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University students put their skills to the test as emergency services stage car crash

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Emergency responders worked hard to ‘rescue’ students from a crash scene at Wrexham Glyndwr University – but don’t worry it was just a drill.

The simulated crash exercise was organised by the university’s Psychology department in partnership with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Welsh Ambulance service and North Wales Police.

Up to 50 first year engineering, psychology, district nursing and broadcasting students took part in the staged event, acted out by students.

Phill De Prez, programme leader for Psychology, said:  “We try to organise this type of scenario every year. We decided to focus on risky behaviours for our students to look at the attitudes in situations like this.
“We’ve been looking at the theory of risky behaviour in the classroom but we always try and back our studies up with practical learning.

“It’s also great to work in partnership with other university departments for practical exercises such as this.”

The exercise staged the crash between two cars as if one of the drivers crashed due to speeding and there was a loose passenger in the back not wearing a seatbelt.

The results of this situation showed several scenarios which were utilised by different courses at the university.

The psychology students focused on the reactions of the situation and will now come up with research on different scenarios, from the partnership approach to eyewitness statements and other elements of the exercise.

Students acted as casualties during the mock collision, with paramedics treating injuries and explaining symptoms as the rescue took place.

The doors and roof were cut off one of the vehicles as fire fighters freed the ‘injured’.

Laurence Neville, advanced paramedic practitioner at the Welsh Ambulance Service, who worked with Wrexham Glyndwr University to organise the event, said: “We decided to use this situation of having an unsecured person loose in the back of the car to show the dangers of not having a seat belt on.

“The whole scene also shows the students the pressures and stress our emergency crews are under in very real situations like this.

“Overall from the start to the end it took 50 minutes but that is relatively quick but when you’re the person involved in that crash that time can go very slowly.”

“I think it was a very successful demonstration of an accident and it shows the reality of what you see on the TV or read in the news when there’s been a car incident.”

For more information on Wrexham Glyndwr University courses visit http://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/

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