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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Brewood Firefighters Train for National Challenge

Six retained firefighters from Brewood have stepped up their training to take part in the national finals of an Extrication Challenge next month.

“It’s really important to learn new techniques for the safe and prompt release of casualties involved in road traffic collisions.... our expertise in extrication could help save someone’s life.” Paul Danby, Watch Manager.

The six are using up to four cars a week to practise their extrication skills including using the latest hydraulic cutting equipment to release trapped “casualties.” 

Watch Manager Paul Danby said: “It’s really important to learn new techniques for the safe and prompt release of casualties involved in road traffic collisions as cars today are built with new safety systems that can be difficult and dangerous for crews to access. Our expertise in extrication could help save someone’s life.”

Paul is also a whole-time Crew Commander for West Midlands Fire Service based at Ladywood. He and the rest of the team - Michael Maybin, an emergency clinical practitioner at the QE Hospital, Birmingham; David Small, who works for a fire protection company; Gavin Fox, who has his own catering business; Paul Pugh, Christopher Wiles and reserve Alex Pritchard, are training twice a week at Brewood Fire Station in Bargate Lane. 

The six will be representing Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation Challenge 2013 in Merseyside. The event challenges take place on July 5 and 6 near the Queens Dock area of Liverpool. . 

The event is hosted by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and the range of challenges includes road traffic collision rescues, rope rescue, casualty management/trauma, water rescue and urban search and rescue. 

“Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are fantastically supportive in our challenge,” added Paul, who will be acting as the incident commander in the competition. “The Emergency Response Team has given us the latest Webber Gold hydraulic cutting equipment to use in training and the Training and Development team provides a regular supply of de-polluted cars – up to four a week as well as their instructors’ support.

“The challenge is very different from a real-life extrication in that we have to provide a running commentary on everything we do, the decisions we make and the welfare of the casualty, all of which is recorded by the assessors and awarded points.  

“We are training very hard to improve our skills for the challenge, which is on top of our day jobs and providing a fire and rescue service for the Brewood community.”