Mass rescue training exercise held

Approximately 100 rescuers have taken part in the largest fire and rescue training exercise involving simulated crashes conducted in Scotland.

The M80 extension in Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire, was the selected location for the exercise on Monday.

Jack-knifed lorries, a bus, cars, vans and motorbikes were used in the exercise, with actors and actresses donning fake blood and feigning injuries while assuming the motorists' roles.

A car at the spot offered a gruesome sight as it lay hit by scaffolding poles after colliding with a lorry.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service said: "This was the biggest exercise of its kind in Scotland, if not the biggest in the UK.

"It was very difficult scenarios and a broad-range of scenarios. One included a car on its crushed roof with two volunteers strapped inside. It was a test of getting people out quickly and as safely as possible for all the emergency services."

The spokesman also revealed he was not aware of any other instances in which such an exercise has been held on part of a motorway in Scotland.

Members of Strathclyde Police and the Scottish Ambulance Service were also part of the exercise.

Robert Scott, an assistant chief officer in charge of training at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service, told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It was very realistic. I think this as real as we could have possibly expected and certainly, you know, given the atmosphere that it was a dark, cold night, with the blue lights flashing on the motorway and everyone taking it in the spirit that it's meant, it's as realistic as you could possibly make it for a simulation and still maintain a degree of safety."

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