driving, but also hear the personal accounts of the fire and ambulance crew.”

Watch manager John Chilton said: “We will be working with Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham and Haydon Bridge High School in the future to get our message out there to people of all ages. Anyone can be affected by road crashes.”