Emergency service vehicles swarmed over campus – to teach us about safety

Everyone thought something serious went down

campus crowd event fire engine health and safety police safe safety

Emergency service vehicles swarmed campus today sending bystanders into a panic – but it was all part of an exercise to teach us about health and safety. 

Crowds gathered as a huge fire brigade began to dismantle a car, tearing the roof off, and then the doors – as it was all perfectly set-up between the clock-tower and library…


What was it all about?

Had there been an accident? Had an absolute mad man driven onto campus and crashed into something?

Eventually, The Tab found out what the hell was going on.


Get safe

It was simply an event put together by the Guild and the Emergency Services to enforce various aspects of safety to freshers, and other students who happened to walk by.

Campus was filled with police cars, fire engines and ambulances – there was even a neatly-crafted smashed up car.

Everyone seemed to be in utter shock when they first saw this group of flashing lights and fluorescent jackets – especially when a girl was pulled from a ruined car and put onto a stretcher.


The 5-o are in town

Ben Richards, a fireman attending the event, laughed and said: “There were people who were genuinely in shock, and we had to calm them down by saying ‘look, its just a safety demo’! I think we’ll put up a sign next time.”

Third year English student, Danny Baggott, was completely shocked by the spectacle when he walked out of a near-by building: “I was seriously concerned some proper shit had kicked off!”


Nobody was hurt

While it seemed the faux crash was the main event, there were some other stalls talking about various aspects of safety.

These two lovely ladies were promoting the risks of travelling via train after having one too many beers, and even had their very own pair of beer goggles for people to wear – obviously some of us acted crazy with them on…


Bit of fun

The promoters told The Tab: “We’ve been getting people to catch some balls while wearing the beer goggles to give them an experience of what its like to be that drunk and what the implications are.

“It’s about being safe when boarding a train, because you definitely don’t want to end your night under one.”

We managed to have a chat with another fireman, Karl Berkinshaw, who attended the event:

“I was narrating the event for the crowd, we were raising awareness of what can happen.

“The main thing was to let people know what we do and what can happen when a car can crash, most people don’t get to see it, so its all about awareness.

“In that situation we could have just dragged her out of the car, but if she had a broken neck or internal bleeding we could have caused more damage.”

Matt Ling was one of the main organisers and explained to The Tab why they were doing today’s event: “All the emergency services meet very often, and we noticed there was a massive spike in cycle related road traffic collisions in the Edgbaston and Selly Oak area.

“With the high number of students we found a link and so we decided to link up with the Guild of Students and hold today’s event to make students, especially Fresher’s, aware of the various risks.

“That’s why we’ve got the paramedics, firemen and police, to highlight them and provide information.”


Cool hose bro

When asked if he thought the morning had been a success, Matt Ling added: “Hopefully, yes! It seems to have been, we had quite a crowd gathered and lots of people asking questions and all we hope is that next year there will be less cycle related incidents than this year.”

So make sure you don’t panic – no one was harmed in today’s demonstration, and the mystery has been solved.

If you do have any queries or questions about personal safety or today’s event, you can contact the Guild’s Community sector.