Countdown begins to UKRO Festival of Rescue

Nearly 40 UK fire and rescue services will do battle as they’re assessed by expert judges in front of live crowds at Smithfield Birmingham at a free event at the end of September.

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Published on 2 September 2022
2 September 2022

We’re ready. Are you?

The countdown to the UK’s premier rescue competition is underway!

Nearly 40 UK fire and rescue services, and some from abroad, will do battle as they’re assessed by expert judges in front of live crowds at Smithfield Birmingham at a free event at the end of September.

Birmingham city centre is set to welcome hundreds of firefighters on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October, when they’ll compete in the UK Rescue Organisation’s ‘Festival of Rescue’, hosted this year by West Midlands Fire Service.

A patient being lowered in a rope rescue scenario

The free spectacular is open to the public, who can watch teams competing to be crowned champions across a range of challenges:

  • rope rescue (from height)
  • water rescue*
  • trauma care
  • urban search and rescue (collapsed structures)
  • releasing casualties from crashed vehicles.

WMFS is also proud to be introducing a new challenge for 2022 - The UK Firefighter Fitness Challenge. And there’ll be a special competition for Fire Cadets.

Other attractions at Smithfield will include fairground rides, discounted food, fire engines and lots more to do and see - including, if you keep your eyes on the sky on the Saturday, the world-famous ‘Red Devils’, the British Army’s parachute display team quite literally dropping in! (weather-permitting, times to be confirmed).

Area Commander Samantha Burton, who is coordinating the festival for West Midlands Fire Service, said: “We’re honoured to be hosting this year’s UKRO Festival of Rescue and really looking forward to welcoming colleagues from across the UK and beyond.

“It’s been a fantastic summer, with Birmingham and the West Midlands staging the amazing Commonwealth Games.

“We’re excited to be using the Smithfield site – the venue for beach volleyball during the Games – for the festival. It will be handed over to us from Birmingham Pride, which we’ve supported for several years.

“Fire incidents are, fortunately, reducing in number. Rescue and ‘special service’ calls are increasing, and now make up a bigger proportion of the total incidents we respond to. Events like the UKRO Festival of Rescue allow us to come together, hone those skills and show the public, up close and personal, what we do when people’s lives are on the line.

“We’re very grateful to our many sponsors, without whose generous support the festival simply wouldn’t be possible.

“The Festival of Rescue is a great opportunity for firefighters to watch and learn from each other. It’s also a great family event. I’m sure that many people will be amazed at the expertise and equipment on display.”

*The water rescue challenges will be staged at The Lloyds, Ironbridge on 30 Sept and at Old Turn Junction behind Birmingham’s SeaLife centre on 1 Oct.

For more details about the UKRO Festival of Rescue 2022 visit our dedicated festival website.
Festival of Rescue Website