DORSET Fire and Rescue Service is seeking its 100th volunteer to help mark Volunteers’ Week.
The service currently has 96 volunteers whose duties include assisting with home safety checks and taking part in training drills.
Two volunteers took part in a re-enactment of a road traffic collision (RTC) pretending to be passengers on Monday at the service’s headquarters in Poundbury.
A crew dealt with an exercise where one of the car’s passengers had become trapped with injuries, whilst the other remained unconscious.
The crew safely removed the unconscious passenger from the car before using hydraulic cutting equipment to remove the roof and free the other passenger. Dorchester station commander Steve Cheeseman said each station had a group of volunteers.
He said: “We work with them quite a bit. These two guys have been involved in a number of different incidents with us. It happens quite often. There's no specific training.
“By working with them they get to know us we get to know them.
“Because they are real casualties, what it does is give that training more realism to it.”
Due to its size, Dorchester Fire Station has a training drill each week spread across two evenings with road traffic collisions practiced once each quarter.
He said: “Dorchester's got a fairly big area. We do have a number of RTCs.
“It's something we just like to refresh and do because we do get so many of them unfortunately.”
Ady Ingham, who volunteered as the trapped passenger with injuries, said it was a great team to be involved with.
He said: “I'm quite new to the area. I've just moved down from Yorkshire and I figured it would be a reasonable way of getting involved with the community and getting to know some people in the area.”
Bob Walton, who used to be station commander at Gillingham Fire Station, still volunteers at the service despite retiring last year.
In Monday’s exercise, he played the character of the unconscious passenger.
He said: “I was taken out of that car better than I've ever taken anybody out of a car under training circumstances.
“They took me out of there as if I didn't know it. No pain. No nothing.”
When asked what he’d say to encourage others to volunteer, Bob said: “If you want to retire you can still put something back into the community.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week, which celebrates the contribution of those offering help across the UK.
If you would like to find out more information or are interested in volunteering at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, contact the service on 01305 252698 or email firstname.lastname@example.org