On 13th June about 30 RoADAR Kent Advanced Drivers members visited the Kent Fire and Rescue Service Road Safety Experience (RSE) facility at Rochester. The RSE is the only one of its kind in the UK and opened in June 2016 alongside a newly purpose-built fire station and training facility which also incorporates the ‘blue light’ driving school.
The centre is predominantly aimed at 14 - 25-year olds but equally presentations can be adapted as necessary. The centre also hosts “Biker Down” - an award-winning initiative to make bikers safer.
The RSE comprises three floors - the ground with a 90-seat auditorium with a ‘live demonstration’ stage and for our members a film sequence of an accident set the scene for an authentic crash rescue scenario with fire crew members and police doing what they would do for real, cutting vehicles apart.
Also, on the ground floor is a very realistic two car crash scene where we were able to take the part of crash investigators and piece together the happenings from the evidence on the ground, quite a challenging process but very enlightening.
The evening was socially focussed on this area for us as ‘advanced drivers’ and very ably led by PC Simon Rawlings based at the RSE.
On the first floor there are a number of demonstration scenarios and opportunities to test various skills like reaction times as well as awareness scenarios of drink / drug impairment etc.
The second floor comprises classrooms, offices and hospitality area where we were able to host and enjoy a light buffet and refreshments.
Following on from our two-hour visit to the RSE, we were able to visit the adjoining operational fire station and able to see at close quarters the range of equipment a modern fire appliance carries.
The feedback from members was very positive and all agreed a very enjoyable evening and as a result John Corcoran (Deputy Chairman) representing Kent Drivers and the RSE Crew Manager, Jim Sanderson, are working together to foster ‘partnership’ working with a number of initiatives in the making.