With the ever increasing demand on our members to attend MVA and medical calls, the Road Crash Rescue (RCR) and Trauma Challenges are becoming an essential part of the UFBA Challenge programme. For members, it puts pressure on to hone the skills required to properly manage these call outs and UFBA is determined to meet this demand.
Chair of the UFBA Challenges Committee and Australasian Assessor and Scenario Setter Nigel Lilley states “With RCR events only occurring every second year, we found that some teams were struggling to keep the momentum up in training, and in some cases were stopping practising and entering competitions altogether. We needed to make sure that all of our members had the opportunity to continue to have regular practise in these essential Firefighter skills.” With this in mind, the UFBA Technical Panel petitioned to have some form of RCR event every year. In a bid to align all Challenges within the programme, without putting too much pressure on volunteers and host brigades, it was decided that National RCR will remain a biannual event and in the alternative years, hold a North and South Island Challenge. This concept, along with evidence of strong links to training outcomes presented to the New Zealand Fire Service, was enough to convince them that an annual programme was well worth funding.
Given the green light
On 8 December, the UFBA Board was given confirmation that the funding had been approved as per the Business Plan budgets. This allows the Events team and Technical Panel to forge ahead with the planning of two regional events for 2015. “There is not much time to find hosts and build the events, before the 1 June deadline, but there is so much passion around RCR that we know we will have the support of the brigades and will deliver two more great events” Events Manager Ceara Owen-Perry reassures.
With a full Waterways and Combat season schedule already in full swing between January and May, the two new RCR Challenges will be held at the end of May. This will give brigades enough time to get teams together and start training. The North and South Island Challenges will be used to determine the teams that will attend the 2015 Australasian Challenge. Holding the events in May will hopefully give the successful teams enough time to prepare to dominate the Australasian’s again this year.
New teams encouraged
The UFBA are hoping that the new additions to the Challenge programme will encourage new teams to enter and give current teams an added edge, as they will have more time to practise and fine tune their skills. Overall, the level of skills in all brigades will be lifted through these events. The Technical Panel encourage new teams to participate as possible as there is no requirement to have participated before and even if your brigade have no resources to fully train for the events.
Dates for the North Island and South Island RCR are still yet to be confirmed but are sheduled for May/June to coincide with the Australasian Road Rescue Challenge on 24 July.
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