With less than a week to go until Hampshire Fire and Rescue hosts the UK Rescue Challenge, the Service has swept the board at a competition in Canada.
The HFRS Vehicle Extrication team took gold in every category at the Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee (TERC) challenge in Calgary. Competing against 32 of the best vehicle extrication teams from around the world, Hampshire snatched five titles including Best Overall Team, Best Incident Commander (Watch Manage Steve Barrow) and Best Medic (Crew Manager Kerry Charlton).
This latest victory places Hampshire in a favourable position heading into this weekend's UK Challenge, being held at Hampshire Fire and Rescue's headquarters in Eastleigh. Speaking after the team heard the results, Hampshire's team leader, Watch Manager Steve Barrow, said: "As a team, we went into Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee as the current champions and were determined to defend the international crown that we won in Seattle last year.
"It was absolutely fantastic when the results were called and we found ourselves at the top of the leader board. I was particularly thrilled when Kerry Charlton was named Best Medic as this is the first international competition he has won competing on his own."
But team members do not have long to rest and recover as September 30 is the start of the UK Rescue Challenge 'Hampshire 2010' which Steve and his team are hosting. Over the course of two days, 50 teams from around the UK will compete in the areas of vehicle extrication, rope rescue and trauma care in a bid to be named the UK's top team.
Steve added: "It is a real honour for Hampshire to be hosting the UK Rescue Challenge. But what makes this challenge all the more personal for us is that despite winning every major title around the world, we have never been crowned UK Champions.
"We are hoping that this year - with the event being held on home soil and with a home crowd cheering us on - we can take the title."
The UK Rescue Challenge 'Hampshire 2010' runs on October 1 and October 2 at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service headquarters, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9SJ.
Friday October 1 is the first round of competition and is a closed event.However, October 2 is a public day with the top 20 teams from day 1 competing for the UK title.
Members of the public are invited to attend this free event and watch the challenge from 1000 to 1500 on Saturday, October 2.The UK Rescue Challenge is cost neutral to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service with funding coming from a grant, exhibitors, and from four key sponsors: Silverlake Autoparts, of Botley; Packexe Smash; Lenox Blades; and BMW Authorities.