DUNTON, England – Ford of Britain is Going Further to help rescue crews practice removing crash casualties from its latest generation cars and vans.
The company recently donated a prototype new Fiesta and crash-tested Transit Custom to Essex Fire and Rescue Service so crews could perfect their skills cutting open vehicles constructed from high strength and ultra-high strength steels.
Martin Edey, Assistant Divisional Officer, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “As vehicle technologies evolve over the years, we need to improve our techniques. It is an absolute godsend to be able to work on these new vehicles, to find out the most effective way of opening them up, and also to get a good understanding of where airbag sensors and other components are located.
“One of the biggest challenges we face now is the amount of boron steel found in cars. We’re really grateful to Ford for giving us this opportunity to practice using a variety of equipment to cut through the steel to see which works best.”
In a mock accident scene staged at Ford’s Dunton Engineering and Research Centre in Essex, a prototype Fiesta was rolled on its side with a casualty trapped inside. Armed with hydraulic cutters and rams, fire crews opened it up like a clam before removing the “victim” on a spinal board. Close by, colleagues cut the roof off a crash tested Transit Custom using a prototype steel cutting blade.
Dunton-based Ford engineer and part-time fire fighter Simon Falzon was instrumental in setting up the exercise: “I was asked by the fire brigade whether Ford could help us with some vehicles so I spoke to Stephen Odell and he was very keen to assist.
“What Ford has done is wonderful, allowing us to work on vehicles which are only just going on sale. The knowledge we gain though exercises like this will be shared with colleagues everywhere.”
Ford has a tradition of working closely with fire and rescue crews throughout Europe. Last year, the company donated two crash tested B-MAXs for fire fighters in Germany to practice on.