From 8th – 10th September, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service hosted the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) 2016 Rescue Challenge.
The UKRO Rescue Challenge is an annual UK-wide event where more than 50 teams of professional firefighters from fire and rescue services across the UK compete against one another in the disciplines of Vehicle Extrication, Trauma Management, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Rope Rescue, Water Rescue and, for the first time this year, Animal Rescue.
Held this year at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Eastleigh, the challenges are regarded as a showcase for UK firefighters to compete against one another and demonstrate their developing skills.
In the past, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has entered teams in to both the USAR & RTC disciplines, most notably coming second in the USAR discipline in the 2011 and 2013 competitions.
This year the teams took part in five scenarios over the two days, each lasting over two hours and involving; Chainsaw & Hot Cutting, Technical & Timber Shoring, Technical Search, Lifting, Moving and Breaching, and Breaking. It would be fair to say that this was the most challenging USAR competition attempted at the UKRO in weather conditions that were more akin to water rescue. All the scenarios were undertaken enthusiastically with a high level of professionalism; all while remaining available for recall to duty for National USAR Incidents.
Despite a home advantage, the BFRS team came away with the accolade of Best Technical Team, Best Incident Commander (Watch Commander Carl Hayward) and Best USAR Challenge Overall Team.
The team comprised of:
- Watch Commander Carl Hayward (Team Leader)
- Watch Commander Pete Skinner,
- Crew Commander Alan Still
- Firefighter Liam Britton
- Firefighter Paul Collins
- Firefighter Ian Newton