VICSES returns to international road rescue tournament

VICSES returns to international road rescue tournament

28/06/2022, 3:50 PM

After a short hiatus of competition due to COVID 19, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is returning to compete at the Australasian Rescue Challenge (ARC) to be held at Tamworth, NSW, from July 21st to July 24th 2022.

The VICSES teams will participate in simulated road rescue scenarios that involve completing a simulated exercise in a set time frame, to exacting standards.

The Road Rescue Challenge provides an opportunity for VICSES volunteers to harness best practice rescue skills and to put them into practice on modern cars.

VICSES Bendigo Unit won the opportunity represent Victoria State Emergency Service at the ARC in 2019 following an agency challenge. 

Volunteers Matt, Miranda, Nicole, Mike, Marty and Bec from VICSES Bendigo Unit competed in the VICSES Challenge, with teams from VICSES Sunbury, Warrnambool, and Bacchus Marsh Units, and a combined team representing the East region.

VICSES South Barwon Unit were successful in 2022 in gaining the opportunity to also represent VICSES at the competition, with both teams undertaking further intensive training over the last several weeks.

The volunteer teams are led by a commander, supported by a medic, and technical members, who are then assessed in each area of competency.

The challenge is hosted annually by the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) to gather and share knowledge of cutting-edge developments in road rescue. Engagement with teams from across Australasia promoters intended to promote shared knowledge, a consistent approach to the work, and build ongoing relationships between emergency management agencies.

This year, twenty teams representing fire and rescue agencies from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore will participate in a full day learning symposium, followed by three days of challenging rescue and medical scenarios.

During the simulations, the team is assessed on their command and control structure, as they safely and systematically approach extricating the patient in under 30 minutes. Crews demonstrate these skills by utilising the tools available - such as hydraulic cutters and spreaders (the “jaws of life") - handling the patient safely and mitigating hazards, such as fuels, airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

VICSES provides 85% of RCR coverage across Victoria with each of our 104 accredited units capability assessed every three years, along with other agencies providing RCR coverage across the state: Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV); Country Fire Authority (CFA); Echuca Moama Search and Rescue Squad, and Shepparton Search and Rescue. All agencies involved work to the same exacting standards to qualify to provide the RCR service.

The Australasian Road Rescue Challenge is open to the public. For more information visit:

To read more stories about our work in Road Crash Rescue (RCR), click here.