Cadet mechanics’ practice banger now to be used for firefighter crash training

Posted On 16 Aug 2021 at 4:01 pm


A Ford Fiesta that has spent its life being dismantled and put back together again will be taken apart for the last time by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

The vehicle has been donated to the fire service for training by 176 (Hove) Squadron Air Training Corps.

After living a full and varied life as a vehicle for cadets to practice their engineering skills on, the 2003 Ford Fiesta has now reached the end of its usable life.

Having been donated to the fire service, it will now be used for firefighters to put their lifesaving skills into practice on.

The service relies on donations of used vehicles from members of the public for firefighter training to provide them with realistic scenarios during training exercises.

Despite being dismantled hundreds of times during the course of its life with the ATC, the vehicle still started on the first attempt when it was collected by Autocovery for the fire and rescue service.

Flight Lieutenant Neil Worth, Officer Commanding 176 (Hove) Squadron, said: “I was really pleased to be able to offer our Fiesta to WSFRS to help train firefighters.

“The car had served our cadets well over the years and helped them understand and develop their engineering skills; it’s nice to think that the squadron and the car are now doing their bit to help save lives.”

WSFRS Area Manager for Response, Steve Ash, said: “Having vehicles for our firefighters to put their skills to practice on really does make the world of difference.

“It allows them to put theory into action, meaning that they are well trained and fully prepared should the worst happen and they are called to rescue someone trapped as a result of a road traffic collision.

“We are incredibly grateful to 176 Squadron for the donation of their Ford Fiesta, after years of service educating the next generation of flight engineers.

“It will now embark upon perhaps its most important mission yet – helping to keep the residents of West Sussex safe.”

A number of fire stations are in need of extra vehicles across West Sussex to ensure firefighters gain plenty of experience in rescuing casualties from inside vehicles.

Collection and removal of vehicles is managed by Mark Maynard of Autocovery, who will travel to any address within West Sussex to collect the vehicles free of charge.

Anyone wishing to donate their car can call 0330 2228377, or email frsmedia@westsussex.gov.uk with the following details:

Name

Contact number

Make, model and registration of the vehicle

Whether the vehicle is taxed or SORNd

Full address, including a postcode, of where the vehicle is parked

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