How to ensure your car doesn't look like this at Christmas
THE force of serious road crashes can be so intense, people can be thrown into trees or onto the ground far from the car.
That's why when first responders arrive at the scene, they scan the ground around the vehicle and up into the sky, to make sure there is no one hanging from above.
Warwick Fire Station Lieutenant Chris Gilchrist said he may not have seen it with his own eyes, but he knew people had been trapped in trees before.
That's why he's urging drivers to take care on the roads especially over Christmas, which is one of the most devastating times of the year in regards to fatal crashes.
"If you are going to be drinking and you do have an accident, you might end up with a criminal conviction, you may lose your job or worse, get a crippling injury or die,” he said.
Lt Gilchrist said the biggest factors contributing to crashes around Warwick were texting, inattention and fatigue.
In his 30 years with the fire brigade, Lt Gilchrist said he had even been called out to crashes on Christmas Day.
"Christmas parties start in November so don't drink and drive,” he said.
"For anyone going out to a party, they need to decide whether you'll drink or get a taxi home.”
A training exercise conducted by Lt Gilchrist last week for auxiliary firefighters from Warwick and Killarney was a stark reminder of the devastation that can be caused in a crash.
A scenario was constructed using two vehicles, one had flipped onto its roof, crushing the other underneath it.
As part of the exercise, firefighters were told one patient was trapped under the dash in the bottom car and another person, represented by a crew member, was stuck in the back seat.
A third patient was also trapped in the vehicle that had flipped over.
Crews got to work immediately to stabilise the vehicles and place a plastic sheet inside the bottom car, before they cut out its glass.
They then used hydraulic rams to free the first patient through the boot of the car.
The roof of the vehicle was removed with the equipment, before they performed a dash roll to free the other person inside the car.
About 15 people took part in the exercise, which Lt Gilchrist said helped them practice using the powerful equipment so they could build up skills for an emergency.