Students rescued from 'gas explosion' during fire services training exercise

Public services, media make-up and drama students helped create an action-packed setting for the local fire service in a mock emergency evacuation at Petroc this week.

Students were made up to look like the victims of a gas explosion – with realistic effects including broken wrists, burns and embedded glass – before the fire service were called out to the former Tawstock restaurant to evacuate them.

The firemen and women were blindfolded to simulate poor visibility as they navigated flights of stairs, isolated the ‘gas supply’ and rescued the victims.

Health and Safety Manager Rob Malcolm organised the event alongside public services students.

“It was a good opportunity to work with the fire department and to give them the experience of real life training,” he explained.

“There were also enrichment opportunities for our students. We are doing a little bit more than your average college.”

Ella Woodcock, a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Public Services student, chose to spend the evening of her 19th birthday helping the fire service with their training exercise.

“It was fun getting all the make up done,” she said. “It was a good experience. The way the fire service communicated with each other was interesting. It was good to watch it for ourselves. I can see how they are working together as part of a team.”

Amber Sheen, Paige Bettis and Chelsea Bettis are all studying Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical Special Effects, Hair & Media Make Up, and helped create realistic-looking injuries on the victims.

They said: “It’s been really fun – it’s the best bit of our course.”

Click here to watch the North Devon Journal’s video of the event.