Top honours at the National Breathing Apparatus Challenge went to South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue as they demonstrated the best performance and dedication of the near 50 firefighters who took part in the fourth annual Challenge.

While SYFRS's Central White Watch crew won both the BA Challenge and Charity Recovery Rescue on the day, the event at West Midlands Fire Service Academy also saw awards handed out to members of West Midlands Northfield (Best Officer in Charge), South Yorkshire Central (Best Fire Ground Pump Operator) and Hereford & Worcester (Best Entry Control Officer).

Firefighters tackled a series of scenarios involving rescuing casualties from actual smoke filled buildings, and the winning crew again showed their class by donating their £1,000 prize fund to worthy causes, giving half to The Fire Fighters Charity and half to Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity.

Their crew manager Paul Wood said: "We are all delighted to have won this competition, given how tough it was on the day.  We trained extremely hard throughout the year to make sure we beat last year's finish of sixth, so this is a great achievement."

The rest of his team comprised fellow crew manager Lee Jones along with firefighters Joe Swarbrick, John Taylor and Nigel Potts.

Greg Barber, Business Development Manager of event sponsors Draeger Safety said: "We are delighted to sponsor this event which focuses on making firefighters safer in the workplace, concentrating on the best of firefighting skills throughout the day. The whole weekend was a fantastic success and generated a lot of interest in the fifth BA Challenge to be held next year."


To find out more details about the Challenge or enter a team next year contact West Midlands Operational Training Support manager Lee Sketchley on 0121 380 6699 or email 

Posted 5/12/11 at 1030 by