It was no accident!

Sue Winchin Machinery & Mechanics

It looked like every sales manager's worst nightmare. A shiny new £40,000 Kubota tractor that had started the day en route to a new customer ends up in a serious accident with a car

Lister Wilder
It was, however, an incident which Lister Wilder's Stuart Venn-Dunn was not at all unhappy about. The tractor in question had been loaned to the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and was part of an exercise to build skills that save lives.

The team at Reading's Whitley Wood Fire Station are always keen to set their exercises up in as realistic a fashion as possible. And Lister Wilder are happy to assist in a good cause.

Stuart worked closely with Fire Fighter Ian Angell to set up an accident in which the two vehicles had collided head-on, leaving the tractor crushing the bonnet of the car and two dummy passengers trapped inside. In addition to his own team from Whitley Wood's Green Watch, Ian also brought in heavy lifting unit specialists from another station at Dee Road, Reading.

Together, they worked quickly and methodically to assess the nature of the injuries, stabilise and remove the tractor and then set about cutting the occupants free. The target they set themselves was to get them to hospital within what is known as the "golden hour" following an accident.

They not only succeeded in this case but went on to practice their skills with a variety of equipment that some fire fighters would not normally have the opportunity to work with very often.

"We really value support from public minded companies like Lister Wilder to set up training incidents that are out of the ordinary," says Fire Fighter Ian Angell, who was responsible for the exercise. "We don't come across machinery like this very often and it creates a whole range of different issues for us such as the need to isolate the power take-off if the tractor is pulling machinery. It is an invaluable eye-opener and saves us much needed time when a real incident occurs."

"We were very happy to assist," says Stuart Venn-Dunn. "It is only when you have an opportunity to get close to a fire fighting team like this one that you fully appreciate the level of skill they need to do a vital job that is sometimes taken for granted. I was really impressed."

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Machinery & mechanics