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28th November, 2021 - 14.16: Fire crews from Gillingham and Wincanton attended a road traffic colli...Read more

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National recognition for road safety team

Date: 9th November, 2021

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s road safety team have won a Recognition Award at this year’s Defence Road Safety Awards.

The team received a crystal trophy and certificate from the Deputy Director General of the Defence Safety Authority, Rear Admiral Thomas Manson OBE, at the ceremony held at RAF Benson in Wallingford last month.

 Up to 40% of military personnel in the UK can be based in Dorset and Wiltshire at any one time. As a result, DWFRS partnered with the Ministry of Defence in 2018 to deliver a road safety intervention known as Survive the Drive.

During the pandemic, theatre-style presentations had to be cancelled, so the road safety team developed and delivered a virtual presentation, which was seen by approx. 3,000 military personnel.

Road safety manager Christine Sharma said: “In 2019, after cancer and operational accidents, land-based collisions were the third highest cause of death in the UK Armed Forces, accounting for 20% of mortality rates. As such, the Survive the Drive presentation is an essential education tool, which has been well received since it started three years ago.

“Much like our flagship schools programme, Safe Drive Stay Alive, the intervention uses film and the personal testimony of speakers to educate military personnel on the most common causes of death and serious injury on our roads – including using mobile phones while driving, driving after drinking or using drugs, speeding, driving when fatigued, and not wearing a seat belt.

“However, Survive the Drive also focuses on the unique challenges facing military personnel, who perhaps don’t always recognise the dangers of our roads when they have been trained in warzone scenarios. We also highlight the ‘ripple effect’ of road traffic collisions, and how such incidents can be devastating to the individuals involved, their loved ones, their colleagues and the wider community. We are delighted and honoured to have been recognised for our work.”

Pictured (l-r) are Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell; Read Admiral Thomas Manson; Road Safety Manager Christine Sharma; Road Safety Co-ordinator (South) Hannah Lynch; and Prevention Delivery Manager Ian Hopkins. Road Safety Co-ordinator (North) Mandy Pantall was unable to attend. The trophy and certificate are now on display at DWFRS headquarters in Salisbury.

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