Derby students make transformer Toyota for firefighters

A "transformer" car which has been designed and built by students will be used to train firefighters in how to rescue people trapped in vehicles.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue are using the modified saloon to train officers to deal with road traffic collisions.

The car, designed by University of Derby students, is believed to be the first of its type for use by emergency services.

Hydraulic motors rotate the front while one whole side can be removed.

The roof of the car - a redesigned Toyota Avensis - can also be folded back or lifted off.

'Minimum cost'

Mark Burnham, of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "A large part of firefighter training is to extricate casualties as safely and as quickly as possible from vehicles involved in road traffic collisions.

"Currently, we get through a large amount of vehicles which can only be used once.

"The transformer project has created a re-usable training vehicle which allows our trainees to observe the techniques and methods used to extract casualties, over and over again at a minimum cost to the fire and rescue service."

Steve Hill, programme leader for motorsports courses at the university, said: "The students have worked very hard on this project to make sure the fire and rescue service got exactly what they wanted.

"Much of the vehicle's transforming is done using hydraulic motors, duplicating the actual procedures and making it easier to use for those training.

"We don't believe there is another training rig like this in the UK."

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