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Road traffic collision staged at university career day

Secondary school students attended the University of Northampton this week to watch emergency services in action during a simulated road traffic collision.

A section of Park Campus became the scene of a staged crash, as part of a careers day showcasing many different jobs and how they each play a part in a particular scenario.

Specials from Northamptonshire Police and firefighters from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) were among the careers represented on the day, working together to deal with the after-effects of a simulated collision.

The staged scene, which included students from the University’s acting course, involved characters being ‘cut out’ from a vehicle by NFRS firefighters.

About 200 pupils from secondary schools attended the event. The schools involved included: Abbeyfield School, Northampton Academy, Sir Christopher Hatton Academy, Parker E-ACT Academy, The Duston School, Kettering Science Academy, Weavers Academy and The Ferrers School.

Pupils also took part in a Fire Service workshop, where they found out more about the pathway they could follow to become a firefighter or one of the other staff roles available within the Fire Service. NFRS led an outdoors workshop into working for the Fire Service.

Ashley Tugby, NFRS Watch Manager at NFRS, said: “We are really pleased to be offering our support to this careers day for young people. The scenario of a collision is sadly something the Fire Service have to attend regularly in ‘real life’ and we tend to work very closely with police officers and paramedics when we are carrying out rescues. We all have our roles to play.

“We are hoping that attending this careers day will not only send some messages to young people about safe driving but will also give them an insight into the kinds of challenges firefighters face in their day to day lives. Hopefully some of the students watching may be the firefighters of the future.”

University of Northampton Policing students were also on hand as part of the scene to carry out a breath test on a suspected ‘drink driver’ and to deal with the offences of drink-driving and driving without insurance.

Providing emergency medical assistance were University of Northampton Paramedic Science students.

Through a series of workshops with University of Northampton lecturers, students also looked at the roles various professions play in giving care and support following a collision.

Tim Dobson, Head of Schools Engagement at the University of Northampton, said: “The reason we held this careers day can be summed up in two words: inspire and aspire. We wanted to inspire students to take a deep, but enjoyable, look at the huge array of jobs on offer to them through courses at University of Northampton and for them to aspire to take that next step in their education. We look forward to possibly welcoming them at the University as their Higher Education Institution choice in just a few years time.”

Workshops held as part of the event included:

• Health and Social Care (this workshop looked at post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

• Occupational Therapy (focusing on victim injuries and how they will impact on their lives)

• Paramedic Science (this workshop focused on emergency health care at the scene)

• Podiatry (students used podiatry equipment to investigate lower limb injuries)

• Criminal Justice and Policing (students looked at forensics and scene management)

• Sports Studies (focusing on exercise rehabilitation)

• Midwifery (this workshop looked at the injuries sustained by the victim, who is pregnant)

• Journalism (students took turns operating TV cameras and interviewed victims)

• Psychology (students looked at eye witness testimony)

• Human Bioscience (this focused on blood group matching and DNA fingerprinting).

The event was organised by the University’s Changemaker Pathways team, with funding attached to the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), through the Office for Students. This aims to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into higher education. 

Changemaker is a University of Northampton-wide initiative which focuses on staff and students finding solutions to environmental or social problems to improve people’s lives, either at home or abroad.

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