Wednesbury Fire Cadets are set to represent the UK in an international competition in Austria.
The group sets off this Saturday (8 July) for the CTIF (International Technical Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire) competition.
They’ll be among hundreds of competitors heading for Villach, where their fire and rescue drills and skills will be put to the test in front of thousands gathered in the city’s stadium.
The group of ten won the honour of competing on behalf of the UK at a qualifying event hosted by West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) last year. A team from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service came second and will also be making the trip.
Together with other cadets from Wednesbury who will be there as supporters, and volunteer instructors, the team will be away for just over a week. They’ll be staying in local schools that have been converted into temporary accommodation for the competitors.
Their supporters will be staying at a nearby campsite, paid for by months of fundraising which has also benefited The Fire Fighters Charity. WMFS has helped to cover the competitors’ costs and provided the transport.
As well as taking part in the opening ceremony, the group will spend their week training for their obstacle and relay challenges, watching and supporting the other competitors, and enjoying local sightseeing trips.
Crew Commander Paul Ratcliffe, based at Tettenhall Community Fire Station and the Officer in Charge of the cadets, said: “Once again, I’m extremely proud to be taking a team of cadets from Wednesbury to represent their country at this event.
“It’s a great honour for them and they’ve been training very hard. This competition is the jewel in the crown of what we achieve at Wednesbury Fire Cadets. Week to week the cadets learn and achieve so much, including teamwork, physical activity and first aid and a wide range of individual skills.”
Kat Harris, Children and Young People lead with WMFS’s Community Safety team, said: “We’re extremely proud of Paul and Wednesbury Fire Cadets. These young people have trained extremely hard to represent the UK and deserve every success on their trip.
“We’d like to wish them good luck and hope that they enjoy their international experience.”