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.