Hampshire fire crew named best overall at challenge day

The 'USAR team: Steve Fox, Barry Atkins, Simon Forster, Daryll Pynigar, Alec Bowen and Chris Dean
The 'USAR team: Steve Fox, Barry Atkins, Simon Forster, Daryll Pynigar, Alec Bowen and Chris Dean
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A FIRE crew has been crowned national champions for having the best trauma and urban search and rescue (USAR) teams.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s USAR six-man team won 12 trophies at the annual UK Rescue Organisation challenge. They were also named best overall team.

The group, who will be part of the specialist and technical rescue team soon to be based at Eastleigh fire station, took part in four two-hour challenges to claim the title.

Station manager Chris Roper said: ‘This is the best we have ever done. I am so proud to be heading up such a talented and dedicated team, and to see them recognised at the highest level.

‘The challenges the firefighters faced tested all of the skills they may have to call upon in operational situations.

‘It was also a good chance to see how other services do things and see if there was anything we could take back to our drill yard.

‘These awards are a great chance to showcase and further hone our skills which ultimately help keep the people of Hampshire safe.’

The team had to simulate the shoring up of a stadium after an explosion and create a safe working environment to search for casualties.

There was also a problem-solving exercise where the crew had to safely move and re-order a set of 500kg hoops, manoeuvring the heavy loads over vehicles in mid-air and around obstacles with precision.