South African Cape Town Destroyers team participates at World Rescue Challenge
The Cape Town Destroyers team from South Africa, is competing at the World Rescue Challenge in Luxembourg. The only Suoth African team competing this year, it will be there fifth consecutive international challenge. Team leader Warren Sam said, “There have been an influx of electric and hybrid vehicles on the international market and lots of the learning this year will be workshops on these as well as new tools and new car technology.” The team members are Warren Sam, Morné Haskell, Virgel Cloete, Michael Gardiner, Gershwin Cloete, Alvin Kaliza, Robert Stamatiadis and Keenan Walters.
The event has two components: the aim of the trauma challenge is to assist in the development of trauma related skills of firefighters and rescue workers to enable them to deal successfully with the vast range of casualty centered incidents, while the goal of a rescue/extrication challenge is to save the casualties out of vehicles involved in a collision.
The nine person team, who are the current national champions, boasts 176 years of experience between them and while they’re stationed at different fire stations, they often respond as a team to accidents where victims are trapped.
During the last week before the team jetted off, they prepared for the challenge and worked through the different scenarios they will be judged on.
‘Our team is on par with the best in the world, and every challenge in this competition gives them the opportunity to learn new extrication techniques, the stabilisation of vehicles, and patient care. They return with skills and knowledge to improve service delivery.
‘The extrication of victims from vehicle accidents has become one of the most important life-saving functions and rescuers are responsible for setting up a safe working area, evaluating possible hazards, and getting those trapped out quickly. Some of the team members have faced harrowing circumstances in having to extricate loved ones, but their dedication and commitment is commended,’ added Alderman Smith.
The team will return to Cape Town on 17 September and the members are:
• Incident commander – Station commander Morne Haskell stationed at Goodwood Fire Station, resides in Parow
• Technician – Station commander Warren Sam (Interim Team Manager) stationed at Goodwood Fire Station, resides in Belhar
• Technician – Station commander Virgel Cloete stationed at Strand Fire Station, resides in Strand
• Technician – Senior fire fighter Alvin Kaliza stationed at Goodwood Fire Station, resides in Belhar
• Medic – Senior fire fighter Michael Gardiner stationed at Strand Fire Station, resides in Strand
• Medic – Fire fighter Robert Stamatiadis stationed at Lakeside, resides in Diep River
• Reserve technician – Fire fighter Gershwin Cloete stationed at Macassar, resides in Somerset West
• Reserve medic – Fire fighter Keenan Walters stationed at Goodwood Fire Station, resides in Belhar
• Team manager – District head operations Arlene Wehr, could not accompany the team due to medical reasons.
The opening ceremony took place on Wednesday evening, 7 September 2022, at the Grand Théâtre of the City of Luxembourg (Ville de Luxembourg - VdL). This is the first time that Luxembourg is hosting this event.
The World Rescue Organisation has been conducting the World Rescue Challenge every year since 1999. The aim of this event is to enable teams to enhance their skills and compete by performing under realistic conditions measured against recognised global standards.
From Wednesday, 7 September 2022 to Sunday, 11 September 2022, Luxembourg's National Fire and Rescue Centre (Centre national d'incendie et de secours - CNIS) will be the venue for this edition of the World Rescue Challenge bringing together 288 rescue and emergency workers from seventeen countries, including 20 fire fighters from the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps (Corps grand-ducal d'incendie et de secours - CGDIS) and a mixed team made up of members of the Greater Region's rescue services.
The rescue and emergency workers will compete during various exercises spread over four days and relating to personal and road rescue.
Sunday will also be dedicated to the second national day of civil security in Luxembourg. On this occasion, Boulevard de Kockelscheuer will be partially closed to traffic so that the public can discover the missions, equipment and daily life of firefighters and administrative staff. Access to both events is free of charge.
During the opening ceremony of the World Rescue Challenge on Wednesday, 7 September 2022, Luxembourg's Minister for Home Affairs, Taina Bofferding, whose ministry actively supports this initiative, first welcomed and wished good luck to the participants of this 22nd edition. She went on to highlight the new challenges facing rescue and emergency workers, such as natural disasters and paid tribute to their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We wish all the teams the best, especially the Cape Town Destroyers!
Sources: Warren Sam, Cape Town Destroyers and Chronicle.lu