UKRO Festival of Rescue sees fire fighters showcase skills
More than 300 fire fighters from around the UK put their skills to the test during a mass exercise on the banks of the River Tyne. The United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) Festival of Rescue has attracted hundreds of spectators to the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides. Teams are taking part in challenges designed to showcase the expertise they bring to bear on everyday situations. These include rope and water rescues, trauma care and cutting people out of damaged vehicles. The event was organised and hosted by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in association with UKRO. Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service described it as an exciting event for spectators and while the "gore may not be real, the situations are". The UKRO challenge is an annual event that is staged in a different city from year to year.
The five disciplines included:
Vehicle Extrication Challenge: Teams faced a series of scenarios simulating a road traffic collision with people trapped inside. They had to use all of their skills and knowledge to rescue the casualty safely within a set time limit.
Trauma Care Challenge: Teams faced a challenging scenario where a casualty has been involved in an accident causing them physical injury. The Trauma Teams had to use all of the skills and knowledge to deal with the hazardous scenario in a safe a speedy manor within a set time limit.
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Challenge: The USAR Teams faced a set number of challenging scenarios where their skills will be tested to the max. It included a shoring scenario, where a coach has to be stabilised to rescue a casualty from underneath the vehicle. Also a Lifting and Moving scenario where teams had to move a one-ton block over obstacles and a Technical Search scenario where Teams used specialist cameras and listening equipment to locate someone trapped in a simulated collapsed building.
Rope Rescue Challenge: Teams faced a series of challenging scenarios simulating a casualty to be rescued from an area requiring the Teams to use rope rescue equipment. These included rescues from the Millennium Bridge, the top of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and down the embankment beside The Sage Gateshead. Teams had to use all of their skills and knowledge to rescue the casualty safely within a set time limit.
Water Rescue Challenge: Water Rescue Teams faced a series of scenarios over two days. Simulating possible incidents where persons require rescuing from the water. The Teams had to use all of their skills, knowledge and expertise to rescue the casualty safely within a set time limit. Eight teams took part over the two days.
Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said, “The focus of the festival is to celebrate the skills, dedication and devotion of our fire fighters, who put their lives on the line to keep the public safe from harm on a daily basis. It provides a national stage to shine a spotlight on to those specialist disciplines that prove critical during real life incidents and emergencies.”
The Festival of Rescue is also a superb platform for the attending fire services to exchange expertise of good practice and take part in education workshops. Deputy chief fire officer Peter Heath added, "The past 16 months has been challenging for the emergency services as we've been working tirelessly on the frontline during the pandemic by continuing to keep people safe from harm. The Festival of Rescue is a wonderful way for colleagues to gather and unite at the same time as showcasing some of the finest skills and techniques the service has to offer. I would hope it will also fill the observers with a sense of pride that these brave men and women apply these vital skills on a daily basis to help save people's lives in some of the most gruelling conditions imaginable."
Sources: United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO)