A FIREFIGHTER from South Yorkshire is flying out to Ghana today to help train the country’s fire crews in road traffic collision rescue.
Steve North has visited the West African country before to pass on his professional expertise – in a trip he described as ‘a real eye-opener’.
“I discovered that, quite often, their method of freeing someone trapped inside a vehicle was to chop off their limbs with a hatchet,” he said.
“Obviously things have improved since then thanks to our training programmes and some kit and equipment donations, so this next trip will help them build on these improvements.”
Steve, who is based at Dearne fire station on Manvers Way in Rotherham, is one of the UK’s leading specialists in road traffic collision rescue.
The 50-year-old last visited Ghana in 2008 to teach rescue techniques to firefighters.
Steve said his previous visit had proved invaluable to crews there.
“I regularly get emails from the firefighters in Ghana telling me how they’ve saved the life of a car crash victim, so it’s extremely rewarding to know that the skills we taught them are making a difference,” he said.
His latest training trip, spending two weeks working with firefighters in the capital, Accra, is part of the International Development Programme and will see Steve and a World Rescue Organisation team teaching extrication techniques to training staff.
Steve, who was part of a South Yorkshire team named World Extrication Champions in 2004, is also an assessor for the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation, which brings together the UK’s rescue services and develops their skills to serve the public.