Hants national extrication champsHampshire FRS has been crowned World Extrication Champions at the world’s biggest rescue challenge competition, the 16th World Rescue Challenge, which also saw Humberside FRS claim the title of World Trauma Challenge Champions.

Hosted by The Fire Service College in Gloucestershire, the Challenge saw teams from as far afield as Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg and Extremadura, taking part in a number of multi-vehicle road traffic collision and trauma scenarios where casualties needed rescuing - some of which had deteriorating conditions. They also had to show experience of using all types of rescue equipment used in extrications.

More than 1,400 observers saw the team from Hampshire (pictured) just beat out Carlow from Ireland on countback to climb the extrication title ahead of Valencia, Humberside & Badajoz in third, fourth & fifth respectively.

Hampshire’s Extrication Team Leader Lee Havey, who took the title of Best Overall World Extrication Team Leader, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to take away the winner's title from the World Extrication Challenge. We are very confident in our firefighters’ abilities when they attend road traffic collisions and now that we have been crowned world champions, it just shows that what we do, we do very well.”

Meanwhile in the trauma rescue section of the competition, Humberside emerged victorious ahead of Hampshire and Luxembourg Red Cross. Overall winners in the development category for extrication went to Lisbon while Luxembourg Red Cross were the development winners in trauma rescue.

Commenting on their win, Humberside CFO Dene Saunders said: "Our teams constantly train for this type of incident and are highly skilled in extrication techniques. The teamwork Yorkshire Ambulance Service provides is key to providing better outcome of these serious incidents. To be crowned World Champions in this specific area is a testament to the expert training and hard work of all concerned and shows that communities across our region know that they have the very best on hand should the worst happen."

As part of the challenges, Hampshire used the Pacific A7A helmet and Vimpex extrication gloves as well as Makita rescue tools - all supplied by Vimpex as part of their lengthy partnership. Vimpex also supply Hants innovative USAR team with the Ogura battery powered hydraulic rescue tools as well as supporting their various extrication teams - who are current UK champions and have previously held the winner’s trophy at the World and European championships during the team's 28 year history.