Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Calgary firefighters first in region, bested overall by European teams at North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge

Competing for the first time in an international vehicle extraction competition, City firefighters finished first place in the region on home soil last week.

Competing against in what’s called the “Olympics of rescue work,” The Calgary Fire Department's two teams faced-off against 28 international teams of firefighter rescue specialists.

The purpose of the North American Vehicle Rescue Challenge was to test and refine skills to rapidly rescue people trapped after motor vehicle accidents.

The Calgary Fire Department attends to thousands of fires every year but responds to seven times that number of vehicle collisions — many involving vehicle extrication.

Last year the department performed about 500 extrications.

In the four days of competition, held at The Coast Plaza Hotel in Calgary’s northeast, more than 100 vehicles were staged in a variety of crash scenarios with teams having to quickly and safely remove trapped occupants under extremely challenging conditions.

Specialty equipment, hand-tools, and electric and hydraulic tools were used by rescuers within time allotments of 10 and 20 minutes.

The Calgary Fire Department would like to thanks all competing countries and Calgarians who showed support at the free event.

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