Firefighters to put their skills to the test in multi-agency road rescue competition - Coffs Harbour

Published: 24 Apr 2023 10:53am

Five teams of firefighters will represent Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) in a multi-agency State Road Crash Rescue Challenge next month at Coffs Harbour on the state’s north coast.

The FRNSW crews from Dubbo, Wyong, Ulladulla, ‘Region South’ and ‘Region North’ will compete against eight teams from the State Emergency Service (SES), two from the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) and one from Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) in a series of events being held over Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May at the Coffs Harbour International Stadium.

Challenge organisers have gathered 55 cars to be crushed by an excavator to replicate different car crash scenarios.

The vehicles will then be cut apart in simulated rescue competitions.

According to the competition rules, each rescue crew of six first responders has just 30 minutes to carry out its tasks under the watchful eye of competition assessors, judging the teams’ direction, technical competency and medical know-how.

In addition to two main car crash events, the teams will also compete in a ‘trauma challenge,’ a ‘first aid’ emergency, an ‘industrial/domestic’ rescue simulation and a CPR response.

The annual competition, now in its third year, was created to provide organisations with an opportunity to maintain their road rescue skills and encourage cross-referencing of related information and techniques.

FRNSW Assistant Commissioner – Regional Operations, Cheryl Steer, said there will be plenty going on over the weekend to entertain the public.

“When you haven’t seen this sort of activity up close, it’s just great to be able to just get in there and have a look at the equipment and watch how the teams work together to safely cut the cars up,” Assistant Commissioner Steer said.

“It’s a real eye-opener as well…you don’t normally get to see how first responders deal with car crashes…and how they use the tools carried on the trucks to save lives.

There will also be a community engagement event on Saturday with displays from FRNSW, the Rural Fire Service (RFS), SES, VRA and Marine Rescue.

The public is encouraged to attend the event.

Doors open at 7.30am on both days at the International Stadium in Stadium Drive, Coffs Harbour. 

Updated: 24 Apr 2023 10:58am

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Stations nearby


9-11 Market Street, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

SAWTELL Fire Station

140 Sawtell Road, Toormina NSW 2452


1867 Solitary Islands Way, Woolgoolga NSW 2456