Rescue challenge a unique learning opportunity

Werribee CFA demonstrated their road crash rescue capability against interstate and international colleagues at the Australasian Road Rescue Challenge, held at Lardner Park in Victoria from 26 to 29 July.


The team from Werribee hopes to compete in next year's event.

Werribee competed in five events including Entrapped, Time Critical, Controlled and two Trauma events and whilst they didn’t win, the take-aways for participating members were immeasurable.

The annual challenge is part of the highly-regarded Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) Learning Symposium which includes presentations on vehicle technology, rescue case studies and practical workshops, and culminates in the rescue challenges.

This year’s event saw 18 teams from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong compete in a range of vehicle accident rescue scenarios.

The scenarios used real vehicles, crushed to simulate actual crash outcomes. More than 100 people acted as patients, complete with mock injuries which teams needed to consider and treat as they worked to extricate them from the vehicles.

Werribee firefighter and rescue operator Daniel May was the team Leader for the seven CFA volunteers attending the championship. He said it was an honour representing the CFA and competing alongside interstate and international colleagues.

“Changes in techniques and technological improvements require us to continually maintain and update our skills and competencies,” Daniel said.

“Participating in the rescue challenge is rewarding as it provides a unique learning environment to expand our skills and develop professionally.

“We’ve picked up several new techniques that we will bring back to our fellow brigade members as well as the wider organisation.

“We’re excited to compete again next year and are already thinking of new ways to train in preparation.”  

CFA Deputy Chief Officer Gavin Freeman, who attended the event, said the challenge kept road rescue skills contemporary for what was a very difficult job.

“It was great to see the friendly rivalry between the teams but the real benefit is the fact that it is a very unique learning opportunity for all those involved,” he said. 

Photos courtesy of Australasian Road Rescue Organisation

Author: Shaunnagh O'loughlin