Oxfordshire firefighters bid to become UK rescue champions

A team from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is bidding to win the prestigious UK Rescue Organisation (UKRO) Caerdydd Challenge, competing against over 200 firefighters from across the UK at Cardiff Bay on 28 and 29 September.

The UKRO Challenge is unrivalled for showcasing the incredible skills and commitment of emergency service personnel. It replicates real-life scenarios in disciplines such as vehicle extrication, trauma care, urban search and rescue, and water rescue.

The six-person Oxfordshire team will use the challenge to hone their accident rescue skills. They are training with the latest hydraulic tools in readiness to access, release and remove ‘live casualties’ in a range of vehicle crash scenarios.

Chris Barber, from the Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service team, said: “We’re taking every opportunity to train when we can, at work and in our own time, and we’re determined to give it our best shot. What we learn as we prepare for the Cardiff challenge will translate into how we respond to real collisions on the road, hopefully making Oxfordshire a safer place.

“Community support for our team has been fantastic. We’ve got great relationships with local scrap yards, who help us to mock up vehicle smashes using old car and van bodyshells.”

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s UKRO challenge team are:


Chris Barber (44), based at Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service HQ

Mark de la Coze (39), based at Kidlington

Chris Battle (40), Kidlington

Justin Stanley (40), Kidlington

Chris Aust (41), Kidlington

Paul Roberts (39), Kidlington