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Fire rescue crews to race against time

Fire rescue crews to race against time to save victims of simulated road crashes

From 6 to 8 March, Manfield Raceway will host 18 Fire Rescue crews from around New Zealand as they compete in the United Fire Brigades’Association (UFBA) National Road Crash Rescue Challenge – a competitive race against the clock to extricate and treat live patients in scenarios designed to replicate road crash incidents firefighters see in real life.

By competing in the event, firefighters learn new emergency rescue and medical techniques, practices and procedures to rescue people injured in motor vehicle crashes efficiently and without further injury to deliver them to hospital sooner and give them the best chance of survival.

The Road Rescue Challenge has rapidly gained traction with fire brigades in New Zealand and abroad as road fatalities and injuries continue to rise. According to the New Zealand Transport Authority, there were 375 fatalities and 10,549 injury crashes nationally in 2010.

“Responding to road crashes has become a significant responsibility for many fire brigades, so more and more firefighters are recognising the Road Crash Rescue Challenge as a valuable training opportunity,” says George Verry, Chief Executive Officer of the United Fire Brigades’ Association, the host organisation. “Demonstrating the realistic road crash scenarios during the event also helps promote road safety in the public.”

“For the teams that compete, winning is a bonus,” says Verry. “But the real focus is learning and refining their skills so that when they return home, they are better equipped to respond to the unpredictable range of road crash scenarios they see in real life.”

The Challenge is being hosted by Feilding Volunteer Fire Brigade at Manfield Raceway. Students of local high schools have been invited to attend, and members of the public are encouraged to come out and watch the rescue crews in action as they cut live patients free from vehicles. The event will be open to the public from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Friday through Saturday, March 6 to 8.

Competing Teams:

Balclutha
Feilding
Geraldine
Greytown
Hawera
Leeston
Lincoln
Kerikeri
Morrinsville Queenstown Ranfurly
Rangiora Rolleston
Silverdale
Stratford
Whitianga
Favorites to win are the winners of each of the Regional Challenges that preceded the Nationals: Greytown, Rolleston, Whitianga and Balclutha.

About the United Fire Brigades’ Association:

The UFBA is a national membership organisation of about 525 brigades comprising 10,000 firefighters – 80% of whom are volunteers. For more information, visit www.ufba.org.nz.

ENDS

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