London firefighters have taken first place in a competition which saw them pitting their skills against nine other UK Fire and Rescue Services.

The Regional Extrication Challenge - in which fire crews simulate releasing casualties involved in road traffic collisions - was held at London Fire Brigade's Southwark HQ on June 26.

Firefighters used their experience and specialist equipment to safely rescue trapped or injured casualties from wrecked vehicles. The teams' medical skills were also assessed in a separate trauma challenge which involved firefighters providing first aid to casualties.

Two London teams represented the brigade, with one of them scooping the top prize, beating Durham and Darlington and current world champions Royal Berkshire.

Group Manager Gerard Hollingworth, who organised the competition in London, said: "This was the first time that we have hosted a competition of this scale at our training centre in Southwark and it was great to finish off the day with our crew scooping the top prize. We are extremely proud of our firefighters and the professionalism they've demonstrated throughout the event."

He added: "This competition is all about learning new skills and improving existing practices to provide the best response to incidents. The skills that the teams have developed in training for the event and picked up during the challenge will undoubtedly be used to great effect when attending their next road traffic collision."

This year, London firefighters competed against fire crews from West Yorkshire, Surrey, West Midlands, East Sussex, Durham and Darlington, South Wales, Cornwall, Royal Berkshire and Hampshire.