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Australasian Rescue Challenge a learning experience

Published 24/05/2012

The State Emergency Service (SES) South Barwon Rescue Team recently returned from the Australasian Rescue Challenge, bringing home new skills and knowledge to benefit their community.

Members of the SES’ South Barwon unit represented their service at the event, held in Hobart from April 26 to 29.

They faced off against 21 teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

Teams hailed from fire services, defence forces and mining emergency response teams.

 The South Barwon group placed 14th after competing in three practical exercises:

  • Controlled: The crew had 30 minutes to free two patients from a simulated crash, which left a car on its roof.
  • Immediate: The crew had only 20 minutes to free a casualty suffering a mock life-threatening injury. This exercise yielded the team’s best result, placing ninth overall.
  • Entrapped: A casualty was trapped within a vehicle that had been heavily crushed by an excavator to replicate a severe crash.

Rescuers also learned about the latest car models, technology and techniques.

As most training for road rescue is performed on second-hand vehicles, the chance to work on the latest models is an invaluable experience.

The South Barwon team is eager to bring their new skills and knowledge to the field and share them with surrounding units.

 SES Team Leader Josh Hutton summed up the experience as “a fantastic opportunity for us to compete with some dedicated teams that have been competing for many years”. 

“We have witnessed high-class extrications, have taken some great learnings from our scenarios and debriefs and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“Our team has spent many hours training and we cannot thank the State Operations Staff, Chief Officer of Operations Trevor White and our CEO Mary Barry enough for the fantastic support we have received.  We highly recommend all units get involved in Rescue Challenges whether it is at a Regional, State or Australasian level.”