Success for Werribee brigade's road rescue team

A team from Werribee Fire Brigade has taken first place in the inaugural CPR Challenge at this year’s Australasian Road Rescue Organisation Challenge, held in Dubbo from 25-29 July.


The team of seven won with a score of 96 per cent.

Team leader Daniel May, Werribee Firefighter and rescue operator, said the CPR Challenge was a measure of efficiency.

"It involves high-performance CPR," he said. "Each team member rotates through two minutes of compressions, two minutes of oxygen for a total of 12 minutes. 

"During this time, the depth and timing of the compressions and the amount of oxygen being delivered are measured."

The team also took out overall second place in the Time Critical event, taking just 24 minutes to free an unconscious patient from their wrecked car.

The annual road rescue 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 250 people from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong competing in multiple scenarios across three categories: Time Critical, Controlled and Entrapped. These challenges include extricating people from vehicles, dealing with trauma, and the CPR Challenge.  

The scenarios used real vehicles, which were crushed beforehand to simulate the actual outcome of a crash. More than 100 people acted as patients, and teams needed to consider and treat their injuries as part of rescue operations.

The Werribee team - Daniel May (Team Leader), Trevor Weston (Medic, Wyndham Vale Brigade), Scott Menzies, Scott Green, Anthony Hill, Dominic Trifilo and Neil Davie - competed in five events across the weekend including Entrapped, Time Critical, Controlled and two Trauma events.

"ARRO do a fantastic job in setting the scenarios up, and it’s great to have so many road rescue providers in one place sharing knowledge, ideas and networking," Daniel said. 

"Our team is thrilled with their result this year - for us to win a completely new event is outstanding; our hard work has definitely paid off.

"In addition to our second place in the Time Critical event, we received sixth place for the Entrapped event - up from eleventh last year.

"We've also taken a great deal of knowledge away from this year's competition and are better operators for it. 

"This knowledge will be passed onto other technicians not only within the brigade but also to the wider CFA membership."

ARRO is the peak body in Australasia for the development and exchange of information, knowledge and skills in road rescue.  

Next year’s Challenge will be held in Toowoomba from 16-19 July.   

"We're already planning around Toowoomba 2019; we'll start training soon and apply a lot of what we learned at this year's event," Daniel said.

For more information on the Challenge visit the ARRO website

Photos and video courtesy ARRO and Werribee Fire Brigade.

Author: Shaunnagh O'Loughlin