2017 Australasian Rescue Challenge: Kiwi teams take out major placings

  Posted on 27th July 2017 by Loralee Hyde in Event News, UFBA News

2017 Australasian Rescue Challenge: Kiwi teams take out major placings
Hosted by the UFBA, the Australasian Rescue Challenge (ARC17) at Claudelands in Hamilton from 20-23 July was an outstanding success. Kiwi teams did us proud, taking out eleven accolades at the presentation dinner on Sunday night.

Twenty teams from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong competed across the three rescue events of Time Critical, Controlled and Entrapped scenarios and in a Trauma Challenge

The UFBA funded the winning teams from this year’s UFBA North and South Island Road Crash Rescue Challenges to attend—Hawera and Rolleston—along with Linton Military as the wild card entry.

Six Kiwi teams self-funded their participation—Whitianga, Geraldine, Rangiora, Milton, Greytown and Feilding.

With a focus on learning and skills acquisition, the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) staged a well-received quality Learning Symposium with keynote speaker Dr Tony Smith from St John New Zealand followed by four practical break-out sessions on heavy vehicle relocation, ARRO extrication techniques, heavy vehicle extrication, safety and knowledge, and practical aspect dissection.

Throughout the event, the teams also rotated through three workshops led by ARC17 Gold Sponsors—Chubb, Holmatro and ResQtec—to enhance their extrication techniques and knowledge.

With challenging scenarios in place, the competition was tight with some placings awarded on countback.

Special congratulations to Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade for winning Australasian Overall Champions. They also won best team leader (Spida Mangin), and were placed second in Controlled and third in Entrapped.



In only their second time competing in a rescue challenge, Linton Military Brigade received the Spirit of the Challenge award to a standing ovation. The winner of this award is nominated by their fellow teams.


Our congratulations also to Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade for their second placing overall and our other New Zealand winners and placings:

Thank you to all the teams who participated and for their dedication to training hard for this challenging event. The knowledge and skills they have gained from both competing and watching other rescue crews will now benefit their local communities at real-life emergencies.

A huge amount of hard work goes into making such an extensive event a success. Thank you to the UFBA General Manager Ceara Owen-Perry, Events Team, Challenges Committee Chair Nigel Lilley and Technical Panel for their superb organisation that resulted in the Challenge running so smoothly.

Our sincere thanks to the ARRO Executive and Technical Committee members, particularly Area Commander Dave Stackhouse, Chief Assessor Shane Cole, Senior Station Officer Jemal Weston and St John National Assistant Director of Operations (Clinical) Dan Ohs, and the technical expertise of subject matter experts from ARRO, Fire and Emergency New Zealand and industry.

We acknowledge the valued contributions of Gold Sponsors Holden, Chubb, Holmatro and ResQtec and Principal Event Sponsor Fire and Emergency New Zealand along with equipment sponsors St John New Zealand, OrangeCross, John Roberts Contracting and AlTranz Transport.

The support provided by the Road Transport Association New Zealand and members MTD Trucks, Volvo, Mack, Regal Group and Hamilton Tracked Parts NZ Ltd is very much appreciated.

A special thank you to all the volunteers from local brigades, the Auckland University of Technology and others who acted as ‘live casualties’—without you, this event could not have happened. And we thank Dean Asher for all his hard work organising and editing videos for every team of their runs in the pits which will provide them with valuable learnings to enhance their extrication and medical skills.

We are proud the New Zealand teams represented our fire and emergency services so well. ARC18 is on in Warragul, Victoria from 26-29 July. We look forward to seeing teams who are so dedicated to saving lives in their communities compete there.

2017 Australasian Rescue Challenge Full Results

Australasian Champions
1st Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade
2nd Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade
3rd Fire and Rescue NSW Wollongong

SES Directors Shield
Victoria SES, South Barwon

Best Team Leader
Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade (Spida Mangin)

Best Medical Team
NT Fire and Rescue Service

Best Technical Team
Fire and Rescue NSW Wollongong

Spirit of the Challenge
Linton Military Brigade

1st Hawera Volunteer Fire Brigade
2nd Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade
3rd Fire and Rescue NSW Wollongong

1st Fire and Rescue NSW Wollongong
2nd Milton Volunteer Fire Brigade
3rd Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade

Time Critical
1st Rangiora Volunteer Fire Brigade
2nd Linton Military Brigade
3rd NT Fire and Rescue Service

Trauma Challenge
1st QFES Brisbane
2nd NT Fire and Rescue Service
3rd Milton VFB

See photos of Whitianga, Geraldine and Linton Military in action and their presentations here

See photos of all presentations here

Thursday 20 July: Welcome and Learnng Symposiums

Friday 21 July

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1362272747159598.1073741828.344338132286403&type=1&l=be5015ce0d

Saturday 22 July

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1363358037051069.1073741829.344338132286403&type=1&l=be0eb8e48e

Sunday 23 July


Geoff Dixon, QFES Brisbane team member, recited an ode to the Challenge at the presentation dinner. Download his ode here or below.

Click here for more about ARC17


Ode to ARC17

Geoff Dixon, QFES Brisbane team member, recited his ode to the Challenge at the presentation dinner.

Download File (pdf, 317KB, last modified July 27 2017)

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