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North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service are best in the world at technical rescue

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (NYFRS) Extrication Team has enjoyed more success at the World Rescue Challenge where 32 teams from around the world qualified to compete in the finals. In addition to the overall title of World Champions members of the team compete for the Best Team Leader, Best Team Medic and Best Technical Team.

This year the biggest fire and rescue service challenge in the world was hosted by London Fire Brigade at ExCeL, from the 18th to 20th October, and attracted firefighters from across the globe who competed in a variety of emergency rescue challenges

NYFRS extrication team consists of operational firefighters from stations across the county, and for the second year running they were crowned the ‘Best Technical Rescue Team in the World’ and the ‘3rd Best Extrication Team in the World’.

The team is made up of the incident commander Simon Wall (Harrogate) who came 4th overall in the team leader category, two medical experts Keith Ward (York and Masham) and Dave Gledson (Ripon) and the technical rescue team of Darren Kihen (Acomb), Andy Brear (Harrogate) and Steve Bake (Richmond).

The team is also supported by reserves Steve Appleyard and Phillip Brown from Harrogate and Nikki Baker from Northallerton who are all gaining valuable experience for the future of the team. They regularly attend events such as the Great Yorkshire Show, Nidderdale Show and many of the North Yorkshire road safety events, where they provide demonstrations to the public.

Team manager Dave Lonsdale from Ripon fire station said:

We performed very consistently throughout the competition, which involved three types of realistic road traffic collision scenarios with live casualties who were made up to simulate real life injuries, the Rapid Extrication exercise lasts for 10 minutes, then there is a 20 minute Standard Extrication followed by a 30 minute complex scenario with judges and assessors watching our every move.

At the end the casualties then provide feedback to the assessors regarding the team’s performance and a final score is given.

the presentation of 3rd place overall to Steve Bake, Darren Kitchen, Keith Ward, Dave Gledson, Simon Wall and Andy Brear
The presentation of 3rd place overall to Steve Bake, Darren Kitchen, Keith Ward, Dave Gledson, Simon Wall and Andy Brear


The trauma team of Ian Lawrence (Lofthouse) and Dave Gledson also performed well and narrowly missed out on a top place. Ian said:

We were 1st on day one, 5th on day 2 and finished 6th overall on the last day when we had four casualties to treat in nine minutes, which was a bit manic but great fun!


Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Anderson said:

All the team members are regularly involved in delivering road safety demonstrations and providing advice to the public.

The information and skills they learn during the competitions and training are at the forefront of rescue techniques and this knowledge is passed on to all operational firefighters during training, which ensures we are able to deliver the best possible service to our communities.

I’m very proud of what the team have achieved, they work extremely hard both when training for the competitions and during their normal roles where they help to pass what they have learnt on to others. They are a credit to the Service and fully deserve the success they have achieved.


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