MOUNTAIN rescue volunteers took part in a joint initiative with the fire service aimed at improving safety services to the community.

Bentham and Settle firefighters demonstrated how occupants of crashed cars were dealt with in a practice session set up in the car park of White Scar Cave, Ingleton.

Set up by Tony Peel, station manager for the Craven district, it was watched by 30 members of the Clapham based Cave Rescue Organisation - the mountain rescue team for the Yorkshire Three Peaks area and Malhamdale.

Andy Plimmer, a Bentham firefighter who is also a CRO underground controller, said: "The aim of the evening was to demonstrate how a casualty is removed safely from a crashed car. Most road traffic collisions are dealt with on surfaced roads, or at the roadside, but there are places in this area where the vehicle can be hard to reach, so extracting someone is only one part of the operation."

He said members of the two rescue organisations had different and complementary skills and techniques.

"The firefighters have demonstrated some of theirs, so the next joint training will look at CRO's equipment and techniques, particularly for rope access and casualty care."

The aim of the initiative is to help the two organisations work more closely together for the good of the whole community.