More than 600 competitors took part in the two-day event, which was this year held at a specially constructed site near the BT Convention Centre and Kings Dock and Queens Dock in Liverpool. As hosts of the competition, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service did not enter any teams, but witnessed the London Fire Brigade triumph in three of the main categories – the Rope Challenge, Urban Search and Rescue Challenge and the Trauma Challenge.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service picked up the accolade in the Extrication Challenge, while Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service triumphed in the Water Challenge discipline.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer Dan Stephens said: “The United Kingdom Rescue Challenge 2013 was a great success. Our staff worked really hard in planning and staging the event. I was at the awards ceremony and told the audience of competitors that they are a credit to the fire and rescue services and really show what professionalism there is in our sector. Many had given up spare time to train and prepare for the event and I was proud to see their efforts recognised.
“The Challenge was in a great location and the public visited the site and spoke to our officers about fire and road safety during both days.
“A variety of equipment was on show from the hydraulic cutting equipment used by modern fire and rescue services to the ropes, harnesses and water rescue kit.
“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has hosted large events in the past; most notably the World Firefighter Games in 2008. The Service is once again proud to host another major event that showcased Liverpool’s history, culture, warmth and hospitality.
“We would like to thank all our sponsors for this event who have either provided equipment or funds to make sure UKRO 2013 would really make its mark.”
Speaking at the event, Watch Commander Andy Pye, from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, which competed in the rope rescue challenge, said: “The event has gone from strength to strength. It is also a tremendous learning environment for the different teams, who can increase their knowledge of the techniques used by other fire and rescue services.”