Gallery: Hertfordshire firefighters bid to save drivers' lives
A NEW campaign to reduce the number of deaths caused by road accidents has been launched today by the county's fire and rescue service. Firefighters intend to work closely with schools and universities to promote safer driving among 18 to 25-year-olds –
A NEW campaign to reduce the number of deaths caused by road accidents has been launched today by the county's fire and rescue service.
Firefighters intend to work closely with schools and universities to promote safer driving among 18 to 25-year-olds - the age group deemed most likely to involved in car smashes.
The campaign will also look to improve response times to emergencies, giving vital extra minutes to help casualties.
Between April 2007 and April 2008, the county's fire service attended 682 road traffic collisions, which resulted in 15 deaths and 950 casualties.
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Firefighters hope the campaign will significantly reduce those statistics.
To mark the campaign launch, a reconstruction of a road accident took place at the service's HQ in Hertford.
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Deputy chief fire officer Mark Yates said: "Today is a significant day for the fire service.
"The launch of this strategy marks a formal commitment to the community of Hertfordshire, using our expertise, experience and reputation we can combat this problem."
The fire service intends to use on its reputation to educate young drivers. "Kids need heroes," group commander for community and safety, Peter Hill said. "Young men are particularly vulnerable, it is an opportunity for us to be those heroes."
County councillor Richard Smith, executive member for community safety, said: "Firefighters are well-established role models to young people.
"They are the perfect people to inspire and influence the youth in a good way."
Also speaking at the campaign launch was a teenager who owes his life to firefighters, after he was involved in a serious accident last month.
Rob Hardy, 18, broke both arms, a leg, and needed skin grafts after he lost control of his car and flipped over.
"If it wasn't for firemen I would not be alive now," said Rob, who is the son of a firefighter.