Trainee Clitheroe firefighter’s ‘crash’ raised awareness

Harry Quigley
Harry Quigley

A young Clitheroe firefighter-in-the-making staged a graphic road accident to help show the impact of dangerous driving and raise awareness of road safety.

Harry Quigley (22), of Standen Road, is studying for his Foundation Degree in Fire and Rescue Service Management at the University Centre at Blackburn College. He set up the fictional experience as part of his Community Safety Module in conjunction with “Wasted Lives” – Lancashire’s award-winning young driver education programme.

The former Ribblesdale High School pupil is soon to embark on a two-week training course with Clitheroe fire service so he can begin his career as a firefighter, which will see him work 102-hour weeks and carry out night shifts whie continuing his studies.

Harry said: “I worked really hard on this project because I wanted it to have a huge impact on all who came to see it.

“The fact that one-in-three new drivers crash within the first two years of passing their test proves we really need to make people aware of how dangerous driving can be, especially for the inexperienced.”

Wasted lives provided a car that had be involved in an accident for the lifelike situation that was set-up outside the University Centre at the College. Actors played the driver and his three friends, one who had been killed in the crash and the others badly injured. The fictional driver had only passed his test six months ago.

“The accident we set up certainly wasn’t for the faint hearted,” explained Harry. “We made it gory and realistic, as if the friends in the car had been in a truly horrendous crash.

“There is no point sugar coating these things because the harsh reality is that dangerous driving can kill. People brush it off when they hear about crashes and just think it won’t happen to them, but the fact is, it can happen to anyone at any time.”

Supporting him on the day were the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (Blackburn), North West Ambulance and Lancashire Constabulary, fellow students from the media make-up and journalism courses, who all played a role, and some of Harry’s University lecturers.

Harry continued: “I know I will have to deal with things like this in my job as firefighters are being sent to car crashes and rescues more than ever before. So it was good for me to get stuck in and treat it as a real life situation.

“It was a big project to take on but myself and everyone involved were up for the challenge and it all went smoothly and was very successful.”