FUNDRAISERS have been hailed heroes after an old Dorset fire engine ended up at the centre of a real life emergency hundreds of miles from home.

A team travelling across the world in memory of Wimborne firefighter Garth Moore put their first-aid skills to the test when a 40-tonne lorry ploughed into a queue of parked vehicles on the Latvian/Russian border.

Describing the aftermath on the Follow that Fire Engine website, Garth’s son Chris Moore, who is taking part in the nine-month world record attempt, said: “Cars were thrown through the air while others were simply crushed by the speed of the impact. Where we had been 15 minutes earlier now resembled a film set from a Hollywood disaster film.

“The lorry ploughed on veering off the road, down a bank and crashing into a pylon. We ran towards the scene of carnage.

“The sound of metal being crushed was replaced by the cracking of the electricity and sparks from the pylon, then screams. It was like a bomb had gone off.

As cars caught fire, Chris’s brother Steve, who is leading the expedition, shouted for extinguishers and the medical kit.

Chris said: “The guys were all thinking about their medical training realising the dreadful day when these skills would be required had arrived.

“In England this scene would need a dozen fire engines, ambulances, a helicopter plus police. We had nothing but our training and equipment.”

The team put out fires, administered first-aid and searched for survivors. Chris rescued a young boy trapped in a crushed car.

He said: “Over six cars had been destroyed yet we did not find a body. It was truly a miracle. We just did what I think anyone would have done.”

But their actions won praise from former London firefighter Keith Bute, who praised the team’s courage, professionalism and heroic actions.

• Follow that Fire Engine has already raised £62,193 for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Fire Fighters Charity and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

Read the story in the team's own words on their blog - and if you feel so inclined you can donate money at their fundraising page