|The top competitive firefighting event of 2011 was hosted by London Fire Brigade for the first time ever, but it was the Royal Berkshire brigade that emerged the big winners.
RBFRS rescue team came top in all four categories of the extrication challenge, while Strathclyde Fire & Rescue just beat the hosts in a tight rope rescue challenge.
LFB were second again in the trauma challenge won by Hampshire Fire & Rescue but made up for it by winning the urban search and rescue challenge.
Chair of the UK Rescue Organisation, Steve Apter, was pleased with the way the event went and said:
"UKRO, working with LFB, have put on a fantastic challenge that has provided an opportunity for firefighters to test their skills within the extremely challenging environment they face when attending real incidents."
This year's challenge attracted 36 brigades from across UK, along with international teams from Ireland, Germany and Spain.
Against strong competition, RBFRS showed why they are the reigning World Extrication Challenge champions as they demonstrated the best technical, medical and leadership skills when dealing with a 'rescue scenario' requiring extrication of two casualties from a vehicle.
Their Group Manager, Paul Maynard, said: "We're really pleased to have won the National Challenge, as it makes all our hard work and training worthwhile.
"The standard of the other teams was particularly high this year, so for us to come first in every category is a fantastic result.
"The most important part of these competitions is the opportunity they give us to learn new skills and rescue techniques, which we pass on to our crews who use them in real life incidents."
Mark Andrews, Deputy Commissioner of the hosts LFB, agreed, saying that the most important aspect of the challenge was that it gave teams a chance to learn skills that will improve firefighters ability to rescue casualties in real incidents.
Following on from UKRO 2011, the big event of next year will be Incident Live 2012 a unique, dynamic exhibition that will feature all the emergency services and partner agencies testing vehicles and equipment.
Posted September 29, 2011 at 1635. Comment by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures: Front-RFBRS winning team; top right-LFB during rope challenge; bottom right-Cornwall Fire & Rescue during trauma challenge