Road Traffic Collisions
The introduction of the Fire & Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order in May 2006 provides a legislative requirement for NIFRS to attend a range of incidents including road traffic collisions (RTCs). During 2010 NIFRS attended 627 RTCs, and rescued 105 people.
NIFRS primary role in relation to RTCs is intervention to improve vehicle stablisation and casualty handling at scene. NIFRS will also continue to influence positive change in driver attitudes and behaviours by making additional resources available to promote road safety. NIFRS will contribute to the wider debate regarding vehicle safety standards at local, national and international levels.
While the number of deaths and serious injuries on Northern Ireland's roads has declined over the last years, still much can be done by NIFRS and its many partners to achieve further road casualty reductions.
Road safety is a key priority for NIFRS. In May 2007 we became the first fire & rescue service in Europe to receive the prestigious European Road Safety Charter and a year later we published our Road Safety Strategy 2008-2013. The Strategy sets out the key strategic themes which will contribute to the improvement of road safety in Northern Ireland.
To further demonstrate our commitment to improve road safety in Northern Ireland a number of developments are underway:
Enhanced medical skills have been, and will continue to be, provided through the introduction of First Person On Scene (FPOS) training courses. These have been supported by the purchase of additional equipment such as ‘Immediate Emergency Care’ (IEC) packs which have been issued to those Stations attending most road traffic collisions.
The IEC packs contain a wide range of additional medical equipment for use by FPOS trained personnel including: Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), neck collars, airways and suction units, all of which are contained in one dedicated bag.
NIFRS also continues to enhance the Hydraulic Rescue Equipment carried on frontline fire and rescue appliances. This rescue equipment is equipped with ‘New Car Technology’ Rescue Tools offering superior performance on modern vehicle construction.
In respect of extrication techniques, our staff attend formal training at the Fire Service College, as well as local courses at Fire & Rescue Training Centre. Teams from within NIFRS have competed nationally in extrication challenges and have represented the UK on a number of occasions in the World Rescue Organisation (WRO) Extrication Challenge.
A number of staff have undertaken the rigorous Advanced Driving Test provided by the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
A new post of ‘Road Safety Manager’ was created to provide a focal point for road safety in NIFRS. The road safety manager took up position in November 2008.
We continue to work with our partners locally, nationally and internationally. This includes the Department of Environment, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Chief Fire Officers’ Association and the European Union.
In 2009 we signed an agreement with DoE and PSNI relating to how road safety education should be delivered in primary schools. You can read this agreement by clicking here
For further information and to read a Year 1 review of the implementation of the Road Safety Strategy please click here.