The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), in partnership with the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) has hosted the Scottish Rescue Challenge at the weekend and what a spectacular start it was to the 2016 Rescue Challenge calendar.
On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th March the first challenge of 2016 was held at two world class venues, Pinkston Water Complex, Glasgow and at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters and National Training Centre at Clydesmill, Cumbuslang in South Lanarkshire. The state of the art training centre, which is designed to ensure that today’s modern firefighters are fully prepared for the many challenges they encounter each day has 5 zones which include Academic, Domestic, Industrial, Urban Search and Rescue and an extensive transport zone. The transport zone includes a railway line and motorway both of which were fully utilised at the challenge on Saturday. The challenge organisers aimed to provide scenarios in a realistic environment and both Pinkston and the national training centre and certainly lived up to it, all of which went down a storm with competitors and spectators.
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Five teams from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service took part in both trauma and road traffic collision challenges and were joined by teams from Northumberland and Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Services. The Scottish teams of Firefighters showed off their skills to win a place in the national UKRO Challenge 2016 in Hampshire.
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The extrication and trauma teams were made up of full time and retained fire service personnel from Stepps, Whitburn, Ayr, Huntly and Stranraer.
The water rescue challenge saw teams from the Scottish Fire and Rescue service along with colleagues from Police Scotland test their skills, which included working in, swimming in and negotiating a rescue boat through swift flowing water to rescue people from houses and vehicles engulfed by the rising waters.
The Road Traffic Collision Challenge saw crews working to safely rescue trapped casualties from a challenging road traffic collision scenario within a 20 minutes timeframe. Crews attending the incidents were faced with crashed vehicles in a number of very realistic and challenging scenarios.
The Trauma Challenge tested the response of crews who faced one of a selection of trauma incidents, including a worker who lost a limb on a live railway line after being struck by a train and worker who clasped in a chemical factory. Faced with the scenario, crews were expected to quickly identify and treat the injuries found.
During the challenges, the crews were independently assessed under the scrutiny of experienced UKRO assessors in order to determine the winners of each category. The team from Ayr won the Road Traffic Collision Challenge and the Trauma Challenge was won by Whitburn.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ramsay awarded the winners with their trophies and said: “Well done to all of those that took part in the challenges. He continued: “The challenges are an excellent opportunity for crews to improve and build upon their existing skills and ensure that we deliver a first class service to the communities we serve.”
Steve Apter Chairman of the UKRO said “The Scottish Rescue Challenge was a huge success, the introduction of realistic challenge environments in Water Rescue, Vehicle Rescue and Trauma scenarios ensured that all teams were faced incidents as near as possible to the real thing. Talking to teams that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and they looked forward to next year’s Scottish Rescue Challenge. Steve went on to thank Chief Officer Hay and all this staff who worked to make the event the success it was.