25 Oct 2012

RBFRS retain World Extrication Title

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) Extrication Team has once again proved that they are the best in the world by winning the World Rescue Challenge for the second year running.

Competing against the world's best extrication crews including teams from Australia and Canada over the course of the three-day event, RBFRS' proved to have the finest skills in conquering a series of simulated road traffic collision scenarios, each lasting between 20 and 30 minutes.

Group Manager Paul Maynard, who leads the RBFRS team, said: “We are all absolutely over the moon to have won this year’s World Rescue Challenge. This had already been a successful year for us, as we came third overall in the National Challenge in August and in the North American Challenge in September, but to win the World title again really is the icing on the cake.

“Although we were confident that we had trained as hard as we possibly could, as the current champions the pressure really was on for us to hold onto our title. Every year the standard of the teams taking part gets better and better, and it was exceptionally high this year, so we really had our work cut out. It was definitely the toughest competition we’ve ever faced, which makes winning it even more rewarding.”

In each scenario, the teams had to work against the clock to rescue real-life ‘casualties’ – specially trained volunteers complete with realistic body make-up to reflect their ‘injuries’ – using specialist equipment, including hydraulic cutters and saws.

A panel of international judges scrutinised the teams’ every move, grading each team as a whole but also judging individual roles within each team, including the designated medic and incident commander.

As well as coming first overall, the RBFRS team was awarded best medic & best incident commander as well as coming first in the standard challenge (five team members rescuing one person within 20 minutes) and third in the complex challenge (six team members rescuing two ‘casualties’ within 30 minutes).

Alongside their victory in 2011, the RBFRS team, which comprises Paul Maynard (Group Manager, Reading), Adam Stevens (Station Manager, Langley), Michael Humphreys (Watch Manager, Reading), Ian Handley (Firefighter, Langley), Seth Juby (Firefighter, Slough), Phil Aiken (Watch Manager, Pangbourne), also won the World Rescue Challenge in 2009

RBFRS DCFO Olaf Baars concluded: “Winning the World Rescue Challenge for the second consecutive year is an outstanding and almost unprecedented achievement. This success is testament to the team’s hard work and dedication. 

"[More importantly] this contributes towards our aim of reducing loss of life, injury and damage from road traffic collisions. Winning the World Rescue Challenge is therefore not just a success for RBFRS but will also have a lasting, positive effect for everyone who travels on Berkshire’s roads. We are all extremely proud of our team."


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