Red hot winners!
Five West Midlands firefighters are celebrating clinching a double victory for the brigade in a national breathing apparatus challenge.
For the second year in a row, members of Red Watch from Sheldon Fire Station won the contest - the first time a brigade has won the annual showdown two years running.
Nineteen fire and rescue services took part in the weekend event at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. VIP guests and observers included Vij Randeniya (Chief Fire Officer of the West Midlands) and CFO Paul Fuller (President of the Chief Fire Officers Asssociaton).
The crews were put through their paces during scenarios involving actual fires and people reported to be inside the building. Skills such as fire ground procedures, entry control and incident command were put to the test.
WMFS takes a key role in helping to organise the annual challenge, which is sponsored by Dräger Safety UK Ltd and also enjoys the support of The Fire Fighters Charity. As well as fielding a team, WMFS staff and volunteers help with planning, running and assessing the contest.
CFO Randeniya said: “I watched the team compete, and they were of a very high standard. The fact they still thought they could do even better is a true hallmark of excellence. Very well done to everyone who took part.”
Watch Commander Carl Batchelor, of the WMFS Acadamy, said: “Sheldon Red Watch are very experienced and highly skilled, and very much deserved their second consecutive victory. They worked phenomenally hard.
“The challenge has a reputation for showcasing the very best skills in using breathing apparatus, and brigades often adopt many of the skills they see at the event as part of their day-to-day operations.”
Representing Sheldon’s Red Watch were: WCdr Steve Franklin (who was also named best Incident Commander at the event) and firefighters Zach Villers (driver/fire ground), Keith Hobbs (breathing apparatus), Stuart Taylor (BA) and Sacha Quinney (entry control).
WMFS were also represented at the event by Foleshill Red Watch.
Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Press Officer, West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101. On Twitter we’re @WestMidsFire