HWFRS bags haul of awards at UKRO National Festival of Rescue in Tyne and Wear

Teams from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) have returned with a haul of awards from the national Festival of Rescue which this year was staged in Tyne and Wear.

Hosted by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service on Newcastle and Gateshead’s stunning Quayside along the River Tyne, this challenging event fielded over 70 teams drawn from fire services right across the country.

The event was backed by the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation.

Set against a backdrop of impressive quayside and city architecture, the programme took in intense challenges across a range of fire and rescue expertise. Over 300 firefighters brought all their skills and training to bear in five distinct categories: vehicle extrication, rope rescue, trauma care, urban search and rescue, and water rescue.

Calling on the skills and training that HWFRS firefighters deploy every day, the tasks perfectly reflected the full range of expertise needed by 21st century fire and rescue services when protecting the public.

Taking on some of the country’s most professional firefighters, HWFRS were crowned overall National Water Rescue champions while Crew Commander Simon Griffiths, from Hereford station, retained the title of Best Water Rescue medic for the third year in a row, in his final week as a full time firefighter.

Competing in the Extrication category, Ross-on-Wye participants beat off numerous other teams to achieve a commendable 11th place overall.

During their visit the HWFRS teams were able to share experiences with fellow competitors and take in the area’s spectacular culture, as well as meeting Tyneside residents and businesses in the Community Engagement Village, which showcased some of the latest fire and rescue developments.

Watch Commander Craig Newman, the team coordinator said:

“It’s been a fantastic event and our teams feel privileged to have had the opportunity to engage with rescue professionals from across the country, gaining and sharing knowledge and skills to advance professional rescue.

“These skills are directly transferrable in making the roads and waterways of Herefordshire and Worcestershire safer”.

HWFRS Area Commander Rob Allen, who accompanied the squad, added:

“The Festival of Rescue was a superb opportunity to compete against hundreds of fire and rescue colleagues and demonstrate the skills we deploy every day in our own area. The event is all about striving for excellence and showcasing new techniques, with the ultimate aim of enhancing our response to the community.

“I’m delighted that our teams did so well against such a strong field and I’d like to thank them for all their hard work and determination and, in particular, to congratulate Simon on his well earned trophy in his last week of service – a fitting way to end his full time firefighting career.”

HWFRS are now training for ‘NBAC’, the National Breathing  Apparatus Challenge, being staged at the Fire Service College at Moreton-in-the-Marsh over the weekend of 1st – 3rd October, before setting their sights on next year’s Festival of Rescue in the West Midlands.

You can read more about the Festival at twfire.gov.uk/event/2021-ukro-challenge-festival-of-rescue/