AF&RS welcomes Royal Marines Reserves as part of Road Safety Week

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) hosted a day of awareness with Royal Marine Reserves Bristol as part of a drive to help educate motorists and people on road safety.

Crews from Bedminster fire station welcomed the group of 30 people yesterday (20/11) to perform a road traffic collision demonstration and discuss road safety.

The move is part of Road Safety Week (18th-24th) and the Service’s road safety work which aims to reduce the number of accidents on the roads amongst young and new drivers.

According to Road Safety Charity Brake, every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road. Similarly, people who walk and cycle are especially vulnerable on the roads.

It is hoped that a demonstration of the dangers and also a talk drawing on the first-hand experiences of firefighters and others on road safety might help to lower the number of accidents incidents on the road.

Joe Glanvill, Crew Manager for Risk Reduction, said: “Every year, the Service is attending a consistently high level of road traffic collisions, some of which can be avoided, but most of which have a devastating effect on those involved or families.

“As a Service, we want to see that number reduced and that is why we are supporting Road Safety Week and are also looking to educate more people about the dangers on our roads, such as phone use and tiredness.

“Welcoming people on to station allows us to engage with people in a way that we don’t often get the chance to do, demonstrate our equipment and show just how much of an impact a road traffic collision can have.

“Speaking to those from the Royal Marine Reserves was a brilliant experience and allowed us to engage with a wide range of people from all different ages ranges and experience.”

As part of the day, staff from Risk Reduction gave a talk on road safety to the group, before practical demonstrations showed off the Service’s capabilities.

Greg Sumner was also at the talk to give his first-hand experience of being involved in a road traffic collision and how that impacted his life.

He was involved in a road traffic collision in Oct 2012 which killed two people and lead to Greg being paralysed from the neck down following 27 broken bones, but he now uses that experience to help others.

He said: “It’s always fantastic to work with Avon Fire and to be able to share my story with so many different people.

“A lot of men don’t think that dangers on the road apply to them, just like we didn’t before the accident. But they do, and they can change your life.

“I hope that if by helping at days like today, people will be safer on the streets and if one person considers driving slower or safer, then sharing my story has been worth it.”

James Melhuish, Unit Sergeant Major from the Royal Marie Reserves Bristol, said: “Our drivers are all in the target age bracket of those who are mainly affected by road traffic collisions.

“Tiredness after exercises, drink driving and other factors all impact our personnel and we want them to be safe as part of that duty of care, and so that other road users are also safe.

“Being in the Royal Marines, we often think we are invincible but we aren’t, and days like this help bring that message home. We lose more people through road traffic collisions than we do through conflict, so Road Safety Week is hugely important for us.”