This is how firefighters free people trapped under trams in Blackpool

Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens
Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens
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Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens.

In one drill attended by The Gazette, crews lifted a Bombardier tram - similar to the one involved last night, when a 14-year-old was critically injured - using airbags and hydraulic jacks.

Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens

Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens

That allowed them to free trapped 'casualties' within minutes.

READ MORE: Boy, 14, in a 'critical condition' after being hit by a tram during Ride the Lights
White Watch manager Steve Boyne from South Shore fire said during the training exercise, which was carried out near the Sandcastle Waterpark, said: "Blackpool Transport has a really good safety record, especially with these new trams.

"They've improved the line, they've improved the track system, they've improved the tram network. Everything in terms of safety is way better.

"The old trams sit a lot higher on the wheels, which creates a bigger space underneath them and we had a lot more accidents.

Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens

Firefighters have regular training sessions in order to act efficiently and quickly when a real life accident on the tram track happens

"We have had a handful since these new trams have been on the run.

"But we have to train. We have to have crews on the Fylde coast competent to solve any problem involving these trams."

The drill involved a tram driver having a heart attack and ploughing into a crowd of people, trapping two and leaving the vehicle's conductor with a broken collarbone.

The exercise got underway shortly after 10am in warm sunny weather, at the tramway loop opposite the Pleasure Beach.

Firefighters used a special key to open the tram from the outside before getting everybody off. They dismantled the front of the tram, which began ferrying passengers in 2012, before fitting the airbag.

That was enough to free the first dummy, pinned by his arm and chest, though the 40-tonne tram had to be lifted using hydraulic jacks to free the second dummy, who was also stuck under a ‘cow-catcher’ fitted to the tram to keep people from falling under the wheels.

After giving the pair vital first aid and handing them over to waiting paramedics – though neither the ambulance service or police took part in the exercise – they were left with the task of lowering the tram back onto the track, which they did with ease and within a matter of seconds.

Steve added: “The driver had a cardiac arrest, we had two people trapped under the tram, and we had a couple of passengers suffering minor injuries as well. The end result was clearly to save life, improve anybody that is injured and get them into a better state and to get them to a primary care facility as soon as possible.”