Cyprus

RAF Akrotiri Marks Road Safety Week

Special events tested the station’s emergency services and showed local schoolchildren how they work.

A number of special events marked Road Safety Week at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

Pupils from Akrotiri Primary School were instructed on mobile speed checks and mock driving exams.

For the final event, the personnel simulated a road traffic accident - the kind of scene paramedics, police and firefighters might find when attending a real crash.

"The scenario is a road traffic collision, which is showing the consequences of drink-driving," explained Flying Officer George Timms.

"We have three casualties - a pedestrian, the suspected drink-driver and also the driver of the vehicle that is going to work," he added.

"We've got all three services here. It's a unique situation here in Akrotiri... we're also supported by the Cyprus Joint Police Unit, but generally, in this kind of event the Sovereign Base Areas Police would take the lead."

Simulated casualty RAF Akrotiri car crash scenario 251119 credit bfbs.jpg
Personnel at RAF Akrotiri simulated a car crash for the final Road Safety Week event.

The firefighters from Green Watch set about removing the casualty.

"The tools are there to either cut metal or spread any door open, so we can actually get into the vehicle," said Senior Aircraftman Anthony Roberts.

The military is at a higher risk than the general population when it comes to road safety.

In the four years to 2018, 39 personnel died in traffic accidents: 18 in vehicles, 11 on motorbikes and 10 as pedestrians.

Across services personnel, the risk of under 30s dying in a road accident is 66% higher compared to civilians.

For the Army, the figure almost doubles, with soldiers at 123% greater risk of death in transport accidents than the general public.

Paramedics demonstrating how to carry casulaty in road accident 251119 credit bfbs.jpg
All three services took part in the demonstration.

As well as motorists, the week-long series of events was aimed particularly at the hundreds of children living on the station.

"The best way with children is exactly how we're doing, with visual messages," said Flying Officer Timms.

Children who attended the events said they learned a lot during their visual training.

"I've learned that you should never drink and drive, otherwise once they've sorted you out you'll get sent to prison, and you can die if your car crashes," said one child.

"We've learned to always cross on pedestrian crossings when you're on a scooter or a bike, otherwise a car might not see you," added a pupil at the local school.