26 Apr
26 April 2018

Crash rescue comp returns to Manfeild

AN exercise in which fire crews are tested on the ability to extricate road accident victims from smashed vehicles returns to Manfeild next month.

Sixteen crews, seven from the North Island and the remainder from the South, will be at the Feilding facility on May 24, 25 and 26 to take part in the United Fire Brigades’ Association of New Zealand combined regional road crash rescue challenge.

Held at the Manfeild Stadium and requiring 70 cars donated by regional wrecking yards, this event is very popular with fire brigades.

“Road fatalities and related injuries continue to rise,” UFBA Chief Executive Officer Bill Butzbach says.

“Our firefighters help to rescue people from road crashes every single day.

“While it presents as a competition, the event has a serious flavour in giving participants valuable opportunity to learn and refine their skills so they are better equipped to respond to the unpredictable range of road crash scenarios.”

The challenges are purpose-designed to replicate incidents firefighters encounter in their communities. 

The element of racing against the clock is also very real – that’s often a core element of actual rescues. And, of course, as in daily duty, the key aim is to extract and treat live patients efficiently and without further injury to give them the best chance of survival.

Manfeild chief executive Julie Keane says an event that has been staged at Manfeild for some years highlights the professionalism of the crews and also provides sobering insight into scenarios that would give any reckless driver thought to reconsider.

“The challenge is a valuable training exercise that serves to raise public awareness of the global problem of road death and injury, but it also serves to highlight the consequences of what can be simple errors while driving.”

Manfeild’s investment into the National Driver Training Centre was a reflection of a desire to ensure students were best prepared for the road. The exercise was a poignant reminder of what was at stake.

“We’re honoured to again have this event here and would encourage the public to come and see something of the reality of a job that requires bravery, skill and dedication from these unsung heroes.

“It is an unfortunate reality that any of us can be exposed to road accidents – this event presents something of the reality of often sad and hugely traumatic events that occur all too often.”

The United Fire Brigade Association is a national membership organisation of 545 brigades comprising more than 11,000 firefighters, eighty percent of whom are volunteers.

The teams involved are from: Feilding, Linton, Hawera, Whitianga, Morrinsville, Greytown, Inglewood, Rangiora, Mossburn, Lincoln, Geraldine, Milton, Rolleston, Balclutha, Leeston and Wanaka.


Caption: The United Fire Brigades’ Association of New Zealand road crash rescue challenge returning to Manfeild next month is a hotly-contested event that raises the skill level of the nation’s first responders to vehicle accidents.

Photo: Bryce Howard.