Rescue team take on challenge

August 4, 2022 BY

Teamwork: Members of the Bendigo SES put in a good showing at the 2022 Australasian Rescue Challenge. Photo: SUPPLIED

SIX members from Bendigo SES put their skills to the test, recently competing in the Australasian Rescue Challenge in Tamworth.

Organised by the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation, the challenge puts career fire fighters and paramedics up against volunteers from various fire and rescue organisations in timed scenarios.

Deputy Controller responsible for training at Bendigo SES, Michael Fisher, was joined by five other volunteers with a combined service experience of over 50 years.

“We consider the challenge immensely important,” he said. “As a unit we’ve been training for this for seven or eight months. As soon as it was announced we put a team together.

“Whatever we do in the competition follows through onto the road. Maintaining our skills is something we take seriously, but ARRO and the competitions take it to the next level. Our role now is to go back to the unit and incorporate our learnings, so the rest of the unit learns as well.”

The scenarios were either time critical, entrapped or controlled and based on real life events such as vehicles crashes or extracting casualties from difficult locations.

Deputy Controller Fisher said the team’s best result came from the controlled scenarios, which featured an upside-down car crushed on top of a tree trunk, with two casualties including an infant.

Using hydraulic spreaders, the Bendigo team successfully removed both casualties under 20 minutes.

A big focus of the ARC is on new technologies and techniques, with workshops providing participants an opportunity to learn something new.

“As modern cars develop new safety features are incorporated such as stronger material, complex construction techniques and more airbags,” Deputy Controller Fisher said.

“All of these create their own hazards to the rescue worker and it is imperative that we stay up to date with the latest technologies. The workshops were aimed at introducing us to the latest techniques and tools available to deal with these hazards.”

The team finished 10th overall and third out of the SES teams, behind Port Macquarie and South Barwon.