Bridgend team wins UKRO Challenge

Published:  08 October, 2018

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Bridgend Extrication Team remain the very best in Great Britain after defending their UK Extrication Team title and winning for the sixth time.

The team fought off strong competition the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) Challenge in Cardiff Bay, held from 27-29 September.  The team also picked up Best UK Extrication Technical Team and Best UK Extrication Medic.

Hosted by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and drawing thousands to the iconic and sunny Cardiff Bay the event saw 600 firefighters battle it out in Trauma, Water, Extrication, Rope and Urban Search and Rescue challenges showcasing the very best in rescue skills and techniques from Services across the UK.

The highly successful event saw South Wales Fire and Rescue Service also claim their position as Best Overall UK Rope Rescue Team and Best UK Technical Rope Rescue Team.  This is a new team who came together this year from across the service to share their enthusiasm for improving standards of Rope Rescue.

In addition, this was the first year that South Wales have entered the Water Rescue Challenge and another brand new team from Penarth Station picked up third Best UK Water Rescue Team, including competing in the first ever Rapid Water Rescue scenario; a first for a UKRO national challenge. 

Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway QFSM said: ‘I am inspired by the skill shown by all our teams and I congratulate them on their well-deserved success. These titles may be awarded through a competition but the skills on display are those that our firefighters use every day keeping the people of South Wales safe. 

 ‘All our teams continue to make us all very proud and I make my own special congratulations to all our teams that competed, who have dedicated their own time in preparing for this Challenge. I am especially proud of our Bridgend Extrication Team; this is the sixth time they have won this prestigious Challenge. Within the next few weeks, they will also depart to defend their World title in South Africa, and we wish them all the very best.’

Within days, Bridgend Extrication Team will fly out to South Africa to defend their World Title at the World Rescue Organisation Challenge on the 23-26 October. Officer in Charge, Station Manager Andy Morgan commented: ‘It was an amazing feeling when the results were given out during the closing ceremony and it felt extra special winning at home in front of so many of our colleagues that were there supporting and cheering for us.’

 ‘The challenge in Cardiff this year has to be one of the best we have ever attended, the venue, all of the teams attending in various challenge events, along with support staff from all departments brought together in such a compact, professional way, showcasing many skills, was simply awesome.’

 CM Emma Atcherly, Officer in Charge of Rope Rescue commented: ‘The South Wales Fire and Rescue Force Rope Team are proud to have had the opportunity to represent our brigade at such an impressive UKRO competition. As a new team, we committed to many hours training over the last 10 months and are extremely proud to have been awarded the title of Best Rope Rescue Team and Best Rope Technical Team.  We look forward to developing as a team and competing in future competitions.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are extremely proud to have continued the long-standing UKRO tradition of producing a first-class rescue event. Thousands of people turned out to see the Challenge unfold at Cardiff Bay, an iconic location for what proved to be a tremendous event for South Wales.  There was a range of family activities on offer and partners from across the emergency service took part along with charity and community partners across the weekend.  This event promoted the safety messages of the fire service to thousands, helping to make the communities of South Wales a safer place to live.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Dewi Rose commented:‘It has been pleasing to receive such a high level of positive responses to the safety messages South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and our partners have delivered at the safety village during the rescue event. Seeing people enjoy themselves participating in fun activities linked to safety messages have been a success for all involved and will help make the communities of South Wales Safer.’

As the South Wales teams prepare now to head to the World Challenges, expectations are high for Bridgend to retain their world.

  • Operation Florian

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